Journalism students bowled over by maiden Ashes opportunity

Monday 9 September 2013
England captain Alastair Cook

Journalism students were bowled over this summer when they were given the opportunity to report live on The Ashes from Emirates Old Trafford.

The University of Salford’s link-up with Lancashire County Cricket Club saw two budding sports reporters from the BA Journalism course cover the third and crucial test where England retained The Ashes over arch-rivals Australia.

First years Liam McCallion and Steven Peach gained full press accreditation from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for the University’s journalism student news website Quays News, granting them access to the recently redeveloped multi-million media centre at Emirates Old Trafford.

“Covering The Ashes live in my first year at the University of Salford just speaks volumes as to how good the journalism course is,” said Liam. “A year ago I would never have thought this type of opportunity would come up so early on in the course, so I felt honoured to be waving the flag for Quays News when I was given the chance to report on The Ashes.”

Liam and Steven provided previews, match reports, analysis and pictures, while also live tweeting as the action unfolded. All content was published to www.quaysnews.net. The students were also able to observe some of the top names in sports reporting, picking up useful tips and advice while catching a few words with cricketing legends.

Added Liam: “Covering the game at Old Trafford was great; the facilities are state-of-the-art. Sitting alongside the likes of the BBC’s Dan Roan and Steve Scott from ITN in the press box gave a taster as to what my future will hopefully be like once I finish my degree, as sports journalism is my chosen path in the field.

“I had an insight into how busy a press box could be and how it all works, whilst also seeing how sports journalists manage their time between live reporting on social media and getting out their written reports, skills I can take with me to future sports events.

“The overall experience was memorable but having a chat with cricketing legend Geoffrey Boycott in the lift, of all places, was a personal highlight.”

Lecturer in Sports Journalism, David Randles, said: “Liam and Steven did a great job turning round copy and content to deadline from one of the biggest events on the sporting calendar.

“This was an incredible opportunity for them to get a feel for reporting on a major sports event. Putting into practice the skills we introduce them to on such a big stage can only help with their continued development.

“Special thanks must go to Lancashire CCC for accommodating and guiding our students throughout the summer. The kind of experience they are picking up is invaluable. It’s the best way to learn.”

Read Liam and Steven’s final day report from the Old Trafford test and their summary of how England won the Ashes at the Quays News website.