Journalism students from Leeds Trinity University have put Senior Investigating Officers from West Yorkshire Police through their paces as part of a collaborative media training event.
Hosted at the University, the media training sessions – based around a mock scenario designed by West Yorkshire Police – provided Senior Investigating Officers (SIOs) with an opportunity to develop their skills when liaising with the media. As well as hosting and giving statements at press conferences, the SIOs had to answer questions from the media and take part in one-to-one interviews.
The training also enabled Leeds Trinity Journalism students to put their practical, legal and ethical skills into practice as Journalists. The students were also trained in shorthand as part of the session, a practical skill which they then used when conducting mock newsroom events with the SIOs.
Jael Lutandila, first-year Broadcast Journalism student at Leeds Trinity took part in the training event. She said: “My experience with West Yorkshire Police and their media training was amazing! The whole thing was well organised, and I really felt like a real journalist. We had the chance to experience a press conference and explore different methods of journalism. It was challenging; but it helped me to understand what it would be like to cover events as a journalist.”
As part of the training, students used facilities and equipment available at the University, including: the TV studio, radio studio, mobile phones and mobile journalism equipment. They participated in one-to-one interviews and press conferences, having to respond quickly to new updates and timed situations. It also gave West Yorkshire Police officers a real taste of what it is like to be scrutinised by the media.
Simon Atkinson, Head of Crime Training at West Yorkshire Police, said: “The exercise is an extremely valuable opportunity to work closely with Leeds Trinity University in developing media opportunities for Senior Investigating Officers. We’re currently already in partnership with the University regarding our Student Officers and I see this as the next step. It’s been a really good experience for my students, and I hope it has been for the Media students as well. We’ve got a lot out of it, we’ve been fantastically hosted, and I just hope to build on that for the future.”
Rebecca Whittington, Lecturer in Journalism at Leeds Trinity, said: “This event was a great opportunity to not only get our first-year students thinking on their feet and responding to a live ‘breaking news’ situation, it was also a chance to put their practical, technical, legal and ethical skills to the test. It was a great opportunity to develop resilience, live interview techniques and to hold power to account.
“It is the first time in recent years that we have run this kind of partnership event with West Yorkshire Police and it was a real success for all parties, we can’t wait to do it again next year!”
In June 2019, West Yorkshire Police announced its aim to recruit and train police officers alongside Leeds Trinity University, with new recruits joining the force as police constable degree apprentices or as police constable degree holders. If you are interested in applying to be a Police Officer please complete the expression of interest online form
For the media
Leeds Trinity University's Senior Corporate Communications Officer, Lucy Chaplin, is the first point of contact for local, national and international media.