Journalism field-trip was ‘fantastic experience’

Forty-three first year student journalists toured the BBC HQ and saw a live debate in the Houses of Parliament during their field-trip to London. Undergraduate Molly Williams (pictured) reports on her experiences  of the weekend:

by Molly Williams, SHU journalism student
by Molly Williams, SHU journalism student

The SHU journalism trip to London was fantastic! London with its rich history and bustle of metropolitan life offered boundless new places to see at every tube stop.

Or as David Clarke, joint Course leader who organised the trip, suggested: “You could have a great time just riding on the tube all day.”

Both days were graced with glorious weather. The sun reflected off the glass face of the BBC studios and illuminated the intricate detail on the Palace of Westminster.

SHU journalism students visit the BBC Broadcasting House on Portland Square (Molly Williams)
SHU journalism students visit the BBC Broadcasting House on Portland Square (Molly Williams)

Once inside the BBC studios we looked on in awe as live broadcasts were being aired across the country. We also explored the set of The One Show and sat on the green sofas on which as the tour guide said: “Many famous bottoms have sat.”

We expanded our knowledge on the vast history of the BBC and saw some of the iconic broadcasting equipment such as the Marconi Type A microphone. We witnessed how the BBC operates today including the recently implemented UGC department as well as tried our hands at broadcasting TV and radio.

As the sun set a group of us paced the bustling streets and headed for the British Museum eager to capture some moments in one of our favourite spots in London. As ever it was magnificent and brought back fond memories of visiting as a child.

We hopped back on the tube and set out into the night for the Hard Rock Café. With overwhelming amounts of legendary rock history everywhere you look it’s hard to resist taking photos of everything. Armed with our souvenir cocktail glasses we then took a visit to another of our favourite museums, The Vault.

Big Ben
Big Ben towers above the Houses of Parliament (Molly Williams)

On Monday we visited the Houses of Parliament, also known as the Palace of Westminster, which to me sounds more fitting as each room is filled with immense grandeur and history.

It was also interesting to hear  the Labour MP for Sheffield, Paul Blomfield, answer questions from fellow course mates about major local and national issues.

The Sun's front page story from 17 March 2016. SHU journalism students watched the debate in the Commons prompted by an 'urgent question' from Labour deputy leader Tom Watson (credit: BBC)
The Sun’s front page story from 8 March 2016. SHU journalism students watched the debate in the Commons prompted by an ‘urgent question’ from Labour deputy leader Tom Watson (credit: BBC)

Watching the live debate on The Sun’s claims about the Queen’s views on Brexit was really exciting.

Politicians are often portrayed as quite dry but for me I found the House of Commons to be the opposite.

In particular John Bercow’s animated facial expressions combined with his pronunciation of the MPs names was quite comical.

As we boarded the train at St Pancras I felt a pang of what Samuel Johnson must have felt when he said:

“Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”

But alas all good things come to an end. A worthwhile experience which has given me an empowering glimpse into journalism in the capital.

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