Jasper Taylor studied Multimedia Journalism at Bournemouth University, graduating in 2014. He has subsequently gone on to work for Sky Sports News as a Junior Sub Editor.
During his time at BU, Jasper worked for AFC Bournemouth, making feature videos and running a match-day blog.
Jasper said, “Four multimedia journalism students joined AFC Bournemouth in January 2012 to assist their media team, with an emphasis on match days. My experience at AFC Bournemouth allowed me to gain three years’ experience in the industry before I started full time. It taught me how to adapt my reporting based on the audience and helped me to develop my interviewing skills, which was invaluable.”
It wasn’t just the placement that equipped Jasper for his new role, but the core skills learned on his course too, “The multimedia journalism course equipped me with all the core journalistic skills needed to work in today's industry. Particular skills include speed, accuracy whilst remembering to deliver stories in an engaging way – all things that I am using on a daily basis now.”
The balance between university course and work placement is something Jasper believes to be particularly important – and a key reason for landing his first job after graduating from BU. “Work placements are arguably just as important as the academic side of the course. They are what make you stand out when competing with hundreds of other graduates. As importantly, they might teach you that there are certain aspects of the industry you don't want to go into when you graduate.”
Bournemouth University are an official partner of AFC Bournemouth, bringing two of Dorset’s largest organisations together to offer more opportunities to students while they are studying. The partnership also includes working together on community projects and offering specialist training to BU’s football teams.
The partnership, which just celebrated its first year, also gives students the opportunity to work at the club – where you are bound to see some exciting matches. Jasper continued, “The highlight of my time as AFC Bournemouth was covering the special exhibition match against Real Madrid. The importance of the role of the media team for arguably the biggest match in the club's history couldn't be underestimated and it took a lot of work to ensure everything was produced to as high a standard as possible. We also got to watch some of the world's best players, which I'll never forget.”
So, if you are looking to follow Jasper into a career in sports journalism then what can you do now that will prepare you for that first job? Jasper has some advice for students looking to follow in his footsteps, “If you think you'd like to work for a certain company or part of the industry then apply for as many different work placements as you can to gain as much experience as possible.
“Do something that will set you apart from other people and try to develop your own individual voice so that you can bring something new to an ultra-competitive industry.
One thing that set Jasper apart from others during his time at BU was his video work. Jasper and his friends were often called upon by the university, as well as the football club, to produce videos – of conferences, interviews and more. These videos were of impeccable quality, and it was no accident that Jasper decided to press into this skill. Jasper said, “Technology is a massive part of the industry, whether it is hardware or different software programmes for design or video and photo editing.
“A good grasp on social media is also crucial. Young journalists are expected to know about as many different parts of the industry as possible and knowing all of these skills also mean you can network and meet lots of people that could help you get your break into the industry.”