New A-Level journalism course on offer at Derry’s Verbal Arts Centre

Leona O'Neill (second from left), Verbal Arts Centre, with local media representatives (from left), Ciaran O'Neill, Editor Derry News,  Bernie Mullen, Deputy Editor Derry Journal, Drive 105 radio presenter Felix Healy and Eamon Sweeney, Londonderry Sentinel.
Leona O'Neill (second from left), Verbal Arts Centre, with local media representatives (from left), Ciaran O'Neill, Editor Derry News, Bernie Mullen, Deputy Editor Derry Journal, Drive 105 radio presenter Felix Healy and Eamon Sweeney, Londonderry Sentinel.
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Budding journalists in Derry are getting the chance to get on the right career path with the launch of the Verbal Arts Centre’s new Journalism School.

In September, the centre will offer A-Level journalism, taught by one of the north-west’s best known journalists, the Irish News’ Leona O’Neill.

Students will learn all the industry skills needed to become journalists and get first hand advice from industry experts.

Students will also get the opportunity to create their own media products - such as magazines and radio programmes - and have their news stories and radio productions published and broadcast in the local media.

Speaking as the Journalism School launched last week, Leona O’Neill – a journalist of some 17 years - said she was looking forward to the new term.

“Journalism is the best job in the world,” she said. “No two days are the same and you get to meet the most amazing people, have the best adventures, be privy to exclusive information and see history unfold before your eyes.

“The Verbal Arts Centre’s Journalism Department wants to recruit students who are heading into their A-Level year now and are interested in journalism. This is a very exciting course and one that will teach young people the skills needed to be successful in the world of media. They will learn how to produce radio programmes at the VAC’s state-of-the-art recording studios, they will learn how to produce magazines and newspapers and they will have their work published in the local print media.

“We are very lucky to have close ties with all the local media and throughout the term will be tapping into the expertise of local media figures – from press officers to news reporters to graphic designers – to learn how best to carve out an exciting career in the media world as well as learning at the coalface of local media through work experience.”

If students are interested in taking A-Level Journalism at the Verbal Arts Centre, they should ask their teacher at their A-Level registration in their school once they get their results and contact Leona O’Neill on leona.oneill@verbalartscentre.co.uk.

Potential journalism students can get a taster of what life is like as a journalist next Wednesday, August 14, when the Verbal Arts Centre’s newsroom opens for business for the day. Students can register to become journalists for the day, covering Fleadh events in stories and images that will be published on the VAC website, the Derry Journal and Londonderry Sentinel. Booking is essential. Contact Rose on Tel: 02871 266946.