The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

A week in the life of a student journalist

Cal Millar talks about working for the Mancunion, Fuse FM and Fuse TV

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If you’ve ever thought you could do a better job than Mark Lawrenson, Matt Dawson or Simon Barnes, or simply fancy a head start in a media career read on!

Monday:

The FuseFM news team has a 6PM meeting, where I find out what sport I will cover that week. As an avid rugby fan, Jack Carmichael, Lizzie Rule and I present a RBS 6 Nations discussion show in which we give our analysis, match commentary and predictions. Listeners can get involved with our debates by tweeting @fusefmnews.

Tuesday:

I am in Sheffield with Lizzy Demetriou, the new head of sport for FuseTV, to film the BUCS athletics tournament. Your costs are covered on trips like this, which, considering I am no professional, is a pretty good gig to get; getting to do something you really enjoy for free is a real privilege!

Wednesday:

I’ve received the footage from the BUCS tournament, and now get the chance to review and present my work. My job involves plotting the timecodes for the clips in the order I want them so skilled editor John Charlton can stitch it together. I plan my voice-over and commentary and send it off – can’t wait to see what the result is!

Thursday:

At 6PM I have a meeting with the Mancunion sports editors, which I’m invariably slightly late to having read out the evening news for FuseFM. Matt, Ciaran and Tom lay out the schedule for the week and dish out events for the writers to cover. Most of the student journalists have their own sport they prefer to cover (rugby union is my territory!), but this has been a great opportunity to learn more about sports you’d never followed before – I think I even understand cricket now!

Friday:

At last I have a day off, although I stay in touch by reading the sports pages on various websites. I’m also e-mailed to let me know that my article on the O2 touch rugby tour has been uploaded to the Mancunian website. FuseTV sent me down with a HD camera to film a documentary about it. This meant I had to edit the footage myself, linking interviews with England Women’s International Vicky Fleetwood and Sale Shark’s Rob Miller with the shots of the audience. Keep your eyes peeled on FuseTV’s youtube channel for that soon!

Saturday:

Perfect – a day watching the 6 Nations fixtures in preparation for my panel show. Unfortunately, they’re rather dreary affairs, but I write a few notes down during the games and organise the content for my show.

Sunday:

Showtime! Last week we had a Welsh fan call in from Cardiff to offer her thoughts on the matches which was pre-recorded – it takes the pressure off the callers if they know we can edit mistakes out later and you get a much more relaxed conversation which comes across well in the show.

Hopefully there have been enough examples in this article of areas of sports journalism for you to get involved in. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to develop, including being sent to masterclasses (with much of the cost taken on by the newspaper!). So I encourage you to take your armchair punditry and make something of it. Nobody asked for your sporting opinion? Well, actually, we are!