Scott Trust Bursary students 2019-20

Rhi Storer
The University of Sheffield
I studied for my MA in Journalism and NCTJ diploma at the University of Sheffield.

I grew up in the suburbs of Birmingham where the best way to describe it is safe, but boring. To escape, I voraciously read the newspaper Dad brought home every evening with my dinner. I watched journalists report in far away lands, and on events that would become celebrations of history. My time was spent completely enthralled by these men and women with microphones and notepads.

My final year of university was where I began to take journalism more seriously by trading nights out with nights in writing for the university’s newspaper. I also became deputy head of news at our university’s radio station. All of this experience and networking culminated in me starting out as a reporter for I Am Birmingham – an online news platform. This is where I honed my craft down and scooped exclusive stories away from the local traditional print newspapers.

After graduating in 2018 with a degree in Politics, I continued to work for I Am Birmingham on evenings and weekends. My days were spent between PR and marketing jobs, but in my heart I knew I wanted to be working for a national newspaper.

I hope to become a news reporter and in the future a political correspondent. I want to show that people who come from a single income (and LGBT) background like myself deserve to have a seat at the media table, and that our stories and our experiences are valid.

We are the next generation of journalists, and ultimately we determine what is to become of the public’s social reality and their view of the world. It is imperative that we do not do our marginalised communities injustice by sticking to an established media script.
Alex Mistlin
Goldsmiths College, University of London
I first became interested in journalism during the 2015 general election. Although I was too young to vote, I followed the election intently and quickly became fascinated by the role the media plays in British politics.

However, my first foray into student media came as a music reviewer, a brilliant role that gave me the chance to interview some of my heroes and even get free tickets to their shows! I have since gone on to write about race, politics and the reality of student life for the New Statesman and the online youth culture magazines HUCK and VICE.

Ultimately, I’d like to be a journalist who uses their platform to bring wider attention to the issues faced by young people from ethnic minority backgrounds. Too often, Black men in particular are exclusively written about through a criminal justice lens and I think this does a disservice to the complexity of the Black British experience.

I think there’s never been a more exciting time to be a journalist, not least because our most important interactions are increasingly taking place online. Where politics is concerned, I think we’re just beginning to realise how much the internet is shifting the goalposts.

Going forward, I’m eager to investigate the impact of technological change on both politics and popular culture as more than ever, I think it’s impossible to properly discuss one without reference to the other.
Tobi Thomas
City University
I studied for an Interactive Journalism MA at City University. I’ve always had an interest in politics and current-affairs growing up, and this interest became quite serious when following the 2015 general election campaign while still at school. It was following this general election, the first one where social media was at the forefront, that I understood the power of effective news reporting and use of social media, and how it can bring about changes in party policy, which in turn affects our material circumstances.

At Oxford, while an undergraduate, I was heavily involved in student journalism. I was the editor of the unfortunately named Isis Magazine, and was Investigations editor for Cherwell Newspaper. I’ve also freelanced for publications such as The New Internationalist, where I reported on the Extinction Rebellion protests. During my second year, I undertook an internship at In These Times, a politics and current-affairs magazine based in Chicago. There, I learnt more about the intricacies of covering US politics and policy, helping to cover the 2018 primary elections of politically progressive candidates such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

My first proper stint at a national newsroom was through the Guardian’s Positive Action Scheme.

I returned for further work experience at the National News desk, where I reported for the Bias in Britain series and shadowed the political editor at the Lobby.

I’m primarily interested in data-driven investigations and reporting, and how innovations within the field can make political reporting in particular much more accessible, and in turn help to re-engage those who have historically been marginalised and excluded from social and political institutions.
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