The BBC might not fancy Salford but I don’t much like the idea of London

You’ve all heard the stereotypes about cheap and stingy Northerners, drummed-up mainly by you Southern folk who group everyone north of Watford together into one big alien race. The actual distinction is that people from Yorkshire are the real cheapskates (spoken like a true Lancastrian). But when it comes to me, I – in this case – conform to stereotypes. And so you can imagine my reaction when I found that I was not only moving to London where it costs you about £3.00 to sneeze but that my course fees were going to be almost £8,000.

The Big Move

Now I have had my fair share of luck in being supported through University by family financial help, but 8k for a year is a bloomin’ lot of money in anyone’s book and I’m sure other people at City share these feelings. We are – however – paying for the best and I look forward to being bent out of shape and remoulded until I am the best hack I can be. But the money issues don’t stop there.

I have been lucky enough to have been offered a place to stay with a friend this year. Had I not had this kind offer I would not have been able to take up my place at City because the combination of course fees and a high rent would have been too much. Sadly, when it comes to journalism it seems that it really is a case of location, location, location.

One of the main attractions of doing a journalism course at City is the astounding array of nearby news agencies and papers which are housed near to the university itself. Having these companies and established papers as neighbours is a major feature of City’s status as the best when it comes to postgrad opportunities for wannabe hacks.

There has been a great deal of fuss made about the BBC’s impending move from the big smog to my beloved Salford (you will be hearing more from me on this I assure you) and I for one hope Bill Turnbull, Sian Williams and co. stay away because I’ll have one of their jobs when the Beeb move north. But all jokes aside I can appreciate some of the points made against the relocation. National news has its home in London and that is how it will probably always be.

Must be daunting for newcomer then? ‘What better place to learn’ I say.

I have – as I mentioned in my introductory post – been to London only three times. All day trips. Once to see a Shakespeare play, once to see Oasis and once for the City selection day. The idea of living in the Capital City for a year doesn’t scare me but perhaps, slightly worryingly, it doesn’t excite me either.


How much does your degree cost?

I hope my apathy towards London will fade and I will grow to at the very least acknowledge its few plus points, one of which will hopefully be the fact that the city I despise in many ways may help me get a job as a hack.

If I had £1 for the amount of people who have called this a ‘big move’, I could pay all the fees for my course in one go now. This next year is a big one for all of us wannabe hacks but for me more than the others. My year and the chance I have of making it as a journalist not only come down to my course and the skills I learn – it may well boil down to how I and London get on and how I learn to cope in a very different environment.

Only time will tell if we will get along. I just hope people understand me when I talk.


About The Chancer
Tom is the former news and sport editor of Redbrick and also worked as the sport editor for The National Student. He has done work experience at local papers across the country and is currently studying the Newspaper Journalism MA at City University. He also co-writes the sport blog with The Student.

3 Responses to The BBC might not fancy Salford but I don’t much like the idea of London

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  2. Pingback: On the prowl in my patch. But how do I start my hunt for news? « Wannabe Hacks

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