UL journalism students go live with TV broadcasts

Journalism students Jodie McCormack and Ellen Cornelius prepping for the TV news days. Photo from UL Journalism

Students from the BA and MA Journalism courses at UL took part in two live TV news days this month

By Ellen Gough and Mark Reilly

Fourth-year and MA Journalism students from the University of Limerick released their 2023 annual news bulletins this month.

Spread over two teams, the two bulletins were put together on March 14 and March 21.

The live bulletins were guided and produced by lecturer Fergal Quinn and guest lecturer Matt Kelly, a tv producer who has contributed to RTE and TG4. They required numerous roles within a newsroom studio, mirroring that of a professional production.

From directors to anchors, producers, graphics design team, editors, reporters, the segment illustrated the enthusiasm and capabilities of the students.

The first bulletin, Treaty Today, was primarily staffed by the final year students. It offered an efficient, informative package on local and relevant news stories, while also showing a comedic tone and light-hearted moments throughout.

Watch the ‘Treaty Today’ news bulletin on YouTube

The launch of their bulletin showed the tremendous effort, organisation, and talent of the Treaty Today team.

Director Caleb Brennan stated: “I feel that we really struck a great balance amongst all the packages. We hit some really timely pieces from the eviction ban to the marching bands, all stories which our audience would love and need to see.”

“Overall, I think we hit our mission statement of providing newsworthy stories with a Limerick focus to our target audience… [it] helped me build a passion for a part of journalism I never considered before.”

The team for the second bulletin was primarily made up of students from the Journalism masters programme, but included some fourth years.

Presented by Aishlin Hennigan and Jodie McCormack, The Limerick Agenda covered a wide range of news topics, such as the eviction ban, the effect of the O’Connell Street works on local businesses and the issue of under-23s being barred from bars in the city, along with a look at the Munster clash with Glasgow Warriors from the sports team. The bulletin closed off with a special report and satirical take on winter rodent problems – partying mice.

Watch ‘The Limerick Agenda on YouTube’

For Desk Editor Edana Flynn, the day was an “incredibly valuable learning experience”.

“Overall, I’m really happy with how our newsday went,” she told Limerick Voice. “I am proud of how our team performed.”

“Putting a bulletin together is no easy task but I think we did well and we’re fortunate that so many people in the group had such creative streaks in them, it really came out in presenter and correspondent delivery. We also took a massive risk in doing a satire piece for our special presentation, but it paid off and was something different than what was done in previous years.”

Check out Journalism at UL on YouTube and Twitter to see more work from the students.

More University of Limerick stories

A Day in the Life: TV Sports Editor

By Siadbh Redmond

Siadbh was the Sports Editor for ‘The Limerick Agenda’ TV news day on March 21.

I was delighted to be chosen as the Sports Editor for Newsday as I felt like I had huge amount to offer in terms of ideas and help with editing.

The show featured presenters, journalists and crew who all worked in tandem to create a real live show which was widely shared on social media.

We had four weeks of preparation before the big day to get ideas for sports stories and to make sure each member of the groups had a role in the stories.

My role was to help sports group pick an idea, get in contact with interviewees and begin to start filming.

One sports story we had was to preview the Munster v Glasgow Warriors game as it was Munster’s last home game of the regular season.

Getting set up in studio (photo by Jodie McCormack)

Each group had one journalist and two members of crew, who would be assisting in filming. My job was to oversee filming to make sure enough B-roll was got and that the correct interviews took place.

We were able to get access to Munster’s training session before the game and we were also able to interview Tommy O’Donnell.

Once the filming process was done it was left up to me to edit all the footage together. On Live Newsday I was extremely busy trying to edit this story and get extra B-Roll.

We also headed out to Thomond Park so that the journalist of this group could get his Piece-To-Camera outside the stadium.

As we were doing a rugby piece for one of the packages, it was decided that the Special Correspondent in studio would also feature a rugby aspect.

I was chosen to do this piece so after our trip to Thomond, I rushed down to the TV studio in the library to record this piece.

I was asked about how fantastic the Grand Slam win was for Ireland and how this win will affect Munster’s game.

It was interesting to see the process of filming and I enjoyed speaking about rugby on camera.

After this, I spent the rest of the evening editing the Munster package. This took a few hours to do as both Fergal and Matt viewed it before it was sent off for the final package. It was so exciting to see the finished product all together and to see that the hard work paid off.

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