Monday, 19 October 2009


It’s quite a crazy thought that I graduate in eight months time and university will be over forever. Hopefully I will find a job though. Anyway, an interesting report was released today by lecturers’ union UCU which shows a “mass migration of graduates to London” who are moving in order to find work. This means that certain areas of the country are lacking in a working age population with a degree because many locals are moving south or towards the capital in search of a better life.

I find this hardly surprising. Almost all of the work experience I’ve ever done has been based in London - and in Leigh-on-Sea, I live a 45-minute train journey from east London, let alone west London. I very much expect that my first job will be in the capital city, and will probably end up living there at some point too. It’s the place to be as a young person - I spent six days out of seven most weeks this summer in London (mostly working in Westminster or going to church in the West End), and love it.

I feel I can only make it big in the media if I work in London, as that is where the headquarters of pretty much all the national newspapers, radio stations and TV channels are located. If I was to live in Sheffield after graduation - which around two-thirds of undergraduate students do - there would be jobs to aim for at a few places such as the Yorkshire Post or BBC Radio Sheffield, but nowhere near the amount of opportunities given to me by London. So this UCU report is spot on, but it does highlight a need for universities in poorer areas to try and hold onto their graduates, as that is one of the only ways in which some regions can improve their proportion of citizens with a degree - by effectively importing them from elsewhere.

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At 32 years of age, Mark Kleinman is a breath of fresh air. The new City editor of Sky News was interviewed in today’s The Guardian and made exceptionally clear what makes a good business reporter. Contacts, contacts and more contacts. Never was a truer word (or phrase) spoken. I’m sure Robert Peston would say the same - and although the BBC’s ‘face of the recession’ is not everyone’s cup of tea, there is no doubt he also has an awesome book of contacts that can give him fantastic exclusive stories - such as the scoop on emergency funding for Northern Rock. You just don’t get that kind of thing from looking through press releases.

Kleinman studied at York University and has worked his way up the ranks at an incredible speed - from Leisure Week to Marketing magazine, the Express to the Times, and now the Telegraph to Sky. He is only 12 years older than me and has already got an editorial position on one of Europe’s biggest news channels. Now that’s impressive. As one former colleague put it: “He’s done so well that you have to be careful of sour grapes.” I think Kleinman is an inspiration to all young and student journalists that by working hard and building up contacts along the way - you can still make it up the ladder. Good on him.

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A beach ball became the first static object since Michael Ricketts to score a goal in a professional football match on Saturday (no offence Michael, but Southend sacked you after a few months for not putting in enough effort). I’ve seen some super goals over the years; for example, the Darlington v Bury own-goal (where a defender tried to clear by an overhead kick but it rebounded off him and into the net) and the various attempts by Liverpool midfielders to chip the goalkeeper from their own half, but the beach ball has to get the nod. It wasn’t even a legal goal, according to quotes for former referees today, but I don’t think that will bother Sunderland or Darren Bent as it gave them a 1-0 win over the Scousers. Make sure you check it out on BBC Sport Online.

Football is indeed a funny old game - and there have been countless moments over the years when I’ve laughed out loud whilst at a game or watching it on TV. Who could ever forget Tes Bramble (brother of Wigan’s Titus) trying out in goal for Southend or Steven Taylor’s fake ‘death’ to stop Aston Villa scoring. It’s moments like that which make football more than 22 men kicking a ball around a pitch. It can often be pure comedy genius.