Jack is embracing all the opportunities he can to make the most of university life - volunteering, placements and societies.
'The highlight was interviewing gaming legend, Rhianna Pratchett.'
As soon as I started my course, I looked around locally for opportunities to help me become an entertainment journalist. I contacted Lee Allcock, lead editor and writer for NE Volume, his own local magazine. I now write content for the magazine at least once a month on a voluntary basis. It's been an absolute blast engaging in the local music community and being on the frontlines of growing music from the North East.
By joining NE Volume I’ve been able to write reviews, do interviews, EP and single impressions and news in my spare time alongside my journalism course. It's been a grand learning experience, giving me a true feel for the industry and what it’s like to work freelance.
I was able to review my favourite singer when she sang at the Sage in Gateshead. And I’ve interviewed local and global bands. I recently interviewed Frightened Rabbit, a Scottish band that I've listened to since I was 15 - such a great experience. I’ve also enjoyed talking with new bands across the North East and hearing about their growth.
Within my first year of university, I joined the Christian Union society – to make new friends, get involved with outreach and belong within a trusting environment. I became a side committee leader at the start of the New Year and hosted the Alpha course where I had the opportunity to speak and lead a talk.
I wanted to do a placement as part of my course. I covered Animex International Festival of Animation & Computer Games, hosted by Teesside University. The week was a true learning experience – working with a small team, we interviewed speakers who had travelled across the world to deliver talks on games design or film development. It was my job to ask the speakers after their talks if they'd be up for an interview. The week's placement was such a great opportunity and so fun!
The highlight was interviewing gaming legend, Rhianna Pratchett – Terry Pratchett's daughter. She has written many game narratives and it was phenomenal to be able to meet and interview her. Rhianna Pratchett was a gaming journalist who made the jump from journalism to game writing. I learned that instead of recognising myself as just an entertainment journalist or an aspiring media professional, I should just recognise myself as a writer.
I now have my own YouTube channel. I started creating content around the videos games industry, doing news topics, reviews, impressions, speculation and, since February 2017, I started earning revenue for my content. It's been a wonderful journey.