BBC journalism apprentices witness stories come to life

Sofia Ferreira Santos is an advanced journalism apprentice based in the BBC News, World Story Team, London.

She had an idea taken up for a story on the first day of her online placement with BBC World Online.

Sofia says: “The team were really keen to hear any ideas I had for news stories the BBC hadn’t covered yet. I had been following a story about a flood destroying a memorial for a previous flooding in Brazil and pitched the idea to one of the editors, who took it on as soon as I emailed it. It was a bit overwhelming, but the editors were all really helpful in the process and gave me some great feedback. They published the story really quickly and let me add a byline too, which was great! It gave me a lot of confidence to speak up and suggest ideas, as they really do take them onboard and are keen to hear what you have to say.”


Becky Paddington is a fast- track journalism apprentice for BBC News, Reporting England. Becky is based in Salford. A feature she made on how Japanese animation has taken the West by storm was published.

Becky says: “I’m honestly over the moon to have my first published story on a topic that really interests me. After gathering research for two weeks and speaking to experts in the topic, I learnt so much and really felt a part of a world I had just discovered. I put my heart into the story and really involved myself with the subject and interviewees, forming professional relationships along the way. I’m so pleased with the responses and reactions I’ve received to my article. It’s now surpassed 229k views and was a big hit for Japanese students and anime fans on LinkedIn.”


Ellie Cleverley and Johnny Reed are both apprentices on the journalism scheme. Ellie is based in BBC News, London and Johnny is at BBC Yorkshire in Leeds. These are their reflections on a visit, with their peers, to The Old Bailey. 

Ellie said: “During our trip to London, we were fortunate enough to not just go to Parliament but also to The Old Bailey, the most prestigious crown court in Britain.

“The experience was quite eye-opening, and it really helped me with my study and revision of media law, as I could witness first-hand how the law was put into practice.

“We were also shown around the central criminal court by the lovely court producer, whose expertise helped me streamline my understanding of how the court system works in reality.

“However, a standout moment for me was that I was fortunate enough to go into a live murder case and witness a cross-examination. In that moment, everything we had been taught came to life; seeing the prosecution, the defendants, the jury, the judge—it was all quite surreal!

“It has been one of the highlights of the apprenticeship so far to me and if anyone gets an opportunity to go to The Old Bailey, I would thoroughly recommend it.”

Johnny said: “Visiting the Old Bailey was extremely interesting, if not a little daunting. It was fantastic and provided some valuable hints and tips on court reporting.

“I was able to sit in an active court room for an attempted murder which was a thrill! Being able to see how a courtroom works and the important role journalism has in reporting on what happens accurately was very helpful. I loved visiting and applying the skills I learnt in my day-to-day reporting.”


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