If the current Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that the ability to adapt to a changing world is essential to survive in any business, and journalism is no exception.

Students on journalism courses at Solent University, like most of the world, have seen firsthand how quickly they need to change the way they work to keep up with an ever-changing situation.

And, in just a few weeks, remote newsgathering, virtual newsrooms and online interviews have become the norm, ensuring students graduate with the key skills they will need to flourish in this environment.

“We understand journalism is about being ready, confident and professional for this type of event,” says Head of Communications, Journalism and Marketing, Kristian Low. “We’ve moved onto remote newsgathering, just like the real news outlets. The students have been producing video packages, podcasts, and final-year students are creating documentaries for their final major projects, using many of these methods.”

Sports Journalism student, Sébastien Zany – who is due to graduate in the summer – doesn’t feel that the pandemic has had a negative impact on his learning.

“In the beginning I was worried about the expectations for our projects, which were due,” explains the 21-year-old. “As a lot of the work is based on interviewing people out and about.

“But our lecturers sent new assessment briefs, gave advice on how to produce our projects without travelling and deadlines were extended. Now I have almost completed everything, and I feel that everything is going to plan.

“I am excited to start working full-time as I have already entered the industry as a freelance sports reporter. In fact, I was awarded funding from the University’s Solent Futures panel to help start my career as a full-time freelance!”

Students have also had the opportunity to hear from to hear how some of the world’s top journalists are adapting to this new way of working.

“We’ve just finished a Zoom guest lecture with CNN’s World Sport Team,” adds David Reilly, Senior Lecturer in the School of Business, Law and Communications.

“We chatted live to former NFL star, Coy Wire, who then left us to go and broadcast live to the world, then we had an hour’s chat with their Executive Editor and Producer in London and Brighton, with the students able to ask them all the questions they wanted to too.

“It was a great experience for them, and they really enjoyed taking part and seeing how different ways of working can come together to create the finished package.”

After the lecture, former Buffalo Bills and Atlanta Falcons star, Coy, said: “Seeing the students – and future stars of the journalism – on my cell phone here, in Atlanta, brightened up my day. What an awesome group.”

David and the other journalism lecturers are proud of the way in which the students have embraced this new way of learning.

“They’ve adapted really well to the changes we’ve had to implement,” he continues. “And it will mean that our graduating journalism students are ready to join the workforce with all the skills they need to be able to do their roles to the best of their ability.”