Community reporter Kat gets started in career in news

Kat Archer

A trainee reporter has begun reporting on rural news in the region where she grew up, realising her ambition of becoming a journalist thanks to an innovative training partnership.

Kat Archer is reporting on communities in the scenic Tamar Valley in East Cornwall for the Tamar Valley Times, having made the move from working in community radio.

Kat joined us as part of the Community News Project (CNP), the journalism recruitment scheme funded by tech giant Meta in conjunction with the National Council for the Training of Journalists to create new community reporter roles.

Born in Plymouth and having grown up in the local region Kat was looking to get on the career ladder having completed a journalism degree at Falmouth University.

She said: “I am interested in telling untold stories, reporting on issues that are important to the Tamar Valley communities and I also have a real passion for environmental news.

“The area I cover is often referred to as ‘the forgotten part of Cornwall’ so there is an opportunity to get community news and promote everything that is great about the area.”

Kat said the opportunity with our company came at a perfect time as she looked to build her news career.

She said: “It is difficult to find trainee roles for journalism in our region so I am pleased to be working for the company.

Initial progress

“I have always loved being in the South West as it is such a nice part of the country. I love Devon and Cornwall and am very attached to the area.

“The Tamar Valley is an area of outstanding natural beauty with a rich history. We have lots of farming and growing, so there is important news to share. This role gives me the opportunity to explore and get to know the area.

“I get along to events and council meetings, making contacts so we can share what is going on by getting to know people.”

Kat began her work-based journalism training with us in July having applied to be part of the CNP programme and is pleased with her initial progress. 

She said: “It is great to be working for a news brand which is really important to the local area. People look to us to get the facts and details so I appreciate the way we serve the community by providing accurate news.

“People value our work and appreciate how we can share their stories. It is great to have the opportunity to get to know the local communities and report on the issues that are important to them, increasing the coverage of these issues. The title also allows celebration of the area and its communities.”

Improve diversity

Delivered in partnership with the National Council for the Training of Journalists, the CNP was launched in 2019 for Meta (formerly Facebook) to work with UK regional news publishers to support quality local journalism and improve the diversity of newsrooms. Tindle joined the scheme earlier this year. 

Kat said: “Social media is useful in rural communities. I use Facebook and am part of community groups to compile information on what is happening. I can see local issues evolving online and see what people are commenting on.”

Kat will spend 24 months mixing studying for NCTJ qualifications in journalism with work-based experience. She is one of four CNP Tindle reporters to join the company this year.

She added: “I like the autonomy and responsibility given to me. I enjoy being able to contribute to our growing digital platforms by producing video content and social media posts to run alongside our news stories.

“Seeing the interaction from people on our web metrics and social media channels helps me understand which stories do well with readers.

“I am looking to learning and growing new skills, particularly on the digital side, which this role allows me to do. It means a lot to achieve this while I do something valued by the community, both with a trusted print newspaper and the growing presence online.”

Managing Director Scott Wood said: “It is pleasing to see the opportunities we offer being realised by our intake of CNP reporters, with new additions to our teams like Kat getting out there to capitalise on our trusted heritage for local news, in areas where we make a real difference.

“We look forward to seeing the impact made by all the CNP reporters as we grow our digital platforms and engage with more people than ever before through print and online.”

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