One of our newer journalists is looking to continue building her career in news after winning a prestigious training award in recognition of her progress to date.
Lauren Meredith, who produces editorial content for the Abergavenny Chronicle, was named Journalism Apprentice of the Year award at the Cardiff and Vale College Apprenticeship Awards last month.
Lauren is nearing the completion of her training with the company, ready to embark on the next phase of her career in our newsroom.
The Cardiff and Vale awards were held as part of National Apprenticeship Week, which celebrates the positive impact of apprenticeships for individuals, businesses and the wider community.
Lauren is one of five apprentices close to completing their Tindle training programmes, having gained valuable work experience in our newsrooms while gaining qualifications.
All five work alongside reporting colleagues in Devon, Cornwall and Wales, to achieve National Council for the Training of Journalists qualifications.
Working in a multi-platform environment, Tindle apprentices gain skills in video, photography and writing news copy, with other experience including digital publishing and social media audience development.
Lauren said: “Joining Tindle has been one of the best opportunities I could have taken. I have learned so much already that I would not have learned from going to university.
“I feel I have made a great choice and do not feel at a disadvantage from not having done a degree. To get into a journalist role early and to get so much experience has been a good opportunity.
“I was very quiet in my teens. My confidence has grown so much it is insane. It has been a massive positive to join and build my confidence, thanks to having experienced people around me.”
Lauren had options before she joined Tindle to do a level 5 digital journalism apprenticeship.
She said: “After I did my A-levels I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I applied to go to university without really wanting to go. I wanted to build experience while earning a salary without moving away.
“There were not many jobs I wanted to do in my area so when the Tindle role came up it was mind-blowing. It was ideal for me as the role was local and I would be gaining amazing experience.”
Lauren has built up experience of working across print and digital platforms, both in publishing stories and newsgathering.
She says: “We publish today’s stories online and then write them up for the newspaper audience. In terms of getting stories, I find a lot on social media and have been trained on how to encourage the audience to interact with us on Facebook.
“I now understand website analytics to see which stories are performing well online, looking back 12 months to see trends over time.
“We also do a training module on video journalism, which I am putting to use as we publish more videos, along with photo montage slideshows.
“We are transitioning to meet what our audience expects and how the competition for news operates. I am keen to continue to develop by working for Tindle while studying for a degree in politics, philosophy and economics.”
Having previously been employed in a café and as a hotel housekeeper, working in local news for Tindle has enabled Lauren to appreciate the impact of community journalism.
She said: “Local people still think it is amazing to be in the local paper and thank me for reporting their stories. The community value our work a lot as they want us to publish their stories without them being misinterpreted.”
The other Tindle apprentices are Ethan Heppell of the Mid Devon Advertiser, Joseph Carrick of the Brecon & Radnor Express, Liam Davies of the Tavistock Times Gazette and Scarlett Hills-Brooks of the Cornish Times and the Cornish & Devon Post.