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A group of Edge Hill University students deepened their understanding of politics and the media by recently visiting the BBC Politics North West team based in MediaCity, Salford. The students got to experience an exclusive behind the scenes insight and met with presenters and producers.

This was an invaluable visit for the students because understanding the relationship between politics and the media is vital for anyone studying or working in politics. Decisions about how to vote and about how we rate politicians and parties can be influenced by the media. Politicians can use the media to project their messages, both promoting themselves and criticising others.

We asked Anna Carruthers, first year LLB (Hons) Law with Politics student, to tell us more about the visit.

“This trip was an excellent opportunity for us. We travelled to the BBC studios in Salford to watch the Politics North West programme go out live on a Sunday morning. We got to find out more about the studios and speak with the people working there.

When we arrived, we were met by producer Ryan Mills and toured the building. We first saw the BBC Breakfast studio, where they had just finished their broadcast for the morning. We then met staff who work on the studio floor who told us all about how they make the show. After an exciting photo opportunity on the breakfast sofa, it was time to go upstairs to the studio for the politics programme.

Before the politics show started, we were fortunate enough to meet broadcast journalist and presenter Annabel Tiffin, who was more than happy to talk us through how she presents the Politics North West programme and how she communicates with her guests. The guests on the show during our visit were Conservative Councillor Matt Brereton, from Cumbria, who joined Annabel in the studio, and Labour MP Maria Eagle who joined via video call.

We then sat in the gallery and watched the show go out live. It was exciting to see how the producers make the programme and piece the live segments and pre-recorded packages together so smoothly. We were surprised to see just how much work goes into a 30-minute show.

Once the programme ended, we went back into the studio and sat down with Annabel and Councillor Matt Brereton, where we asked more questions. We asked what would happen if a major political event were to occur right before the show aired on a Sunday. The answer was that it would go on as planned, but staff would be working very quickly to find a way for the presenter and guests to talk about that major political event. We then got more photos taken on the set, which brought our visit to the BBC studios to a close.

This visit to the BBC at MediaCity has allowed me to understand how much work goes into a political news show and how much attention to detail there is. I enjoyed witnessing how the show was made and presented, which has further strengthened my career aspirations. The highlight of this trip for me was seeing behind the scenes. I will remember this trip every time I watch the news.”

Anna Carruthers LLB (Hons) Law with Politics

politics students visit bbc studios in mediacity
politics students visit bbc studios in mediacity
politics students visit bbc studios in mediacity

Politics and International Relations at Edge Hill University

At Edge Hill University, our Politics and International Relations courses, including the new BSc (Hons) Politics & International Relations degree, cover the relationship between the media and politics. It would be difficult to understand the workings and practicalities of politics without understanding the media and planned communications. At Edge Hill, our  Politics and International Relations degrees include a special focus on these topics. For example, you can choose modules that introduce you to the art of speech-writing and strategic political communications.

There has never been a better time to study Politics and International Relations. Employers are increasingly looking for graduates who understand political and geopolitical realities. At Edge Hill University you’ll learn about events happening right now. We focus our teaching on the real world and the current political landscape and offer many networking opportunities. Plenty of lively debates. Field trips to party conferences and political events.

January 26, 2024