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Blog: The Exclusives

Ever since the arrival of “The Apprentice” on television screens, many similar programmes have followed, offering members of the public a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity after being put through rigorous challenges.

“The Exclusives” is a brand new programme that began yesterday on ITV 2. The show sees “six creative, wannabe reporters compete for a highly-prized 12-month contract with one of Europe’s largest magazine publishers.”

The profiles of the six reporters are available to read on the programme’s website. The profiles list a little bit about them, their previous work, ambitions and a fun fact. Quite shockingly, Sunny (whose real name is Yasmin) has “never done any blogging or written any articles but she does keeps a diary and also writes poetry.”

Being a student journalist, I’ve been actively encouraged from day one to regularly write blogs and to try and get my work published. While Sunny may have a perfectly acceptable reason for not doing so, does this really make her an ideal candidate for a prize that big? Clearly not.

One of the tasks involved directing a photo shoot. Photo: ITV.

Nevertheless, there are two candidates who particularly stand out. Felix, who runs his own blog, has written for a student magazine and hosts his own radio show at his university, is a promising candidate due to his previous experience. Ellie also has great potential having been editor of e-magazine, Bloggers Central, as well as previously writing for a political website and working for an MP. These two also stood out in the first episode.

In light of the phone-hacking scandal, people’s opinions of journalism have already become more negative. Imagine if the public were to see rookie journalists fetching sweets and sorting through handbags? It’s not really the best image.

However, to give credit where it’s due, The Exclusives did display some useful journalist skills, such as transcribing interviews and trying to obtain interviews on the red carpet… even if it was with Z-list celebrities.

While The Exclusives felt like a reality television programme, similar to The Only Way Is Essex, the prize at the end is something any rookie journalist in the country would want and it doesn’t feel that the candidates are taking it as seriously as they should be. Whether this will change in the next few episodes is not clear, but this is certainly a show to keep your eyes and ears on.

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