Two young journalists whose careers were kick-started by a digital news service covering the National Eisteddfod are back on the Maes as media professionals.
Elen Davies and Liam Ketcher went on to secure jobs with ITV Cymru Wales after working on Cardiff University’s Llais y Maes (Voice of the Maes) at the 2017 Eisteddfod.
The two former School of Journalism, Media and Culture (JOMEC) and School of Welsh students gained valuable experience with Llais y Maes working alongside skilled journalists and producers.
But this year Elen and Liam - who took advantage of JOMEC’s Welsh language provision - are the professionals sharing their skills.
They will support seven Cardiff University students as the University again partners with ITV Cymru Wales, S4C and the National Eisteddfod to create multi-media news content from the Maes.
Elen said: ’’Without a doubt, Llais y Maes equipped me with the skills I needed to enter the world of work in journalism upon graduating.
“By using examples of my work with Llais y Maes I was also fortunate to win the ‘Student Journalist of the Year’ award at the Wales Media Awards. In a competitive world, this appealed to employers leading to my appointment as a journalist at ITV Wales.’’
Liam said: "It’s a privilege to be part of the Llais y Maes team again, particularly as it’s an opportunity to give back to the project that helped start my career in journalism.
“Digital storytelling skills are essential, and Llais y Maes provided me with such a strong grounding in this area. The project gave me confidence in myself and helped me build strong links within the industry.”
Llais y Maes gives students the opportunity to learn and practice new skills, establish contacts and gain an insight into the life of a working journalist.
This is the seventh year that Llais y Maes has reported from the Maes, and the third year of the official partnership with ITV Cymru Wales, S4C and the National Eisteddfod.
Marc Edwards, Editor of Welsh language programmes for ITV Cymru Wales, said: “ITV is delighted to be involved once again in this valuable project. Llais y Maes is a fantastic opportunity to nurture and develop the Welsh language journalists of the future.
“We are looking forward to working with bright and enthusiastic students to find ways of telling stories in new and engaging ways on a range of digital platforms."
JOMEC lecturer Sian Morgan Lloyd, who is leading Llais y Maes this year, said: “Llais y Maes is a unique opportunity for students in terms of developing employability and transferable skills.
“The Eisteddfod is a safe but challenging environment to find and compete for stories and we love experimenting with new ways of storytelling across various digital platforms.”
Eisteddfod Chief Executive, Betsan Moses, said: “We’re very pleased to be part of the Llais y Maes project again this year. It’s important we can offer realistic work experience to young people wishing to become journalists.
“Eisteddfod week is a fantastic mix of real news stories and lighter magazine type items - a little bit of everything. I hope this year’s students enjoy being part of the team as much as everyone else over recent years.”
JOMEC’s Welsh language provision has gone from strength to strength with many notable success stories among its graduates and current students holding key positions in Cardiff University’s student media outlets.