Guest Speaker – Leo Hickman

A guest speaker at University College Falmouth told students yesterday about the importance of blogging during their academic course.

Leo Hickman, a journalist for The Guardian, spoke to BA(Hons) Journalism students at UCF about his experience in journalism and shared some of his ‘tricks of the trade.’

My own experience would show that blogs are a great form of practise,” said Leo Hickman. “I would recommend writing blogs as much as possible.”

Leo writes for the Ethical Living section of The Guardian Unlimited offering advice on ethical concerns. He started editing for the Guardian in 1996 but said: “I was hauled willingly into online journalism.”

“A good proportion of what you write for in the future will be in an online environment,” he said. “That’s the way a lot of journalism is going.”

One of his first experiments in 2003 was to live as environmentally friendly as possible for a year with his family.

For his experiment he kept an online diary. This was essentially a blog which became an interactive element of his experiment where people could share their views and offer ideas.

Leo received world-wide emails which were used to guide his experiment. His blog entries and email responses were then turned into a book called “A Life Stripped Bare.”

His book has been described as an inspirational account of a man trying to a live a good life whilst dealing with the choices and demands of modern life.

Leo concluded his lecture by telling students the importance of a blog when trying to get a job.

He explained that giving a link to your blog in an application form is more effective than handing in a word processed article.

“Blogs are a good way of getting published,” said Hickman. “Essentially you are self-published.”

Leo now specialises in environmental issues and has focused on online journalism since.

Leo occasionally has a background book project as well. “Will jellyfish rule the world?” was release in May 2009 teaching Key Stage 2 children about the effects of climate change.

To visit Leo Hickman’s blog visit, http://leohickman.wordpress.com/

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