The latest development in Teesside University’s growing partnership with news publisher Reach has brought the two organisations closer than ever, with reporters now based in the University’s dynamic, on-campus workspace.

Reach is the largest commercial, national and regional news publisher in the UK with over 130 titles to its name, including the Daily Express, The Mirror and OK! magazine.

It has worked closely with Teesside University for a number of years, particularly through its Middlesbrough-based digital and print publications, Teesside Live and The Gazette, which have delivered work and internship opportunities to students and graduates for many years.

In the latest display of collaboration between the two organisations, Reach reporters have been welcomed onto campus.

Journalists from Teesside Live are now using dedicated hotdesks in the Assembly Hall, Teesside University’s dynamic co-working space in Launchpad, which is part of its £5.6 million University Enterprise Zone housed on campus in the Victoria building.

The Assembly Hall is a 32-seat modern, commercial workspace and offers access to fast WiFi, large meeting rooms, soundproof booths, a green screen, recording equipment, and refreshments – including unlimited ‘bean-to-cup’ coffee.

Teesside University’s flexible hot-desking space, which is more economically viable than dedicated office space, offered Reach an effective solution as it moved to a hybrid working model with some reporters based at home, some from regional hubs and others from collaborative workspaces located in the heart of the communities they serve.

Teesside Live reporters are ideally positioned in the Launchpad space, with central Middlesbrough outside the door and surrounded within the workspace itself by interesting stories from new and fledgling businesses and ventures which Teesside University is helping to develop.

Audience and Content Director for Reach’s North East titles, Helen Dalby, said: “From the moment I walked into Launchpad’s bright, modern collaboration zone, I could see it was ideal for our Teesside Live newsroom of 2022 and beyond.

“The central location and hot-desk set-up give our reporters and content editors the flexibility they need to maximise their time together, plan effective, face-to-face team meetings and 1-1s, and work together as a newsroom team as big stories are developing.

“Our relationship with Teesside University is very important to us – the journalism course is developing Teesside’s reporters of the future, and being on campus will help us make that talent pipeline work as effectively as possible in terms of the training opportunities and mentoring we can offer.

“We’re proud to have a number of Teesside University alumni on our newsroom team already, from reporters to our Boro Editor. It shows what can be achieved when a local university and news publisher work closely together.”

Teesside University and Reach share a commitment to developing a talent pipeline for regional journalism, and the presence of reporters on campus consolidates and enhances Reach’s long-held position in supporting aspiring reporters in the area.

It has been a huge advocate of Teesside University’s Student Journalism Awards for many years, sponsoring prizes and offering mini internships to successful students.

Media and journalism students benefit from guest lectures delivered by Reach professionals, who provide valuable insight into life as a news reporter and networking opportunities.

The news publisher has also helped to kickstart the careers of a number of talented journalism graduates from Teesside University directly, taking them on as part of the Teesside Live reporting team.

Trainee reporter Eden Lewis is a graduate of the University and started as a reporter for Reach in 2021.

She said: “My degree at Teesside was excellent preparation for entering the journalism industry. As students we were able to get hands-on experience by participating in regular news day sessions, as well as live reporting through TU Xtra – the university’s online media platform.

“Two years on from finishing my degree, it’s great to be back on campus in the Launchpad workspace, now working for Teesside Live as a Trainee Reporter and using the skills I gained during my time as a student.”

Teesside Live Editor Ian McNeal said: “It’s fantastic to be working in partnership with Teesside University and this collaboration brings key benefits for both organisations.

“We have been made to feel hugely supported and welcome and this move already provided us with the opportunity to write stories on new and developing businesses which are making a difference on Teesside.”

Reach has also developed a mentorship programme and Talent Pool to benefit incoming graduates, providing access to industry guidance and support from a team of experienced reporters to help them in the early stages of their careers.

Clare Fletcher, Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching in Teesside University’s School of Arts & Creative Industries, said: “Teesside University is committed to enhancing journalism, both with the excellent training we deliver in the School of Arts & Creative Industries, and through key partnerships within industry.

“Our long-standing, collaborative relationship with Reach has contributed to the development of confident, highly skilled graduates who are making their mark as journalists, and we are extremely proud that many have gone on to join the Reach team.

“It is fantastic to welcome reporters from Teesside Live to campus and we look forward to seeing how this developing partnership will progress moving forward.”