(and a bit of our story)
PressPad was founded by BBC journalist Olivia Crellin (Founder, CEO) following her own experience of entering a journalism career from outside London – and after hearing the stories of many others.
After Olivia launched PressPad, Laura Garcia (Co-founder) and Alfie Tobutt came on board. Laura is a Mexican journalist and lecturer living in the UK who remembers having to sleep on friends’ couches while doing her work experience. She now sees the high cost of accommodation preventing some of her best students from less wealthy backgrounds applying for the most competitive internships.
Alfie, a BBC journalist, manages PressPad’s website and social media. Laura Trussell has recently joined us to do some research in preparation for our summer 2019 launch, as well as Nicola Slawson, who will be managing our crowdfunding campaign. Laerke Christensen, a freelance journalist, manages outreach and liaises with ambassadors, interns and hosts.
We’re currently looking to bring an Outreach Officer on board who can help us make connections with universities and educate students about the existence of PressPad. We want to make sure they know there are options to help them fund their media internship before they stop themselves even applying to the opportunity of their dreams.
Olivia is a staff journalist at the BBC and a documentary filmmaker – as well as the founder of PressPad. In addition for the BBC – she’s written for The Guardian, The Economist, TIME Magazine, Reuters, and others. The situation with unpaid internships was so bad when she started out that she calculated that a one-way ticket to Chile would be a more cost-effective option, AND help her learn Spanish. After time in South America, she went on to graduate from Columbia Journalism School, before being lucky enough to do a lot of paid internships and fellowships in the US with the likes of VICE News, AJ+, the BBC Washington bureau and The Wall Street Journal. Ironically it was one of only two unpaid internships she did at the BBC World Service that led to her current job now.
Laura Garcia’s work as a multimedia journalist started back in her home town of Mexico as a photographer for a newspaper. She also worked for newspapers and film production companies in the US before coming to the UK in September 2011. After that she was able to get into the world of broadcast because her lecturers and their friends allowed her to crash living rooms and bedrooms while she was getting work experience. Laura has worked in different newsrooms across the UK: ITV Meridian, BBC South East, BBC Radio Kent, NBC News, R4’s The World Tonight and Channel 5 News. Currently she works as a Lecturer in Television and Multimedia Journalism, produces a politics show for KMTV and is the London correspondent for Bloomberg Mexico and Estrella TV in Los Angeles.
Social Media & Website Manager
Alfie Tobutt is an English-Australian journalist currently working for BBC News, producing interactive bulletins for smart speakers. He is a graduate of a the University of Kent's Centre for Journalism, where he also worked as a paid intern for KMTV. After university, he held a weekend job at a bookshop to help fund unpaid or low-paid work experience in London, until he was able to successfully freelance. He has previously worked with Sky News, EuronewsNBC, LBC and BBC Radio 2.
Laura Trussell is a recent MA graduate from the Centre for Journalism. She has a Bsc in Social Sciences and teaches politics. She has just started her PhD focused on the portrayal of Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May in newspapers and on Twitter in the 2017 General Election campaign. Laura was a finalist for the Guardian's Hugo Young Award for political writers. Laura is helping us gather data and contacts and look into the internship landscape in the UK.
Nicola Slawson is a freelance journalist with bylines in the Observer, Telegraph and Independent among others. Having previously worked in the arts, she began her journalism career at Positive News before moving to the Guardian and then onto HuffPost UK. In 2016, she was awarded the IJP George Weidenfeld Bursary, spending two months at Die Welt in Berlin. In 2014, she was awarded the prestigious Scott Trust Bursary to study a masters in newspaper journalism at City University. In order to gain the necessary experience to apply for the bursary, she did a six-month unpaid internship. With no savings or family in London, she lived and worked in a boarding school while completing it. From a working class background herself, she is passionate about diversifying journalism.
Laerke came to the UK from Denmark in 2016 to study at the University of Kent’s Centre for Journalism and has since decided to stay. She currently freelances at ITV News and has previously worked at KMTV, Sky News and a wonderful summer stint at a local paper in Denmark. Currently based in London, she eagerly awaits the day when she will have a spare room to rent out via PressPad!
Dr Nancy Roberts
Nancy is an experienced entrepreneur and a domain expert in diversity and inclusion. She is the founder of independent publisher Stok Press, successful diversity consultancy Business Inclusivity, which she runs as a social enterprise, and of Umbrella, a technology business using data analytics and AI to help companies improve diversity and inclusion at scale. She is also a highly skilled leader with 20 years of experience including at board level and is a Non-Executive Director on the board of Break The Mould, an organization which works with children with disadvantages to engage them in education through sport. She sits on the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board of the Science and Technology Facilities council, and she has a BA, two MAs, a PhD in Postcolonial Feminist Theory, and has just completed an Executive MBA at Cranfield University.
If our crowdfunder is successful, we hope to expand our team and hire someone to manage PressPad full time!
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