Read all about it! Journalism students to work side-by-side with Leicester reporters

The Astley Clarke Building is home to Leicester's School of Media, Communication and Sociology.

Leicester’s next generation of journalists will gain first-hand experience of local reporting as a result of a new partnership between the University of Leicester and the UK’s largest news publisher.

Reach, which operates almost two-thirds of local newspapers in the UK including the Leicester Mercury and online platform LeicestershireLive, has also taken up office space on the University of Leicester campus.

Leicester reporters have started work from a new 12-desk newsroom in the Astley Clarke Building, which becomes the Mercury’s new base in the city. They share the building with students from the School of Media, Communication and Sociology, many of whom will be offered real-world practice through work experience and placement opportunities for the region’s largest newspaper title.

Reporters and other senior staff from the Reach group will also share their expertise with students in guest lectures and other workshop sessions to help establish a ‘pipeline’ of reporting talent.

Adam Moss, Leicester, Coventry and Northamptonshire editor for Reach plc, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have set up this partnership with the University of Leicester as we feel there are huge mutual benefits for both of us. We’re really looking forward to getting to know all the students on the journalism course, doing some guest lectures and giving them some real life vocational experience of real life journalism to go alongside their academic course.

“And we very much hope this trailblazing partnership will help us spot up and coming journalistic talent and identify the best and brightest potential trainee reporters of the future, not just for the Mercury and LeicestershireLive, but the wider Reach network and the industry as a whole.”

The move is lent extra significance in the University’s Centenary year as journalists take up space in the building named for Leicester doctor Astley Clarke, whose letter to Mercury predecessor the Leicester Daily Post formally kick-started the campaign for a new University College in the city.

The University of Leicester also proudly holds elements of the Leicester Mercury Archive, and hosts The Leicester Mercury Suite as a dedicated study space in the David Wilson Library.

Tor Clark, Associate Professor in Journalism and director of Leicester’s BA Journalism programme, said: “This is an excellent arrangement for both the Mercury and University of Leicester Journalism students. We are delighted they are sharing our building.

“Journalism students will benefit from real-world experience alongside Mercury reporters, while working journalists will contribute to our Journalism degree curriculum – without having to leave their building.

“The Mercury is a prestigious news provider and it’s a pleasure to be developing even stronger ties.

“Of course the significance and symmetry of the Mercury becoming based in the building named after the man who suggested our University be founded by writing to the local paper is perfect for this, our University’s Centenary year.”

Find out more about Media and Communication at the University of Leicester at

The Astley Clarke Building was the first new building constructed specifically for the University College. This black-and-white view from the 1950s shows the exterior, familiar to thousands of students in 2022. Credit: University of Leicester Archives, ULA/FG1/5/1