Will Godley on the Good Morning Britain set smiling

Will Godley

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I grew up in Oxford and didn’t have any journalism experience before applying to go to Leeds, but I was attracted by the city, the people and the course itself. I spent three years in leeds before graduating with a first class Journalism degree in 2020. Over the three years I was in Leeds I had some amazing opportunities, such as freelancing with Sky News for a general election, reviewing the papers on BBC 5Live, and working as a runner at True North, a production company in Leeds. These not only helped with my studies but also helped my start my CV and laid the foundations of my career.  

What have you been doing since finishing your studies? What are you doing in terms of your career? 

Upon graduating from Leeds I started freelancing, broadcasting on Sky News Australia and BBC 5Live before starting the graduate scheme at CNN International in London. I was there for six months before joining Good Morning Britain as a researcher. I am currently still working at GMB in my role as a producer. 

What company are you working for, what is your role, and what does it involve?

As an output producer at Good Morning Britain I’ve been lucky enough to cover some major news stories over the past two years; from the Covid-19 pandemic, to local elections and two new Prime Ministers, as well as the death of the Queen and the King’s Coronation and a war in Ukraine. I’ve been lucky enough to produce the programme on location at Downing Street, in Kyiv, and in Liverpool. My role involves writing scripts for the presenters, producing VTs and graphics and briefing all of the guests that we have on the programme.

What experiences at Leeds do you think have particularly helped with your career?

The strong foundation in journalism that I got at Leeds has really helped me launch my career.

Not only learning about how to write a script or put together a VT or present a news bulletin, but also the theoretical side too - which helps me every day through my legal and ofcom understanding, to my ethics and also my editorial judgement. 

Why did you choose to study your particular course? Why did you choose the University of Leeds?

I chose to study Journalism at Leeds because Leeds is not only a great university but the course also looked great on paper - and lived up to expectations. There is the perfect balance between practical and theory in the course and the work load is perfectly manageable. Leeds also has brilliant societies, including Leeds Student TV and Leeds Student Radio. I looked at those societies in the open day and then joined them as soon as I started at Leeds. They give you the freedom to make whatever TV or radio that you would like to and might not be able to within the course itself, allowing you to build up a much more diverse portfolio and set of skills.  

What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most?

I really enjoyed the Newsdays. These are days that simulate a real newsroom where we were sent out filming stories, editing packages, and then presenting a live show in their TV studio. The three week placement that we do on the course is also great. I spent mine at the BBC and ITV in Leeds and it was such a great insight into the world of news and helped me in my third year of Uni. The lecturers were also really helpful in connecting us with different people in the industry - by inviting them to talk at the school and also through a dedicated careers day. 

Did you work closely with a particular tutor or member of the University’s academic staff? Tell us about that experience. 

I worked closely with many of the Journalism team, especially Ian Bucknell and Kate Watkins who were incredibly supportive academically as well as pastorally. They also work in the industry so are able to pass on that knowledge to us during the course.

What activities outside of your studies were you involved in?

Leeds Student TV and Leeds Student Radio - both societies where you can create radio and TV in whatever form. I was able to present lots of LSTV videos and LSR radio shows. Not only did I meet some amazing friends in these societies but also learnt a great deal and was able to develop skills in presenting, filming and editing too.

What would you say to students thinking about studying your course?

Go for it, you’ll have an amazing three years in Leeds alongside some amazing peers and being taught by excellent and knowledgeable professors and lecturers.

What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?

You’ll never get bored in Leeds. It’s got an excellent night life, lots of restaurants and shops too. It’s also close to manchester and sheffield and the dales too - great for a day trip!