Journalism students reach final of entrepreneurship competition


A team of journalism students have reached the final of CitySpark.

Competitors submit a business idea and submissions are open to all City students and recent alumni. Normally the competition is dominated by students in the Cass Business School.

Cambria Bailey-Jones, Gabriela Jones, Georgina Righton and Eleanor Smallwood (all MA TV and Broadcast) entered the competition with their ‘Wordplay’ concept after taking the Journalism Innovation module.

Bailey-Jones describes their concept as being an interactive audio-only game that immerses audiences in news stories by playing out various scenarios.

She said: “We want to be the first people to use this audio technology for news. The market is starting to move toward audio and innovators in journalism have to take this into account.”

The team’s plan is to create “audio news games” that will enable users to actively engage with and understand current affairs. They aim to take advantage of the growing realm of interactive news consumption.

The journalists, along with nine other finalists, will give a five-minute pitch to a panel of expert judges at an event at City on Thursday 30 March.

Five out of 10 teams will take away a £5,000 prize from a £25000 total fund to go toward their business. The judges will decide four of these winners while one will be decided through audience vote at the event.

Now in its ninth year, CitySpark encourages students “to gain real life insights and feedback on their ideas, demonstrating how they will gain traction in the real world”. Alex Elkins, entrepreneurship education manager at the Cass Business School spoke of the importance of such opportunities for students to “apply their skills to something they are passionate about and start something amazing”.

He added: “Innovation and creative problem solving are at the heart of excellent ideas, whether they be business ventures, bleeding edge research or just for fun. These are key skills which I believe students and young people should exercise at the peak of their entrepreneurial life.”

Judges on the night will be Caroline Weirtz (Associate Dean for Entrepreneurship at Cass Business School), Jen Andersson (Business Strategist), Jody Osborn (co founder at The Backscratchers and former CitySpark winner) and Andrew Lynch (co-founder at Huckletree).

Smallwood said: “We’re planning to take this as far as we can. In broadcast we’re obsessed with how the ways people consume news is always changing. We want to put audiences at the centre of what we do.”




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