In this special edition of ’10 minutes with’, Luke Hewitt sits down with Newsworks to discuss how the pandemic pushed him towards journalism, the ups and downs of investigative reporting and the safest way to avoid arguing on social media…
First off, congrats on your award. How does it feel?
Thank you, it’s amazing! It was brilliant just to be nominated alongside such a talented group of journalists and to win was completely unexpected.
How did you get into student journalism?
I’ve always wanted to be a Journalist, but when I was leaving high school I opted for what I thought was a safer route in engineering…and then the pandemic happened. I reassessed what I wanted to do with my life and went to university to fulfil my lifelong ambition. Fortunately, I found The Mancunion and student media. I turned up to a welcome meeting and before I knew it I became part of the furniture.
What makes student journalism important to university life?
Students tend to be forgotten about by wider society and more often than not are expected to accept the terrible conditions they can experience during their university years. I believe it’s our job as student journalists to hold our institutions to account and always champion the voice of the student population.
What’s been the highlight of your student journalism career so far?
Investigative journalism really is my passion; at times it can be frustrating, but the sense of accomplishment when an article is published and has a direct impact is second to none. Covering students that work within the NHS really opened my eyes to their struggles. These brilliant people are the future of the NHS and telling their stories is so important.
Best scoop (yours or someone else’s)?
A writer at The Mancunion has been diligently working on an investigation concerning student accommodation for the past few months and some of the stories he has uncovered are truly shocking.
Why does journalism matter to wider society?
Freedom of the press is a key marker for any functioning democracy. You only need to look at countries where press freedoms are curtailed to see the damage it causes. Without journalism, the powerful would not be held to account for their actions.
What’s next for you?
Hopefully a long and successful career as an investigative journalist in the industry. I really want the stories that I cover to matter and effect real, tangible change. And if any are adapted into a film with a handsome actor playing me I wouldn’t complain!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
I heard this very recently but I think it’s probably the wisest thing I’ve heard in regards to social media – “If you ever see people arguing on Twitter, don’t get involved”.
Who or what inspires you most?
People who tell me I can’t achieve something.
Who would be your fantasy dinner party guests and why?
Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. I adore both of their music so much and to have met either of them would have been amazing.
Gym or gin?
I wish I could say gym, but no. A pint, instead of gin though!