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Jamie Baker | University of Sunderland

Sports Journalism BA (Hons)

Student Profile:

  • Name: Jamie Baker
  • Age: 21
  • Studying: Sports Journalism BA (Hons)
  • Hometown: Crewe
  • Ambitions: To become a major sports journalist, travelling the world and reporting on all the major events.

Find out more about the University of Sunderland:

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February 13th, 2013

My 2nd Week on The Independent Sports Desk (Part II)

My second day back at The Independent was another quiet one for me! It can be frustrating sometimes when you’ve not had much to do all day, but I’m still learning all the time, listening to what people have to say, and enjoying being surrounded by award winning journalists!



February 11th, 2013

My 2nd Week on The Independent Sports Desk (Part I)

I’m back in London again this week for my second stint on the sports desk of the Independent newspaper. As I did back in November, I will be providing a day by day video diary of my time inside Northcliffe House and updating you all on my progress.

This is the final week of compulsory work placement that I’ll be doing for my degree at the University of Sunderland, and hopefully it’ll provide another fascinating learning curve for me.


January 31st, 2013

January 2013: First Video Diary of 2013

Just a short and sweet video diary detailing the first week of my final semester at the University of Sunderland, and looking ahead to the rest of the semester.


(Embedding’s not working at the moment, so please follow the link below to view the video!)

January 2013 Video Diary

January 30th, 2013

Being Maroon 5 Episode II- Match Footage vs Plain White T’s

With the season drawing to a close Maroon 5 played third placed Plain White T’s at Goals Soccer Centre in Sunderland. Controversial figure, player-manager Paul Carey was sidelined due to an injury sustained on a treadmill, at the University of Sunderland’s state of the art ‘CitySpace’ gym! Instead the Welshman took the opportunity to practice his commentary skills ahead of this semester’s Sports Broadcasting module!

As you can imagine the match analysis is as witty as ever! If you think back to what Sky Sports’ Fanzone was like in it’s heyday then you’ll have a good idea as to what Paul’s ramblings were like!

I realise that I’ve been pretty heavy in my coverage of the 5aside team but we have such a laugh doing it and it really is one of the highlights of our week… When we win of course! But from now on I’ll be focusing more on what my course entails in the next few blogs, just to mix thing up a little bit!

Don’t worry though, there’ll be a few more episodes of ‘Being Maroon 5’ in the next few months so that you can all get your fix of your favourite 5aside team!

Click the link below to view the second episode in the series of ‘Being Maroon 5!’

Being Maroon 5- Episode II

January 22nd, 2013

Return To The Independent

Next month I’ll be returning to the Independent to complete another week’s work placement down in London. As part of my News Practice module from the first semester, it’s compulsory for me to undertake two weeks of work experience at a newspaper, and having completed the first week back in November, I’ll soon be going back to do my second.

The ‘News Practice’ module is core for all journalism students who choose to take the ‘news route,’ as oppose to ‘magazine’ in their third year. All of us have to do the two week work placement in order to pass the module, but you get until May to go out and complete it, even though the classes end in December.

I have to say I’m really excited about getting back down to London and spending another week at The Independent. Not only is it important for passing the module, it also looks really good on my CV to have this experience under my belt.  That said, it is probably worth pointing out that I’m by no means the only one on the course to get a good placement, my house-mate Ross is also doing a few weeks at The Independent later this year and another friend of mine, Jamie, also spent time at the Indy in 2012. Different people on the course have got placements at the Daily Mail & The Guardian among others, which I guess can only reflect well on the quality of the teaching over at St Peters’ campus. We also had a lot of guidance and classes on how to write a quality CV, and how best to approach papers with regards to work experience.

I’m certainly of the belief that every little helps when it comes to getting a job and with graduation fast approaching, I’ll be taking every opportunity that comes my way to further enhance my CV. I’ve recently been looking at graduate jobs on the internet and in all honesty it scares me to death! But come what May, when my time at the University of Sunderland comes to an end, it’ll be time to face the real world and put everything I’ve learnt in the North East to practice!

For now though, I think I’ll concentrate on enjoying my final semester on Wearside! Hopefully it’ll be one to remember…


January 11th, 2013

Five Aside Fun In Sunderland

Being back in Sunderland for the final week of semester one has been a stressful ordeal to say the least, with two assessment deadlines to contend with! But luckily we all had our return to the five a side league at Goals Soccer Centre, on Tuesday evening to break things up a bit, and provide some respite from the essay writing!

Following the success of the Maroon 5 team press conference back in November, I thought I’d provide a taster into what life is like behind the scenes with the team and our iconic player-manager Paul Carey! ‘Being Maroon 5’ provides a unique insight into the team’s pre-match preparations and also a  look into the post-match analysis from the comedic and controversial Carey! I’d like to say that some of Paul’s views in the following footage are tongue in cheek… But that would be lying! What I can say, is that his comments do not reflect my own personal opinion or that of the University of Sunderland!

This is the first episode of ‘Being Maroon 5’- I hope you all enjoy it!


December 13th, 2012

Work Placement At The Independent

Now that I’m finished with University for 2012, I thought I’d upload the complete video diary of my time on work placement at The Independent, in London, back in November. Hopefully it provides a little insight into what it’s like working at a national newspaper. It was a fantastic opportunity and thoroughly enjoyable, it’s a really good part of the journalism courses here at Sunderland that you actually gain hands on experience.



December 11th, 2012

A Weekend In Malaga

The weekend before last the lads and I decided to splash some of our ‘Progression Bursary’ (given for successfully completing 2nd year) on a trip to Spain. Malaga was our choice of destination!

We flew out from Newcastle International Airport in the early hours of Saturday morning and started proceedings with a ‘liquid breakfast’ consisting of a couple of jugs of lager between us before we’d even boarded the plane…

When we arrived in Malaga there was chaos as our American friend Kyle (who’s studying abroad at Sunderland) had managed to leave his iPhone on the plane! Luckily, Kyle is fluent in Spanish and managed to get security to let him back through and he was eventually reunited with his phone.

After checking in at our hotel, which was ideally situated in the city centre, we had some lunch before moving on into the city for more beer. Malaga were playing away at Granada that day and so as we couldn’t attend their game, we decided to cheer them on with the locals in a nearby Irish bar!

Before long we were the life and soul of the party and the bar-man was dishing out free shots to us all! We then moved on to another small bar which upon our arrival was occupied by a few locals and some teenagers in a corner singing songs acoustically with their guitar. Within ten minutes we had the young Spaniards playing Oasis classics and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers too! It was carnage! But brilliant fun nonetheless! Paul even borrowed their guitar for a few songs but I think it’s fair to say Ed Sheeran has nothing to worry about just yet!

Eventually we found a nice pizza place to line our stomachs before going back to the hotel and changing for the night time festivities! We ended up in a club named ‘London Club’ and after a few too many that was where my night ended, as I got in a taxi and headed home with Kyle who was also feeling a little off colour!

The others partied on until the very small hours though and there were some pretty tasty hangovers on Sunday morning! But undeterred we headed off to La Rosaleda, home of Malaga CF hoping to go on a stadium tour but unfortunately it was closed! It still looked pretty impressive from the outside though!

Needless to say we ended up in our favourite Irish bar again all afternoon, followed by our favourite Italian restaurant from the previous evening. Later that night we found ourselves in a bar full of Anderlecht supporters who were in Malaga ahead of their side’s Champions League clash the next week and we struck up an unlikely friendship! What followed was a night full of football chants and in the end a few of them exchanged email addresses with some of our lads in the hope of meeting up in Belgium or England in the future!

Early the next morning we were awoken by the horns of our taxis for the airport having overslept! It was a mad rush and resulted in Nick accidentally leaving behind his beloved straightners but we got down in time, in the end! We headed home to the North East having had a hilarious and eventful whistle-stop tour of Malaga!

What a way to spend your bursary!





November 23rd, 2012

Goals 5aside Movember Charity Tournament

On Friday evening Maroon 5, my five aside football team, will be competing in the Goals Movember Charity Tournament. In the house we thought it would be a laugh to stage a mock press-conference ahead of the competition!

We paid £40 to enter with all proceeds going to charity and we also each receive a free Gillette grooming kit (as alluded to in the video!) to the value of £10.

Present at the conference was injury prone defensive linchpin Nick Hill, American import Kyle Stewart and witty Welsh player-manager Paul Carey!

Here’s what happened…


November 8th, 2012

Premier League Football On My Doorstep

One of the great things about studying at the University of Sunderland for me is having Premier League football literally a stones throw away! As a Crewe fan this isn’t something I’ve ever had the luxury of before! You can literally see the Stadium of Light as you cross the Wearmouth Bridge to get to St Peters’ campus, where the Sports Journalism lectures and seminars are held. So on Saturday my housemates and I took advantage of this and made the short journey to watch Sunderland take on Aston Villa.

As we’re third years and rather lazy we elected to take a short taxi ride from our house just outside of the city centre to the stadium. This was as little as £5 between four of us, we could also have got the Metro to the Stadium of Light station or had we not been watching the 12:30 game between Manchester United and Arsenal on the TV… We would have had time to walk!

Once we got there Paul and Nick grabbed themselves a couple of burgers from one of the array of fast food vans outside the stadium and then we queued to get in. Again, I always enjoy visiting the Stadium of Light because being a fan of a lower league football team it’s not often I get to use an electronic turnstile! I know that’s incredibly lame but it certainly speeds up the entry process!

I was delighted to find out ahead of kick-off that former Crewe captain Ashley Westwood was starting his first game for Aston Villa. We Alex fans take great pride in watching our academy graduates go on to play at the highest level of English football and as ‘Westy’ was a big part of our play-off winning campaign last season it was really nice to see him get a chance on the big stage.


In all honesty, this particular game wasn’t edge of the seat stuff! Sunderland had a Steven Fletcher goal ruled out for offside early in the first-half and then that was about all that happened until half-time! The passion of the fans in the North East really is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before, they’re vocal from start to finish, win, lose or draw and today was no different, there were certainly some boos ringing around the ground after a less than impressive first half showing from the Black Cats.

The second half however was much better for us neutrals as Villa opened the scoring in the fifty seventh minute through Gabby Agbonlahor. Following a great cross from right-back Matt Lawton, England international Agbonlahor diverted Christian Benteke’s knock down past Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet, to send the travelling fans into raptures.

The Mackems then piled the pressure onto the visitors in the closing stages and went close with a header from Louis Saha flying narrowly over the cross-bar. But despite Sunderland captain Lee Cattermole’s best efforts the home side drew a blank although Fraizer Campbell’s header at the death went agonizingly close to providing a dramatic equalizer.

Even though our adopted local side didn’t get the result that they so badly needed we’d still had a cracking day out. Sunderland are one of the best top-flight teams for ticket prices and so it makes sense to take advantage of them when the opportunity arises! It’s not been the greatest of starts to the season from Martin O’Neill’s men but I’m sure that in time they’ll turn the corner. They have the players to be competing far higher up the league and I’m sure if the fans remain patient and stick with ‘Magic Mart’ their time will come again soon enough!