Welcome to the Deadline News digital placement programme

An invaluable experience working on the website of Scotland’s leading news agency

There’s no substitute for real-world experience when it comes to winning a job in the fast-paced world of digital journalism. And that’s what the Deadline News digital placement programme is all about.


We’re looking for enthusiastic and hard-working journalism students to join us for a taste of the real job. You’ll be trained and mentored by Deadline’s professional staff in all aspects of news and publishing on our digital platform. We aim to give you a fun and challenging experience which could give you the edge in becoming a professional journalist yourself. And the programme is designed to be as flexible as possible, letting you fit studying and paid work around your commitment to Deadline News.

Current and previous placements

Maja Grantham

I am currently studying multimedia journalism at Glasgow Caledonian University. I decided to do this placement as it is really important to have as much work experience as possible when going into a career in journalism.
I am really enjoying it so far, even although I have only been doing the placement for a couple of days, I have already learned so much. I am still getting used to the house style at Deadline News as it is completely different from what we use at university.
The work we are doing at Deadline News is also mostly online articles, which has meant that I have gained a lot of experience for working online. I think this is really important as the news industry is definitely becoming more internet based. This placement has helped me gain experience that will definitely help me in the future.


Jack Urquhart

“I am a university graduate from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. I studied journalism for four years and joined Deadline News to solidify my skills in news writing and gathering. This is a great hands-on programme for me as it allows me to work as many hours as I want with a variety of different shifts. This internship allows me to get experience writing stories for social media as well as the Deadline News website with some stories even having the chance to make it to the national press.”


About Deadline News

Deadline News was established over 20 years ago to provide stories and pictures to the Scottish and UK national press. Since then, scores of Deadline reporters have moved on to careers throughout the profession. While the newspapers remain very important, we have moved with the times and embraced the growth of online news. Our stories, pictures and videos regularly appear in major news sites from the Mail Online to the Telegraph. Deadline’s own site features all of these stories as well as content generated by our dedicated digital team. Deadlinenews.co.uk is one of the top 50 news sites in the UK in its own right and our ambition is to make the site a major source of original stories, particularly in Scotland. Below is a Deadline picture that was used by almost all of the UK national press, including the Times.



Programme detail

The placement is unpaid, although out-of-pocket expenses will be covered.

The ongoing pandemic means people on placement will likely have to work from home with supervision provided using video calls, mobile phone and email.
After the pandemic is brought under control some work will be based in the Deadline office in Edinburgh subject to availability of space and members of staff to supervise.
The aim of the placement programme
Participants will gain experience of online journalism and publishing under the close supervision of professional staff.
Placements will last for a minimum of four weeks and could last for as long as both parties are happy with the arrangement. The actual working hours will be negotiated in advance with the emphasis on flexibility. Participants should give a minimum of seven hours a week up to 35 hours. There is scope to change working hours during the programme. Subject to agreement, work can be done during evenings and weekends if that better suits the participant.
Participants will be encouraged to get involved in the full range of activities from the start with appropriate training and support. The level of training and support will be gradually scaled back or increased depending on progress. The types of training to be provided include uploading to the website, using social media platforms, and search engine optimisation. Training and advice will also be provided on story getting, writing, use of pictures and interviewing. Participants will also be trained in the professional and ethical expectations of the media industry.
Participants will do some or all of the following depending on circumstances:
1. Research stories. These could be self-generated, from press releases, suggested by the newsdesk, or detailed investigations. Close supervision will be provided to make sure this work is carried out in a safe and ethical manner that complies with the editors’ code. This will give participants the opportunity to “get out of the office” and work in a variety of public settings
2. Writing stories. Participants will be helped to write their stories to a professional standard. As well as making sure stories are interesting and easy to read, there will also be a strong focus on making sure stories are properly sourced and attributed and legally safe.
3. Source and edit pictures and video. Instruction will be provided on the sourcing and use of images in a way that complies with copyright law. Participants will also learn about the importance of images and video in telling a story and how the picture or video often is the story.
4. Web publishing. Participants will upload stories to our website, learning the importance of checking copy for spelling and grammar, how to write headings, how to caption pictures and how to make the end result as visible as possible to search engines.
5. Social media. All our stories are promoted across all the major social media platforms and participants will learn how to do this effectively.
6. Reviewing. Participants will have the opportunity to write reviews for the website and, depending on the pandemic and agreement with the digital editor, are free to organise their own opportunities to do this.
It is hoped that participants who engage fully with the programme will gain much in addition to experience of working in a professional journalistic environment. The chances of this happening will likely be proportionate to the amount of effort and enthusiasm put in to the placement.
Participants should gain considerable confidence by the end of the programme after taking on several new challenges in a professional context.
Participants are likely to make useful professional contacts during the programme. As well as getting to know members of the Deadline team it is likely they will encounter other journalists, public relations staff, important professionals, and a wide variety of members of the public.
It is very much hoped that all of the above will add to the employment prospects of those taking part. Deadline will look first to people on placement past and present to fill vacancies before advertising. Wider contacts made during the programme could enhance a participant’s chances of getting the job they want.
Will be representing Deadline News and, therefore, must behave professionally at all times both in their dealings within and outside the organisation.
Are expected to be reliable and work all the days/hours they have committed to. Sickness and unexpected circumstances affect us all but interns must do their to keep us informed and give as much notice as possible if they cannot work.
Must not divulge information about the company to third parties without written permission and private conversations or email exchanges relating to company business must remain private.
If there are serious and/or repeated breaches of our professional expectations, we reserve the right to cancel placements immediately.
At the end of the placement with Deadline we can, with a participant’s agreement, provide a written assessment of their time with us. This will be agreed with the intern, who will also have the chance to provide feedback. This assessment will not be shared with anyone other than the participant without their written permission.
How to apply
Please email Digital Editor Peter Laing at [email protected]. Include a short CV and a brief account of why you would like to join us. We will then organise a short call – video or mobile – with suitable candidates.
If you would simply like more details about the programme, get in touch with Peter at the same email address.
This is an open-ended programme so there is no closing date.