University of Limerick journalism graduate and Shannon native, Orla Walsh has beaten off stiff competition to become the new co-presenter of the RTE News2Day programme.
The pioneering programme was launched by RTE 10 years ago to make news more interesting and engaging for children and teenagers.
RTE Managing Editor Television, Hilary McGouran, said the aim of the programme is to present news in a manner that children and teenagers can understand easily. “We were looking for journalism graduates who could take complex news stories and present them in a way that young people can understand and also find interesting and engaging,” Ms McGouran said. There was a huge response in all the journalism colleges to the RTE News2Day advertisement looking for a co-presenter for this programme.
“This is not an internship, we were looking for a graduate who could write, edit and present news from day one,” Ms McGouran said.Fifteen journalism graduates were called for interview and UL graduate Orla Walsh came out on top. “All the candidates were very good – but as well as having all the required skills and confidence, Orla was the one with the X factor,” Ms McGouran added. Orla said she as absolutely thrilled and delighted to get the job and to co-present the programme with Conor McNally.
“I could not have done it without the professional training I got in my UL journalism course – we learnt how to write, and edit stories, but it also gave me the confidence to present a story on live television,” she added.
Orla, who is a native of Shannon, County Clare was among the first graduates in the BA in Journalism and New Media programme in 2012. While studying in UL, she did her Erasmus placement in the Danish School of Media and Journalism in Aarhus where she specialised in TV Journalism. Orla won the Final Year Project (FYP) Award for Broadcasting in 2012 and she also worked in the local radio station, Spin South West, and the Irish Examiner newspaper.
UL Head of Journalism, Mary Dundon, said Orla’s appointment is a great endorsement of the BA in Journalism and New Media course. “We are training our students to work in the ever changing multi-media world and to develop good critical thinking skills that will equip them for the media world of work,” Ms Dundon added. Several other UL journalism graduates were shortlisted for the interviews for the RTE News2Day co-presenter and did very well in the interviews.