In My Opinion: Lisa-Nicole Mitchell: A byline on a story close to my heart

IT has been a very busy couple of months: with birthdays, deadlines and, well, the magazine in general. But now the holidays are here.

For me, the holidays couldn’t have come at a better time. Besides needing a break from the incessant travelling every weekend, and more deadlines gathering ominously on the horizon, I have the chance to excel myself in more work experience.

I love that feeling, and every intern ‘worth their salt’ will be the same; when you walk into a newsroom for the first time and they expect nothing from you, you are just ‘the student’, there to sit and write up some inconsequential copy.

And then they give you a chance and you impress them and really start to bring in the goods.

This week, I was able to get a byline with the regional paper in my area. At the start, they didn’t expect much from me but I was able to source a story that seemed to get their attention.

My fiance, a Commonwealth Games cycling hopeful, is planning a cycle run for charity.

He is planning a trip from Paisley in Renfrewshire to his family home in the Isle of Skye in one day. That is a distance of 195 miles and will take, weather permitting, 15 hours. He is doing it for the Butterfly Trust, an Edinburgh-based Cystic Fibrosis charity that helps support people all over Scotland.

He and his friend are hoping for as much sponsorship as they can get.

I sent forward the pitch and they seemed more than happy to take it. It suited me: one more byline for my portfolio and hopefully more sponsorship for James.

I went into the office and organised a photographer to come and get some professional shots. I wanted to show them that I would just sit and ‘twiddle my thumbs’.

After a week, it was in the paper.

Except that the heading got the mileage slightly incorrect. A simple, easy-to-make error that was, in itself, another lesson learned.

The consolation is that I have been able to write a follow-up. This means going to Skye in the car behind the boys. I love Skye and being able to go and to get a byline out of it will be even better.

We all leave at 5 o’clock on Saturday. I am looking forward to the trip and hopefully James will have many more sponsors by then.

If not, I will be stopping tourists on the side of the road for donations and probably harassing the patrons of the Green Welly and the good people of Fort William when we stop there.

To sponsor James and Ricardo please give generously to

Lisa-Nicole Mitchell is a third-year BA in Journalism student at Edinburgh Napier University.