Project case study - Roving reporters

As part of the Projects Community Benefits, the project team partnered with John Robertson of Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) and Shannon Cuddihy at Perth Grammar School to offer secondary pupils the opportunity to hone their communications skills by becoming A9 Dualling Roving Reporters.

The goal of the ‘Roving Reporters’ initiative was for the students to visit the site and experience first-hand what it’s like to report on the progress of a major infrastructure project.

Working directly with Duncan Gardner, the project’s Community Liaison Officer, it was hoped that, over the course of their experience, the budding reporters would have the opportunity to sharpen their journalism skills, develop their confidence and experience what life is like as a communications professional working within the construction industry.

Our intrepid Roving Reporters – Eilidh, Katie and Phil
Our intrepid Roving Reporters – Eilidh, Katie and Phil

Following their appointment, the team of enthusiastic journalists which included Katie, Eilidh and Phil, got straight to work interviewing key members of the project team including Alan Brisbane, Balfour Beatty’s project manager, members of Atkins, the design team and Gemma Patterson, Transport Scotland’s Project Sponsor.

Whilst preparing their article, Katie and Eilidh supported Duncan at the project’s Community Benefits Conference, taking photographs on the day which were then used for the project’s newsletter, social and digital communications channels.

The students prepared the first draft of their article for the newsletter and worked with Duncan Gardner, and Transport Scotland’s Strategic Communications Manager, Michelle Holton, to learn how to hone their copy prior to publication.

The Roving Reporters had the opportunity to visit site, conduct interviews with the engineers leading on a major infrastructure project, collaborate with the project’s communications professionals and photograph the high-profile Community Benefits Conference, gaining valuable insight and knowledge to take forward in their future studies and careers.