Ben Jackson
Press Association building in Howden, east Yorkshire

The Daily Mail graduate trainee scheme, four weeks in

I’m on the train home having just spent three weeks in Howden, Yorkshire, being trained at the Press Association. I start my placement at Metro on Monday and next year I’ll move to the Mail.

When I was applying for the Daily Mail graduate trainee scheme for sub-editors, I was told to read Peter Sands’s website for his weekly newsquiz. To be honest, the quizzes scared me a bit. They’re challenging. You have to read the news forensically if you want to score highly.

Over the last four weeks (our first week of training was at the Mail on Derry Street) we’ve had a league table for the quiz – and I won the champagne at the end of it! I think I’ve grown in confidence because of that.


I feel I’ve developed a lot thanks to the teaching led by Peter Sands and Mike Watson. We were put through our paces, writing and laying out breaking stories, giving presentations on the nationals’ front pages, and improving our headlines and drop intros. We also met former trainees and current staff, which gave us a better understanding of how the Mail works.

One thing I learned about myself is that I love being at the heart of a breaking news story. The buzz of producing the first edition and getting it right is incomparable.

The camaraderie among the trainee subs really helped us get through the first month of the scheme. I feel very lucky to know them all.

I’m looking forward to starting at Metro and I’m just really keen to get better at the job – but that will come with time.

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Ben Jackson

Editor of The Jackson Review