This week was all set to be one of the most Exciting

Times in my whole JMU Journalism career.


I was promised backstage interview passes to get

exclusive access to the stars of the X Factor Live show in

Liverpool; a photographer's pass to stand in the pit in

front of the stage at the Echo Arena; and, most

importantly for me, it would earn me my first homepage lead story on this website.


However, I've just learned the hard way that a lot can go wrong in the space of 24 hours. Instead of getting up close and personal with 'Jedward' and co, I spent the night watching the Winter Olympics on TV.


Whilst there are many people out there who would love to spend a bit of one-to-one time with those stars of X Factor, for me the opportunity to interview the line-up posed more of a great journalistic opportunity than the chance to meet a group of celebrities that, in truth, I knew very little about.


Despite not being a fan of X Factor, I am not one to limit

myself to the comfortable and easy stories I have a lot of

prior knowledge about. I set out attempting to gain press

access to the opening of the X Factor Live Tour back in

November, before the show's winner or final line-up had

even been decided.


Happily, the press agency in charge of the X Factor Live

Tour were quick to respond to my request, were very

friendly, positive and willing to give me all the chances

and opportunities that I wanted.


However, like so many things, the best laid plans often

crumble at the last second. In this case, the day before the

show, my plans were changed when the interview pass

failed to materialise. No longer would I be able to talk to the

acts, all that remained was a photographer’s pass for the

pit at the front of the stage.


Although disappointed, not all was lost; there was still a

lot to salvage. Knowing that the live pictures would now

play the most important aspect of our coverage (until an

exclusive interview with Jedward emerged) it was time to

make a decision.


My thoughts turned to Vegard Grott, the site’s resident photo guru. Although I could have taken the opportunity to experience the excitement of photographing an event of such magnitude and been the envy of many of my female friends, the desire for first-class content and professional-looking pictures for the website greatly outweighed this.


Even though my lecturer told me that I deserved to keep the pass because I had been working for months to get the story, I still felt the best thing to do was to give it to Vegsy. His pictures from the event prove that I was right... I wouldn't have been able to do as well as that.


Had the photo pass been for a sporting event that I was desperate to attend, I can’t honestly say that my decision to hand over the pass to a better photographer would have been as easy, but sometimes a small personal sacrifice needs to be made for the best available content.



Why I gave up my dream X Factor job

By Luke Johnson

JMU Journalism 'Hero of the Year'

Related websites

More JMU Journalism stories

X Factor Live in pictures

Homepage TV & Radio Special coverage LSS WoW Factor Picture galleries Liverpool Life News & Features Website team Top 10 Top 10 Blogs Sport Entertainment Shorthand Sue Alumni Meet the staff International & Travel Coursework Fashion

Luke passed up the chance to take pics like these because he knew Vegard Grott would do a better job

A-JMU-entertainmentbanner More pictures >>

 YouTube: David Bowie's tribute to Luke


 X Factor Live related stories:

 Jedward talk to JMU Journalism >>

 Photo gallery from the Echo Arena >>

 X Factor Live in Liverpool review >>



jedward_resized XFactor60