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#Podcast: Getting started in data journalism

April 12th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted by in Data, Podcast
Image by Adikos on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Image by Adikos on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

The ability to analyse and untangle datasets is a vital skill for journalists in the age of endless information, so this week’s podcast focuses on how to get started in data journalism.

Getting started in data journalism and getting further than the basics can seem like a mountain of programming tools and coding languages, but the experts we spoke to describe how to take the first steps.

  • Paul Bradshaw, online journalist, lecturer and blogger, Help Me Investigate.com
  • Marianne Bouchart, web producer and data journalism projects co-ordinator, Bloomberg News
  • Nicola Hughes, data journalist, Dataminer UK, 2011/12 Knight-Mozilla fellow at the Guardian, soon to join The Times

You can hear future podcasts by signing up to the Journalism.co.uk iTunes podcast feed.

 

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#Podcast – Career advice for aspiring sports journalists

February 22nd, 2013 | No Comments | Posted by in Podcast

This week’s podcast looks at sports journalism and gets expert advice on how to succeed.

Recommendations include the value of experience, getting the right training and other potential in-roads to this popular and competitive sector.

  • Sean Ingle, sports editor, Guardian.co.uk
  • Nick Powell, sports editor, Sky News
  • James Toney, managing editor, Sportsbeat
  • Keith Elliott, head of careers, Sports Journalists’ Association
  • Jonny Lally, media officer, Leicester City FC

You can hear future podcasts by signing up to the Journalism.co.uk iTunes podcast feed.

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Wannabe Hacks: Sunday Times foreign editor on ‘rough ride’ of profession

June 2nd, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Jobs, Training

In an interesting interview with the Wannabe Hacks Sunday Times foreign editor Sean Ryan offers plenty of tips for journalists interested in becoming foreign correspondents. There are plenty of warnings too, calling on journalists to be sure to consider the realities of reporting from across the world:

There’s also a psychological toll which I think as an industry we’re becoming increasingly aware of which is the tendency to suffer from depression as a result of traumatic experiences that you’ll inevitability accumulate along the way. So we have had cases of post-traumatic distress disorder diagnosed in several of our reporters and it’s deeply distressing to witness. It takes a lot of treatment and a long time to recover from, although I’m pleased to say that in all cases, we’ve seen a full recovery and people have gone back to work and come to terms with what they’ve experienced in the past. But it’s not easy and it’s not good going into being a foreign correspondent thinking it’s all travel and meeting people and being on the frontline of a war because there’s a heavy price to pay.

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#Tip of the day from Journalism.co.uk – careers advice for budding journalists

October 29th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

New journalists: This archived Guardian Careers’ Q&A session is a useful starting point for budding journalists. Tipster: Laura Oliver.

To submit a tip to Journalism.co.uk, use this link – we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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Journalism graduates, you may be inexperienced but you have momentum on your side

June 22nd, 2010 | 5 Comments | Posted by in Jobs, Training

If you’re reading this as a final year journalism student, you’ve probably just finished your course. It’s a good feeling. After a few years of practicing, preparing and, indeed, pretending, you’re now free to be a real journalist in the real world.

If you’ve done it right, you’re being described by your peers as one to watch for the future: A real prospect – the prodigy that’s heading places. Everyone wants to work with you.

And then you graduate.

Overnight, you turn from a young up-and-comer to an inexperienced, untested and – if you’re not careful – unemployable journalist.

Why the change? Well, firstly, you now cost money. No longer can you put on a big smile and throw yourself into your work in exchange for little more than a satisfying “well done” from the news desk. Secondly, all those already in the jobs you want have been on the very same journey. They were all described as “budding journalists” once. They’re you, but older, better, and more experienced.

Frightening, isn’t it? But don’t worry. You have something up your sleeve: momentum. Keeping that momentum until you land the elusive first job is the key to short and long term success.

Remember that editor you did some great work for over the Easter holidays? He probably remembers you. He would probably recognise you in the street. But he won’t next year when another sprightly young journalist turns up on his doorstep offering free work. So strike while the iron’s hot.

Think of all the people you have ever worked or drank with. Check in with your tutors – many know what the local industry landscape is like through social connections – and make everyone you know on earth fully aware that you are a journalist looking for work.

Keep track of your coursemates. Without sounding cruel, their struggle will spur you on further. Or, on the other hand, some of them might strike it lucky and get a quick job themselves. All it takes is one friend within a publisher or broadcaster to spot a vacancy, pass on your CV and you’re one step closer to a done deal.

Cash in all those editors you met along the way that invited you to keep in touch, or gave you their card. Most of them will have just been acting polite – but you’re bound to have stuck in the minds of at least a few of them. Even if you didn’t, being at the right place at the right time can be all it takes to get a set of shifts on a newsdesk.

While it’s easy to be dazzled by your big companies – your BBCs and Guardians – it’s well worth remembering that you may make a better name for yourself working for a tiny publication where they’ll be relying on you to innovate and experiment. That’s where you can really make your mark. Keep in mind that this stage it’s about the job, not the publication. If you’re really lucky, both will be great.

These approaches could see you in a job within a month. Or three. Or a year. Perhaps two. Truth be told, none of these methods are a surefire way of getting a job, and a big part of getting that first job in journalism is about preparing to be unemployed. Maybe for a very long time.

It’s a horrible feeling. On the worst days it feels like you’ll never even have a job, let alone one remotely related to journalism. But that’s where an unexpected luxury of journalism comes into play: you don’t need work in order to be working. Unlike, say, an out-of-work plumber who needs a customer’s pipes to ply his trade, the dole-friendly journo can do so many things.

Fill your days with productive activity. There’s only so much time per day you can devote to job-searching – so apply yourself during your down time to equip yourself with even more knowledge. You’ve really got no excuse not to start a blog. Hyperlocal is all the rage – and forever will be, let’s not forget – so set something up for where you live and get started.

If you’re really good, you may even discover that through the process of unemployment you will end up employing yourself.

Or, after all that hard work, you’ll finally get that phone call or email that heralds the beginning of your career.

Until then, though, prepare to feel useless, depressed and deflated. It’s an unrelenting test of your resolve, and many around you won’t make it. But consider it a quality control mechanism. When you do eventually get that job, you’ll want everyone around you to be as determined as you are.

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Discussing new jobs in journalism

May 6th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Training

The Guardian is hosting an online discussion of “new jobs” in journalism today, taking a look at the new job titles and career paths that have emerged for journalists as a result of new media developments and ongoing changes in the industry and workplace:

Journalism … it used to be so simple. You joined your local newspaper, passed your NCTJ exams and picked one of three paths: reporter, sub-editor or production editor. But these days, it’s a murkier media world. Newly-trained journalists face the leanest job market in years, with more people competing for fewer jobs than ever before. The very future of journalism is threatened. Or so the headlines would have us believe.

Journalism.co.uk will be chipping in on the forum which runs from 1pm-4pm (GMT) today – you can post your questions at this link.

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