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#Tip: Standing out during work experience placements

December 18th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists
Image from Thinkstock

Image from Thinkstock

For trainee journalists carrying out valuable work experience placements, it is important to find opportunities to make an impact, and to be remembered for the right reasons.

For some first-hand advice, take a look at this video posted by the WannabeHacks, featuring tips from freelance journalist Lola Lawal. has also published advice on securing placements as well as maximising the opportunity once you are there.

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#Tip of the day for journalists: 10 pointers on securing a great internship

October 17th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

US journalism news site Poynter has 10 pointers for trainee journalists on securing a great internship.

Tips include:

  • Have a web presence (beyond social media)
  • Clean up your social media
  • Regardless of the outcome, find ways to practise journalism

See Marissa Evans’s 10 steps young journalists can take to get a great internship. You may also like to read our guide on how to secure work experience and get the most out of your placement.

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link.

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#Tip of the day from – using Twitter to find work experience opportunities

In this post from the Guardian’s professional network Catherine May shares her experiences of using Twitter to track down work experience placements. It offers some useful inspiration on ways to make the right contacts via the platform in your areas of interest.

Tipster: Rachel McAthy

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link – we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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#Tip of the day from – Industry insight videos offer job hunt tips

July 18th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Jobs, Top tips for journalists

If you’re looking for more information on how to break into a certain area of the industry, check out’s new series of Industry Insight videos. The clips feature interviews with journalists working in different areas of the field – the first four in the series will look at the careers of a news reader, wire reporter, foreign correspondent and radio producer.

Tipster: Rachel McAthy

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at, email us using this link – we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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Internships are a mix of exploitation and privilege, says Ross Perlin

June 6th, 2011 | 3 Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Jobs, Legal

On Radio 4 this morning Andrew Marr spoke to Ross Perlin, the author of a new study into the issue of unpaid internships. It was an interesting topic of debate in light of an announcement last month by the National Union of Journalists of its first victory in its Cashback for Interns campaign.

Speaking on Start the Week, Perlin argued that the older idea of work experience is giving way more to an “American notion” of multiple months of serious but unpaid work with an “unspoken barter deal” with the understanding that there may be a paid-position at the end. But more often this is not the case, he claims.

It is a curious mixture of exploitation on the one hand and privilege on the other. People who can afford to do these internships are in once sense privileged, they are lucky to have their foot in the door. People who can’t pay to get into the system, just in terms of the expenses or rent or food, are essentially left out and therefore barred from a whole range of professions which have made internships a virtual prerequisite.

Perlin calls for existing internships to be reformed, adding that he is not calling for their abolition, but the development of a fairer system.

I would say wade very carefully into the internship morass if you must. If you feel you must work unpaid and you can manage to do it, for any individual it might make sense in a particular situation to do this for a brief period of time, but don’t get caught in the internship trap. Know your rights and once you’re doing real work that you should be paid for under the national minimum wage act you should be receiving that pay, you should amend that.

Follow this link to hear the full programme. The discussion on internships starts at about 30 minutes in.

Also today, the Frontline Club website has published an anonymous piece by an intern detailing their experiences of unpaid work.

In most of my experience, however, they rarely amount to more than the routine execution of mundane activities that could and should be done by a paid member of staff or which add little meaningful value either to the intern or to the organisation/publication for whom they are working.

Read the full article here.

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Wannabe Hacks go in search of 50 best journalism placements

May 3rd, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Awards, Editors' pick, Training

Work experience has caused a bit of a stir in the nationals recently, what with Clegg and Cameron slugging out over social mobility. In an industry like the media, controversy over its almost mandatory unpaid placements is never far away.

But bloggers Wannabe Hacks have taken a step back from the debates about how to solve a problem like work experience to ask: What are the 50 best journalism placements?

The Wannabe Hacks – who have “all done reams of work experience themselves” – will be asking aspiring journalists to nominate their best placement in no more than 40 words.

They can be paid or unpaid, and contributors are asked to include the publication name and section if applicable.

Nominations can be sent to Ben Whitelaw on The deadline is Friday, 27 May at 5pm.

I’m sure there is something else going on that day too…

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#Tip of the day from – landing work experience

March 8th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

This guest post on the Wannabe Hacks website features some useful tips and tricks from a handful of journalists and journalism students on securing work experience placements. Tipster: Rachel McAthy.

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

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Huffington Post: Exploitation claim is ‘wrong and offensive’

The Huffington Post has defended its policy of not paying for contributors’ blog posts, after the Newspaper Guild in the US accused the site of exploiting freelance journalists.

The guild launched a campaign following the site’s sale to AOL for $315m earlier this month, calling on Huffington to share a portion of the sale proceeds with contributors, because she had built a successful media empire based on unpaid work.

In an email seen by Poynter, the Huffington Post’s head of media relations Mario Ruiz responds: “It’s both wrong and offensive to insist that HuffPost is exploiting journalists.”

Ruiz wrote: “HuffPost has 143 editors, writers, and reporters on our edit team. But we feel there’s a critical distinction between our editors and reporters and the people who contribute to our group blog.

“While we pay our editors and reporters, we don’t pay for the opinion pieces submitted by our thousands of bloggers. The vast majority of our bloggers understand the value of having a platform that reaches a very large audience.

“They can write as often as like they like or as little as they like.”

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Top five news, features and blog posts on in 2010 (by page views)

December 26th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Traffic

OK, we know it’s quality not quantity that counts, but it’s still fascinating (to us at least) to learn which stories have attracted the most traffic over the course of a year.

Unsurprisingly, Wikileaks is prominent as was the televised leaders debate during the general election. And some old faithfuls continue to pull in traffic from jobseekers and ‘wannabe’ freelancers (this year that was probably mostly unemployed journalism graduates and recently ‘redundant’ journalists).

But stories about paywalls failed to even come close…


  1. Reporters Without Borders to host mirror site for WikiLeaks
  2. Julian Assange: Financial threats to WikiLeaks are serious
  3. Sky News defends Kay Burley’s interview treatment of 38 Degrees director
  4. New tools for Sky journalists as social media strategy moves from one to many
  5. Dates announced for UK leaders’ election debates on Sky, BBC and ITV


  1. How to: Get started as a freelance journalist
  2. Daniell Morrisey: How to prepare a killer CV
  3. Daniell Morrisey: How to make the most of work experience
  4. How to: find contacts and information about people online
  5. How to: write the perfect press release for journalists

Blog posts:

  1. Ten things every journalist should know in 2010
  2. Wikileaks releases video showing Apache shooting of Reuters news staff
  3. The 100 most influential news media Twitter accounts
  4. Are you on the j-list? The leading innovators in journalism and media in 2010
  5. ‘A real free press for the first time in history’: WikiLeaks editor speaks out in London

Source: Google Analytics

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AP confirms internship program will be put on hold

December 15th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Journalism, Training

The Associated Press has confirmed that its internship program has been put on hold for a year while the company focuses its financial resources on its “essential core businesses”.

Last week, reported that the national president of the Society of Professional Journalists had urged the Associated Press to maintain its paid internship program as it underwent an internal examination. The AP changed its internship program in news to the AP Internship Program about 10 years ago, doubling the program in size.

Today a spokesperson told that the internship program will resume in 2012 with “the same focus on diversity”.

As part of the cutback AP has also suspended its attendance at journalism recruitment conventions for a year.

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