Tag Archives: journalism training

Tweets of advice for aspiring journalists

Early today (18 August) we asked journalists to give their advice for those getting A level results today and those about to start a degree or a postgrad in journalism.

The best tweets of advice provided the basis for the 10 things every journalism student should know .

Here are some of the other tweets of advice from journalists, students and those in the industry.

How Do: Redefining media studies at the University of Salford

Interview with Jon Corner, the University of Salford’s MediaCityUK director, about the uni’s plans to “redefine media studies” from its new base at the Salford centre.

I agree with you about certain prejudices surrounding the notion of ‘Media Studies’ – but really Salford will be focused on new digital content creation and new digital content delivery. Ours is a very technological, industry-focused offer with the relevance the international sector is hungry for.

However, I do think there’s a potential growing mismatch between what’s happening at forward-thinking higher education institutions like Salford and how ‘media’ is delivered in UK secondary schools. It’s something I’m personally passionate about and I think we have an opportunity to begin to redefine and change that delivery by opening up new types of dialogue and shared practice with schools.

Full story on How Do at this link…

Cardiff University journalism school to hold alumni conference

Cardiff University’s Centre for Journalism is celebrating its 40th anniversary in October with a conference for its alumni focused on ‘Tomorrow’s Journalists’.

Speakers will include alumni who have gone on to become key figures in journalism, including Ben Brown from BBC News and Alex Thomson of Channel 4 News, who will chair sessions at the conference. More recent graduates including Hattie Brett from Grazia, Sally Rourke from ITV and Hannah Waldram from the Guardian, will also speak on the day.

The conference will be followed by a gala dinner.

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

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.

eCampus News: Journalism students urged to write Wikipedia articles

Despite very well-heeled objections to the site in academic departments the world over, students in the University of Denver journalism school are contributing to Wikipedia as part of their course:

“There’s a sense of anxiety about it, because professors have a pretty negative attitude toward Wikipedia,” said journalism instructor Christof Demont-Heinrich, who first assigned the Wikipedia writing to students in his introductory course taught during the university’s recent winter semester.

“Students are leery about mentioning Wikipedia, because they might be subjected to criticism (…) But I tell them it’s an online source of knowledge that just has some information that might be questionable, but that doesn’t mean you have to dismiss all of [its content].”

Demont-Heinrich goes on to add that, even though Wikipedia doesn’t require “old-school shoe leather reporting”, students are being taught how to “thoroughly research a topic before publishing to a site viewed by more than 68 million people a month”.

Full story at this link…

NCTJ to make qualification ‘more relevant to digital age’

The National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) has presented plans to make its qualification more relevant to the digital age, as reported by Journalism.co.uk in December last year.

Senior board members discussed the proposals with current students at the third annual NCTJ Student Council, held at the Guardian‘s Kings Cross offices on Friday.

The day also saw the NCTJ preview a sleek new website which they hope to have online by the end of February.

Chief executive Joanne Butcher outlined a vision to broaden the NCTJ into a converged training body providing a ‘gold standard’ multimedia journalism qualification.

She said: “The core skills remain the same as ever, but the new qualification will have more of an emphasis on multimedia.”

The new qualification, which will be taught from September, will see integration of public affairs and media law examinations and the introduction of broadcasting into the qualification.

Shevon Houston, events and website manager for the NCTJ, previewed the new website for the 43 delegates who attended. She said the “fresh, dynamic, easy to navigate” interface would replace the current cluttered design.

The new site includes a searchable database of accredited courses, as well as a student and trainee login area which people enrolled on NCTJ programmes can use to check exam results and find job vacancies.

There is also a forum for students and trainees to debate issues.

Plans to modify the current industry-benchmark shorthand exam were also discussed.

At present, all candidates must be able to take down 100 words per minute for four minutes with a maximum of 10 errors. But, in order to test candidates’ listening skills, from September they will have to identify a quote within a passage and take it down with perfect accuracy to pass the test.

Ciaran Jones is a trainee journalist at Cardiff University. He keeps a blog on travelling and journalism and you can also follow him on Twitter.

Read more from Journalism.co.uk on the NCTJ student council meeting at this link