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Media Trust and the Sun launch new Column Idol contest

April 20th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Training

The Media Trust and The Sun have joined together to launch this year’s Column Idol competition,.

The contest, now in its second year, is open to 18 to 25 year olds. Six shortlisted entrants will have the opportunity to be mentored by journalists from the Sun newspaper and the overall winner will then be given the chance to have their column printed in the tabloid.

Applications are now open and can be submitted until 20 June.

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10 steps to getting ahead as a young regional journalist

March 21st, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Awards, Local media

John Mair is a judge for the Society of Editors’ Regional Press Awards, in the Young Journalist of the Year category. After trawling through nearly 200 articles by more than 60 young journalists, he offers a ten-step guide to getting ahead in regional news and taking home an award in the process.

1. Get the skills

Story-telling and accuracy are still key. So is shorthand

2. Get the stories

It seems bleeding obvious, but it’s what we do. Think of what makes a story and how you get it. Avoid “churnalism”, originality always shows.

3. Go off diary

The best tales are those which nobody else has. That “exclusive” tag at the top of the story is worth so much to the reader (and to you!).

4. Build a contacts book

It is still true that contacts tell you things (sometimes things that they shouldn’t). Good stories are not found in the newsroom but in the real world. Shoe leather still pays.

5. Use the internet

Surprising how many yet how few young journos use social media to get or enhance stories. Like it or not, this is the Facebook and Twitter generation (especially for young people). Most people are now are just a few clicks away.

6. Use the law, especially FOI

It’s fascinating how many stories in local papers are worked up from a hunch and a Freedom of Information request to the local hospital, police, council, etc . And you can always find anomalies in any set of disclosed documents or a story if they refuse you access. Tony Blair may have called it “my greatest mistake”, but FOI is a gold mine for journalists.

7. Don’t be overawed by the nationals

Some of the best stories are local angles on huge national stories, like Raoul Moat in Newcastle and Derek Bird in Cumbria. Local knowledge and door knocking always pays dividends in these situations. You and your paper can end up looking much better than the nationals.

8. Remember that the words are just the beginning

Attractive modern newspapers are about style and production. Side bars, standfirsts and explainers all to build the story. The reader is very busy and you must assume has attention deficit syndrome. Think of how you get some of their attention in a media-rich world

9. Multi skills

Have them. Very few of the sixty wannabes appeared to have audio and video skills. These will be the essential tools of the journalistic future, like it or not.

10. Read the rules properly

If you want to be reporter of the year than read the rules of the competition. If you can’t be bothered to submit your entry properly then why should I be bothered to judge it properly.

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Joseph Stashko: Why 2011 ‘should’ be a great year for young journalists

January 11th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Jobs, Online Journalism

Student journalist Joseph Stashko has posted this morning on why, if you’re under 25 and an aspirational journalist, now should be easier than ever to get a job in the media. He argues that the technological shifts that have affected traditional print journalism have caused the route into the industry to change, and those who are happy to embrace the multi-media, web-savvy skills necessary for today’s journalism should be welcomed into the industry.

Of course you need traditional journalistic values in a 21st century newsroom, but for once the people being recruited at entry level know about how to adapt to the news landscape just as well as the people above them.

I’d even go as far in arguing that graduates are capable of knowing far more than their employer when it comes to how to approach modern news distribution. They don’t have the stigma and knowledge of the old way of doing things; this is a generation that has almost grown up entirely in the social culture of news and is glad of it. They’re selfless about their work, they want to listen to and engage their readers and produce exciting content.

Read the full post at this link.

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Bloomberg offers free TV training for budding broadcast journalists

August 9th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Multimedia, Training

Budding video journalists and future news presenters can apply for free TV production training as part of Bloomberg’s Broadcast Volunteer programme.

Applications are being accepted until 18 August for a September start and are open to anyone aged between 18-25, not in education, employment or training. Bloomberg advertise the programme as providing:

Eight days of intensive training in TV Production and Broadcasting skills plus three top-up sessions.

At least 80 hours volunteering at Roundhouse Studios in September and October 2010, putting your skills into practice by supporting Roundhouse TV and Film projects and documenting Roundhouse events.

Great work experience to put on your CV.

See more here…

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#TNTJ – the return of a blog and information network for young journalists

August 4th, 2010 | 2 Comments | Posted by in About us, Social media and blogging

TNTJ, or Tomorrow’s News, Tomorrow’s Journalists, was set up to provide an informal blogging network for young journalists to share their experiences of the industry and debate, discuss and dissect the issues affecting their fledgling careers.

We’re relaunching the blog network under the same criteria, but with some new features planned. Every month there will be a new question or topic up for discussion. If you join TNTJ, we’d like your views on it, but we also want you to blog on your own site too to spread the word. It’s an opportunity to make new contacts, get advice and promote yourself online – you can create a user profile for all your posts on the TNTJ site.

In addition to the monthly debates, we’ll post events, opportunities, interviews and advice that we think would interest our TNTJ members. Please feel free to do the same.

To sign up, please click ‘Register’ in the sidebar or click here to register. ANYBODY can sign-up, so long as you:

1) Are younger than 30-years-old;
2) And you blog about journalism/are interested in taking part in an online discussion about journalism.

Enter your details, and soon we’ll activate your account so you can post your entry. Bear with us while we do that – it’s not an automated process, but we’ll be quick as we can.

The revamped TNTJ will be moderated by a team of young journalists, who we’ll be introducing shortly along with a question for August. You can also follow the blog on Twitter, @TNTJ.

Let’s get blogging!

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Life as an editor – through the eyes of a journalism student

August 3rd, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Newspapers, Traffic

Sophie Ryley is a second year journalism student at Cardiff University. She recently won a radio prize to be ‘editor for the day’ at the South Wales Echo. Here she talks about her experience of a day in the ‘hot seat’ and how it has impacted on her view of journalism and future plans.

When the day finally came for me to take my place in the ‘hot seat’ as editor of the Echo, I really didn’t know what to expect from the day. I walked into the impressive Media Wales offices at 9:00am in a brand new crease-free white shirt. I didn’t feel nervous, just apprehensive. I thought to myself, “what does the editor of the Echo do all day? Will I just be making coffee? Will I be going to important meetings? Will I meet any famous Welsh rugby players..?” No, dream on.

My day began with meeting everyone who worked in the main newsroom. When I was introduced to each department as their ‘editor for the day’ they seemed to be quite pleased at the prospect. I explained to the reporters that I was lucky enough to come in for the day and I’d be keeping a close eye on all of them!

After being introduced to my colleagues in the newsroom, I was taken up to see the real editor of the Echo, Mike Hill, so we could have a chat about what my day in the ‘hot seat’ would entail. He explained the usual running of the day at the newspaper, where he would attend morning and afternoon conferences, as well as meetings with individuals or companies from outside the newspaper.

At 11.00am it was time for the morning conference, I would be shadowing Mike at the head of the table. We discussed which stories would be going into the following day’s paper as well as overseeing the page layout, and I voiced my opinion on which stories should go where. Mike and I approved the potential stories and then went out for lunch, in true editor’s style!

The hard work really started during the afternoon, when I sat in on meetings with Mike. We met with Roy Payne, marketing manager behind WBC Night of Champions, a prestigious boxing event to be held in Cardiff during August. The WBC were working alongside the South Wales Echo to promote the boxing event. I asked Roy if any of the competitors be available for interviews with the Echo to attract publicity, and felt I really got the most out of taking part in the meeting, as well as displaying my passion for the newspaper and journalism.

The day was drawing to a close so Mike and I made our way to the final conference at 4:30pm with the sub-editors and heads of departments. It can’t deny it was quite intimidating sitting there with such knowledgeable and successful journalists, but I kept my cool! During the conference there were some problems with an advertising space so I said: ‘Why not move this story there instead?’ I think they were quite surprised that this young journalism ‘hot shot’ actually came up with a solution to their problem!

The day had come to an end, but I have been fortunate enough to be asked to come back during August to take part in a full week’s work experience. I am really looking forward to experiencing the ‘typical’ week of a newspaper journalist.

Spending the day as editor of the South Wales Echo really did have an impact on my future plans. After being shown around the departments within the newspaper, I feel my passion lies in news and feature writing. The journalists really gave me an insight into what they’re job entails, highlighting how there really is no comparison between what you learn in the newsroom and the classroom. I am not discrediting the Cardiff School of Journalism in any way, but what I learnt in that one day has been invaluable compared to my weekly lectures.

Journalism is a very difficult profession to get into, but I don’t have a negative outlook on the industry. It is competitive because the journalists and editors I met really love what they do. It became clear to me over the course of that day how exciting journalism is. The world around us is constantly changing, and it is our job to report on these changes; taking you to different places and talking to different people each day.

I am a year away from graduating and I feel that journalism is the industry in which I want to build a career. Spending the day with the South Wales Echo made me confident that I can become a successful journalist. I am now full of anticipation for my week’s work experience at the newspaper, and building up my portfolio and enhancing my journalistic skills. Watch this space!

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NYTimes: Online newsrooms are killing young journalists’ spirit

July 19th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick

Competition in the online newsroom and that battle for traffic and page views, is causing journalism ‘burnout’ in young reporters, according to a report by the New York Times.

In his article, which sets a scene more likely to be found in the sales world in years gone by, Jeremy Peters writes that competition in online newsrooms has reached fever pitch. As a result could we risk ‘killing off’ young reporters under the pressure of a media world where numbers matter?

Young journalists who once dreamed of trotting the globe in pursuit of a story are instead shackled to their computers, where they try to eke out a fresh thought or be first to report even the smallest nugget of news – anything that will impress Google algorithms and draw readers their way.

The New York Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times all display a “most viewed” list on their home pages (…) At Gawker Media’s offices in Manhattan, a flat-screen television mounted on the wall displays the 10 most-viewed articles across all Gawker’s websites. The author’s last name, along with the number of page views that hour and over all are prominently shown in real time on the screen, which Gawker has named the “big board”.

Is this all just a case of friendly competition to encourage the best work? Or is online journalism by mainstream media at risk of becoming more and more a case of quantity over quality?

Read the full article on the New York Times here…

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Young journalists wanted for Asia-European projects

April 9th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Training

The European Youth Press, the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) and the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) are building a network of young journalists from Asia and Europe.

Members would come up with ideas for the network and work with the three companies one events to connect young journalists from the different continents.

To qualify for this project you must be under 30 years of age and fluent in English with knowledge of the other continent. You must also work within the media, or be taking a media-related degree.

For additional information click here.

To apply email a CV and letter stating your interest.

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