Friday, 24 October 2014

My Student Journalism Experience and 6 Tips

If you've been following my blog for a while now, you might know I studied as a journalist student at Brighton City College last year. I thought I'd put together  a little intro of how I got into journalism and a few tips for any newbies journos!

Follow That Dream Quote


From Primary School I knew I always wanted to do something that involved writing. In Year Six we had a task to create a newspaper, and I just loved writing the stories and coming up with catchy headlines! Since then, whenever someone asked me what I wanted to be when I was older it was always 'journalist', despite my dad wanting me to be a brain surgeon (I wouldn't even be able to tell you which organ does what!) 

Stack of Journalism Books


I can't remember how I exactly found out about the fast-track year long Brighton City College course, but I knew I'd rather go down that route than Uni. Not to say Uni isn't as intense or valuable, I just found this course suited myself better than Uni did. 

So I took my entrance course, passed and was offered a place within a few days, but then the hard work really began!

NCTJ Gold Standard Certificate


6 Tips for Newbie Journalists:

  • It's a TON of work: you've got to be good at deadlines, juggling various pieces of work and keeping up with the pace of the course. It really pushes you and proves how capable you are as a journalist and whether you've got the knack and nose to be one. 

  • Work inside and outside the classroom: following on from point one, you'll be expected to know the current news and trends that are happening around you. So again, keeping up with news daily is essential.

  • There's no wrong answer: this is partly why I love journalism. It's giving you a voice and a place to expression your opinion, as long as you back it up with factual information. Opinion pieces were always my favourite to write!

  • Uni isn't the only option: I touched on this in my intro, but nowadays there's so many different ways to get into journalism. Start a blog, take an evening course, do a fast-track course or even an online course. Excuse the pun, but the world is your oyster.

  • WORK EXPERIENCE WORK EXPERIENCE: I cannot stress the importance of this enough. Even though the knowledge is important, gaining valuable and insightful experience is so key. I ran two internships over the year and did a handful of work experience and freelancing whilst studying, to build up my portfolio. 

  • Don't give up: It is a challenging career choice. Journalists get slated all the time, but to be a good journalist takes grit, hard work and a lot of dedication. There will be times when you want to throw the towel in and get a regular 9-5, but if you don't evolve, how do you expect to grow?

So those are a few journo tips I've picked up along my journey, and yes, I'm still trying to figure out my own path myself.

Let me know what you think in the comments and share your own tips!

Thanks for reading,
Rhiannon x

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