In light of today's A-Level results and the general feeling of happiness amongst youth everywhere, I thought it would be great to do a post about getting into journalism. For me, carving out a career in journalism has mostly been on a trial and error basis. Two years after graduating from university I am still engaging in work experience and contributing to any publication that will have me, in hopes of nabbing that lucrative full time job. Life would have been slightly easier if I had known that I wanted to follow this career in my teen years and had people and the extensive easiness of social media to provide me with tips and tricks. Now, with experience and years of wisdom under my belt, I have decided to take the lead from my twitter feed where a debate was taking place as to how to be a success in the world of journalism. Viewing feedback from the members involved- the following were points that kept being brought up time after time. Wannabe journalist's listen up!
*English is essential as one of your A-Level choices. Chose a wide range of subjects for your other options
*Obtaining work experience before university is difficult, but giving up in the early stages is not an option! Hound (nicely) small independent publishers and local newspapers for work experience- it will most definitely be invaluable!
*Write for on-line blogs and magazines to build up your portfolio. Start your own blog to show others what sort of topics interest you. It will look fantastic on your UCAS application.
*Most importantly be bright, enthusiastic and determined to make your mark. Attitude makes all the difference! You are replaceable with a click of the fingers!
DURING UNIVERSITY/POST UNIVERSITY
*As many employers prefer work experience over education, a 3 year journalism degree may not be the best choice. Do a degree in something substantial, covering a wide range of interests.
*After university, go abroad to report or have some fun. Come back and then do a MA in Journalism.
*If you do insist on doing a journalism degree, make sure it is NCTJ accredited.
*In today's society it is important to realising the importance of digital media. Make sure that any course you do has fantastic multimedia facets such as TV/web/film editing. Think twice about specialising in print journalism.
*Alongside a part time weekend job for financial support, make sure you keep on pushing hard with work experience. Employers will look straight for links to published work on your job applications.
*Going into work experience, have some story ideas and pitches ready. It shows how valuable your skills are and how serious and passionate you are about your career.