So You Want To Be A Journalist?

September 2014

I occasionally attend the careers fair at my children's school and I am asked about working in the media and being a journalist. I have quickly pulled together one page to point young students towards some useful information. The school is in Surrey England, so some of the links are local but, I think, still relevant to anyone at school considering journalism as a career.
 
So you want to be a Journalist?                                                      
Journalism is a competitive field so you will need to be very persistent and imaginative in the way you apply. You do not have to be academically brilliant but you do need to learn quickly, be accurate, creative, committed and resilient.  You also need to think “multi-media”. It is an increasingly digital world: video, images, audio, interactivity and words all play their part.  Blog, create your own website, use social media like mad BUT keep it clean!! Your digital footprint can be viewed by future employers. Journalism skills can inform lots of media related jobs such as radio and TV producer, researcher, presenter, expert contributor, director, Assistants of various kinds, studio management etc.
1. Useful General Guides:
National Council for the Training of Journalists:

Chartered Institute of Journalists

 
2. BBC
Here is their official site for work experience and training. If you ever want to apply you will need to talk to someone with BBC experience.

 
3. Studying media at college or university:
This can help but academic study will be no substitute for getting as much practical experience as possible. Here are some courses with good reputations in the industry (not exclusive!)


City University
Caledonian University Glasgow
Winchester University:

Cardiff University


 
4. Work Experience/Relevant Experience 
Try and do as much work experience as possible – it shows commitment and you might learn something. Explore these websites and many others like them. They can provide useful leads.
http://www.commedia.org.uk/get-involved/  http://www.radiomarsden.co.uk/?page_id=123
http://www.radioredhill.co.uk/recruitment/   http://www.livinginmagazines.co.uk/
http://www.surreylife.co.uk/home                      https://gothinkbig.co.uk/opportunities
http://www.studentladder.co.uk/work/media.html     http://www.sheengate.co.uk/
http://www.goodhousekeeping.co.uk/money/work-experience-scheme
http://www.republicamedia.com/                        http://www.thatstv.com/jobs/index.html
http://www.theguardian.com/education/series/blogging-students
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/contact/      http://www.wikihow.com/Start-a-School-Newspaper-in-Middle-School

Jerry Timmins, Managing Director GMT Media Ltd

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