Journalists on journalism; from inside the class.

So what exactly is journalism?

“You have no doubt noticed that what you are told on your work placements will differ to what you are being told in the classroom. Don’t worry.”

“News stories are generally an art but passing an NCTJ exam is in some ways closer to a science.”

“Stick to the formula and you won’t go far wrong…”

“…but sometimes, when it’s appropriate, you can be clever or funny or creative with it.”

“There’s a quite an art to it…”

“I’d hesitate to call it a profession…”

“… But you need to pass all of the NCTJ, get your 100 wpm shorthand, or else it’s £3,000 wasted.”

“Employers sort out CVS into piles of NCTJ and non-NCTJ.”

“Only 44% of the country passed the Reporting exam, including resits, last year.”

“…Employers expect you to have about 2 years of unpaid work experience too.”

“Take all the unpaid internships, unpaid freelance work, anything for the portfolio. Get that (>over-competitive, over-qualified, 70-1 applicant<) cafe job to tide you over, you never know when that amazing job in niche journalism can come up.”

“Journalism is getting a bad press… from itself. But it remains a profession with the most interesting characters, the most interesting stories… you’ll always remember your first exclusive, your first appearance before a Select Committee… and remember when you’re making the news and not writing the news, say you didn’t come here!” – Director of News Associates on the last day.

Anyone can do it, McKenzie?

William Tomaney: “Now tell me if you still think it’s easy.”


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