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Tips - An unsolicited advice

tips-for-journalism-student

If you are about to start a journalism course, here are 10 things you should know to give you the best chance of succeeding and getting a job in journalism.



Content_Marketing

You need to do much more than just attend classes.

Start a blog, podcast and tweet get yourself known by building up a presence online.

Get as much work experience as you can.

Sometimes this will turn into paid work, often it won’t. Checkout internship opportunities listed on websites. And if you’re reading this and wondering whether or not to take a course, here’s a thought.

Contacts, contacts, contacts.

And that doesn’t mean just having a contact book. Connect with people via Twitter, engage online and get your name known within the subject area you’re interested in. It’s never been easier to do this so take advantage of social networking.

Question everything.

Develop an analytical brain. Learn how to spot a hoax press release, question figures and consider all the angles.

Be versatile.

Learn to shoot video, be able to turn your hand to editing audio, get to grips with data journalism, make sure you get 100wpm shorthand, know your way round Photo shop. Journalism is not just about a notebook and pen but tools such as apps and your smartphone, Dipity, Storify and Audiobook, to name but a few.

Write, write, blog.

If you’re an aspiring broadcast journalist learn how to podcast but anyone starting out should create a blog. If you don’t have a particular area of journalism you want to go into, pick a subject you are interested in and write about that. Follow others writing about that subject.

Hone your research skills and build up sources.

Work on creating a network of contacts in Delicious, set up RSS feeds to follow subject areas that interest you, keep an eye on LinkedIn company pages. For example, if you are interested in fashion journalism, keep an eye on who is leaving and joining fashion houses listed on LinkedIn. Set up alerts to receive the accounts of these firms from Companies House. Publish the stories on your blog and pitch them to news desks.

Get published.

When you find a really strong, original story pitch it to a news desk ask get a byline and negotiate a fee.

Build your brand.

Your name is your brand so consider a Facebook page and create an online portfolio. If you’re thinking “I’m not the kind of person who says look at me”, get over that. You have to get your name out there.

Don’t give up at the first hurdle.

You’re not going to have a great voice for broadcast or get your first pitch accepted by a magazine or national newspaper. When someone knocks you down, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep trying.