Tips, tools, hints and advice: Reflecting on a presentation to LJMU journalism students

Today was spent talking with students.
First up were two groups of PR students from Edge Hill university, whom I spent the morning chatting to about the working ways of newspapers and journalists, and the different opportunities for PR professionals to operate more effectively in multimedia.
Then, in the afternoon, I headed over to Liverpool John Moores University to talk to 3rd year journalism students about my job, how newspapers and reporters operate (and how they should operate in an ideal world) the tools we use, ways to build their brand as individuals, options they could consider if they were looking to start up as entrepreneurial journalists and the opportunities and bear traps of job interviews and work experience. I’ve uploaded my presentation to Slideshare and embedded further down this post*.
Anyway, they were a smart bunch. Questions ranged from the very practical (what to wear in a newsroom) to the ethical (taking photos off Facebook); it was great to get out of the office and meet a bunch of young people who have the optimism and confidence to chance their arm in a career that some within the industry have written off.
I was at the Society of Editors conference on Monday when outgoing Aberdeen P&J editor Derek Tucker criticised the standard of journalists being turned out by colleges – he’s entitled to his opinion but I fall in the same camp as Joy Yates, editor of the Hartlepool Mail, who says she enjoys recruiting and seeing new graduates blossom in her newsroom. Those who can, do; the rest… don’t – as the NCTJ acknowledges.
There have been good and bad newly-minted journos on the job market for as long as I’ve been around. I had editors and chief reporters who invested time and patience in helping me – otherwise, who knows what I’d be doing now. If people in journalism think colleges would benefit from their experience, maybe they should offer some time to help develop the journalists of tomorrow – to give back some of the time and effort that was no doubt invested in them (not to mention the money – UPN paid for my apprenticeship).
After all, it’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

* For anyone baffled by the ‘large freezer bags’ tip in the Essential Kit section, they are awesome for keeping your notepad, pen, camera, Flip etc dry when you’re reporting from the Great Outdoors. At a pinch, supermarket bags from the fruit n veg section also work. Trufact.

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About Alison Gow

I'm a journalist, particularly interested in story-telling, networks and digital innovation.
This entry was posted in how-to, Journalism. Bookmark the permalink.

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