We’ve said this, our guest speakers have said this and editors say it in public all the time – you need to go on work placement armed with your own story ideas. A journalist is measured by their ability to come up with story suggestions.
Do not even think of going on a work placement without at least three ideas of your own that are well-targetted for your host organisation’s readership/brand (which of course you must research in detail before you start). Ideally, you should be pitching those ideas in your covering application letters to get a placement in the first place. You must never ever turn up with nothing to offer, waiting to be given things to do.
The team and I will be discussing ways of making regular ideas generation a formal part of your continuing assessment from September 2013. Until then, if you are going on a work placement this summer (which every journalism student should be organising right now), get three pitches together.
By this point in the academic year, journalism staff will not be willing to give you story ideas, so don’t ask! You should know by now that you need to put in the hard graft, read a great deal, look at noticeboards (virtual and physical), scan all local media for stories that can be national and vice versa, listen to the radio, talk to people, search online and most of all brainstorm – ‘think around’ your topic to find an angle that would interest your audience. Stories don’t come to you, you have to find them in the everyday and mundane.
See this post by Wannabehacks on how to build up a contacts book – you already have more contacts than you realise http://wannabehacks.co.uk/2013/03/07/building-up-your-contacts-book-as-a-wannabe-hack/
Posted by SN
The Uxbridge Gazette can offer six 1-week work placements over the summer to Brunel NCTJ students.
They will draw up a shortlist of 10, and interview candidates on April 18/19 at their office next to Uxbridge tube station.
If you wish to apply for a placement, please write a 1-page letter of application detailing your aptitude and interest (plus any story ideas) to Suzy Talbot, Deputy Editor Trinity Mirror Southern. Make sure you list NCTJ exam passes and Teeline speed.
PRINT that and your CV on good paper, and hand them in to the School of Arts Gaskell Building Reception by 1pm on Friday March 22 latest please – no applications received after that time can be accepted sorry.
Posted by SN
They’re only halfway through their second term of BA (Hons) Journalism but Ceylan Hassan (left) and Jasmin Nahar (right) are the first Brunel journos to reach 100wpm in Teeline shorthand in class tests this year.
They were rewarded with prize money of £50 each by their tutor Kenn Toft (centre) this week.
Ceylan and Jasmin will sit their 100wpm NCTJ Teeline exam on March 14 along with fellow BA and MA Journalism students.
L to R: Ceylan Hassan, Teeline tutor Kenn Toft and Jasmin Nahar
Posted by SN
“Leveson doesn’t say much about education or training, but he expresses general confidence in the quality of UK courses. Nowadays most journalists train for between one and three years at university before they enter the industry. So it’s vital that the new regulatory body appoints or elects members from journalism education, including student journalists. I’d also like to see revenue from fines put into education and training, and towards research into the positive and negative effects of reporting practice. There’s very little tangible data on this in the UK, as academics and the media have tended to keep each other at arms-length, where in other occupational areas – like law, science and teaching – there are close links between practice, training, research and regulation.”
(posted by SN)