As I have said university teaches you a lot lessons from the very start; how to be more independent and realise what career path you really want to take in life. You can actually learn a lot more than just gaining knowledge on the subject you’re studying, you can also learn what you should and shouldn’t do. So here are some lessons I have learned from being a first year journalism student.
It’s a lot more than just a ‘journalism degree’.
There is a definite misconception that ‘all you do is write’ with journalism. You do write as a journalist but you also learn how to construct sentences, how to use the right grammar and how to make your articles flow – and that is just the writing part! You’ll also learn how to interview, how to report on a topic or issue and how to understand the basics of legal and ethical issues surrounding journalism. You’ll soon learn that journalism isn’t just ‘writing’ and that it isn’t as easy as you first thought!
2. Using a contacts book is one of the best things you can do in your first year.
You can convince yourself all you want that using your mobile phone to store contacts is great but using a physical book is even better, especially when your phone decides to die on you at a time of great journalistic need – trust me! You can have names and numbers at hand instead of having to search for them again. It truly is a small investment that works wonders when you need to find a contact for a story during a deadline period!
3. Practise makes perfect!
Getting out and about and covering different stories is the key to being a good journalist! I’ve covered breaking news stories, followed ongoing stories in the news as well as features in various mediums, such as print, online, video and radio, and it is a great skill to have to be able to delve into any type of story through different platforms! So my advice would be to do new and exciting things so that your passion in journalism grows.
What have you learned from the first year of your course? Tweet me @katie_baggott or let me know in the comments section below!
Until next time,