So you wanna be a Journalist?


This is one of those posts that has taken a while to craft. It is difficult to know how much to reveal on a blog whilst also being interesting for readers.

As you probably know I am beginning the (long) path towards becoming a journalist. So as journalism is going to be a pretty important part of my life and this blog should really be integral to its development – although I’m not always sure how photos of Victoria Sponge assert my journalist credentials, apart form village fete coverage –  I figured that it was a post worth including and may be of value to some readers.



At Sheffield I always wrote for the Arts and Humanities newsletter and since leaving last summer I have worked as a Travel Journalist with My Destination, a freelance contributor to The Editeur and interned at the Daily Express. Whilst this has all been fantastic, in order to progress past the relentless stage of internships and unsuccessful job applications I am going back into the world of education…



I have signed up to begin an NCTJ Journalism Diploma with the Brighton Journalist Works in September of this year. I came across this course after feeling a little uninspired by my ongoing achievements and wanting something to make my CV stand out from the hundreds that drop into the inbox of a potential employer.

Firstly the course is only 14 weeks long so whilst I am worried about those weeks being a HUGE STRESS AND CRAZY FAST PACED (AH) it does also mean that I can get on with my new year travel plans that have been in the pipeline for almost two years.

The other major selling point for me is that the course is based in the offices of The Argus newspaper, Brighton’s number one daily and renowned for its fantastic headlines ‘Cannabis factory in every street’//’Crow steals golfer’s trolley’ etc etc. You get the idea…This means that from day one the experience is far more authentic and vocational than anything that we ever did at school or university. They also guarantee work placements at publications ranging from Men’s Health, Time Out, Esquire and of course The Argus.

With only a month or so to go, I have now bought all three of the core textbooks (each one heavier than the last) and a contacts book for storing those numbers which really can make or break your career. It shall be guarded with my life! I have started learning my Teeline alphabet and the common word representations (I will do another post about Shorthand when I have something more knowledgeable to impart) as well as having read the ‘Essential Reporting’ by Jon Smith (what a name for a journalist). I actually would recommend the book even for those not considering journalism, for its insight into a fascinating industry.
Now I could go on but I think the length of the post is a bit daunting already!  I hope it has been of use to anyone considering doing the course. Obviously I will keep you updated on my progress as and when it happens!
Editors Note: All my thanks to Kayleigh Tanner of ‘Soup du Journalism‘ who has answered my hundreds of questions about the course and also provided an invaluable source of information in the form of her blog! 
  • I am looking into doing this course and am not sure whether to go for this because it is so short or whether to go for a full blown masters which obviously is much more expensive. I shall be keeping an eye out for any of your future posts, I hope you keep us updated on how it’s going!

    • Hi Katie, lovely to hear from you. Yes I had considered a Masters for a while too but the hands-on/vocational approach really sold this course to me. As well as the guaranteed work experience – we all know what counts on a CV these days! I hope my future posts help you to decide what is right for you too!