In a world where job cuts are becoming the norm, you have got to make yourself stand out from everyone else.
As a journalism student, or in fact in any walks of life these words now ring around as the clamour for jobs in a recession begins. But what can be done to get your name out there?
The obvious solution would be to set up a blog to showcase your work to the real world and there is no shortage of forums for this. Website such as Blogspot, WordPress and tumblr are to name but a few. But the issue with these, is just about anyone and everyone is on them meaning finding specific and good work becomes a needle in the haystack scenario.
So what about the academic route? Journalism courses now litter Universities up and down the country but the biggest problem with this is it means thousands of journalists leave University writing in the same manner in a controlled environment.
I spoke to former Journalist turned teacher/guest speaker Robin Thompson who said the future of journalism is in transition and people have to learn to adapt.
“When I started out it was all about learning on the job. If you could write a story it was a head start but we learnt as we go along. Now we’re in a transition stage where editors’ requirements are all over the place.”
“The more old school hacks still prefer the journalism route which has been paved with experience, picking up hints and tips on the job and creating a more natural free-flowing style. Whereas newer editors require a grade and a very little letters on their CV.”
Robin raises a good point which can be applied to all jobs in the modern world where a degree holds great weight. But David Turner, lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire has always made a very valid point that doing is better than thinking.
So what is the answer? The logical solution would be a blend of both worlds, the academic and the practical. Learning the skills at University courses is vital and can provide a great basis for all writers to build on. Skills such as how to write a story, what questions to ask and learning to tailor your style to suit an audience. Pairing this with experience. Although some newspapers/magazines may be reluctant to take on students but this is where websites such as Yuppee and Byline come into play. They offer students the chance to practise and hone their writing skills, get their name published to create a name and substance for themselves.