Make Journalism Your Plan B?

Well, well, well… it’s been another crazy time in the world of journalism in the last few weeks with the closure of more! magazine and a survey by revealing that a newspaper reporter is the worst job to have. With an office full of qualified jourmalists with experience looking for a new job and that disheartening survey, it wouldn’t be surprising to hear that a few people are once again skeptical about the future of journalism.

There has been plenty written and said about what wannabe journos can do to become successful or even just get a job in print and online journalism but I have some advice for newbies wanting to enter what is becoming an increasingly difficult game to gain a steady foothold in… how about having journalism as your plan B?

It may sound like I’m trying to get rid of the competition but hear me out, because if I had the chance to do it all over, I’d seriously consider having journalism as my bit on the side whilst doing a more academic and financially viable course like Englsih Literature. Instead of going to uni and ‘learning’ journalism for three years, I’d write for the University paper, blog and get work experience because with a course like English, I’m still learning to write, my options are a lot more varied should I realise half way through that perhaps journalism isn’t for me and if it still is there’s always the option of a post grad in journalism and media.

A few editors and journalists have been known to claim to prefer English students over Journalism ones because English students already know how to write grammatically correct and well-informed pieces. The thing that you learn in journalism is how to adapt to the house style of different publications and the difference between writing an essay compared to a feature article compared to a standard report- and that’s something that can really only be practiced on the job.

Plus, if I’m honest, the things that I remember learning at university that I still use now could’ve been learned in a year or even in just a few weeks on a course like PMA.

So if there is anyone out there still dedicated to becoming a journalist I have faith that you WILL make it BUT surely there’s no harm in going the longer way around about it? After all, journalism isn’t the fast paced-sought-after glamourous career that it was once perceived to be. Have a serious think and good luck.

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