To quote The Godfather III, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.” After completing an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Visual Media at Griffith College Dublin, I did good enough work to join the Masters degree in Journalism. However, this article will help those who are in first year Journalism, starting the Masters with little to experience in Media and others who want advice on how to be a journalist. The advice was gotten through what this writer so far has learnt from lecturers, professional journalists and life in the past few years.
1) Find something you like and write something special on it
They say that every idea has been done before. This is not technically as you can expand on on or create an angle in a mainstream topic. From personal experience, look further than The Circular. When he discovered that there was no page on the Irish actors in Game of Thrones or the characters from RTE’s Love/Hate, he decided to research and set up these two blogs which have both received popularity. You can do the same with a topic you like. Be it Sports, Current Affairs or Music, there is always a special story for someone to write on and you could be that person.
2) But whenever there is an opportunity, take it.
The first lesson in GCC that Journalism students learn is that if you want your foot in the door, start getting as experience as you can through the colleges. The experience from working on the college magazine or radio station can lead to brief experience in actual media buildings or working for them online. Furthermore if there are projects that you feel are award worthy then put it up for nomination. As well as if there was a college project that you feel can expand to a CV worthy One such example is the radio show The Amazing Adventures of Peadar, Thiago and Barry who after Griff FM had received praise from went on to do another podcast and are expected to bring out more every week. Here is an audio sample of their work.
3) Promote. Promote. Promote.
A journalist without confidence is a journalist without a voice. A journalist without a voice is a journalist without an audience. Today thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and other social medias, promoting oneself or the works is as a click of a button. Here is a Storify examples of tweets promoting the above show.
4) Be careful what you do write
These days anyone with a smartphone and WiFi can be a journalist. However given that you have the degree, you know how to report stories properly. A reporter needs to make sure that their facts are correct and that if there are inaccuracies that are to be corrected as soon as possible. If not, that could lead to a journalist being blacklisted. This clip from season five of The Wire explains how easy it is for a writer to go on the downward slope of manufacturing news. *contains strong language*
5) Be interactive
Also these days, people tend to give their opinion on certain topics in the media from citywide flooding to the latest celebrity controversies. As well as using Step 3, you can also use polls to get feedback on the topic being mention or ask people to use the comments board if one is available. Now it’s your turn. Feel to comment below if any of the tips were useful to you or if have any questions.