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Top takeaways from our routes into journalism panel

Patricia Cruz

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invited journalists from all corners of the industry to share their advice on how to work towards your selected career and choose the routes into journalism that are right for you.

Here, first year undergraduate trainee Julius Lawless-Master tells us what he learnt.

The panellists included Andrew Gamble, national sports trends writer for Reach PLC, Asyia Iftikhar, freelance journalist and founder of Young Journalist Community and Jacqueline Shepherd, presenter and reporter for the BBC.

Andrew and Jacqueline both studied NCTJ courses with and Asyia is starting an NCTJ course with NA next year.

These were their top tips for finding your feet in the media world:

Do what you enjoy 

Each of the panellists had different starting routes into journalism but they all agreed that doing what you enjoy is a great way of getting experience if you’re unsure where to start. 

Jacqueline said: “I’ve always wanted to work in radio or TV in some capacity but didn’t think it was a potential avenue for me. 

“I used to play with teletext on the TV and read the news as if I was an actual newsreader. 

“It was only later on that I realised I should be using that interest for a role in public speaking as a broadcaster.”

Learn a range of skills

The skills you need as a journalist vary depending on your role and niche, but many are transferable and useful in all fields.  

Andrew said: “Match reports require you to be quick because you have to write everything by the end of the match.

“That kind of thinking on the job and being quick at what you do can be translated to news writing and is easily transferable between the two.

“I know people who have worked in sports journalism and then done news writing at the same high standard.”

Jacqueline advised practising a lot and avoiding perfectionism when trying to get better at speaking in front of a camera. 

She said: “It’s about managing your nerves and lots of practice.

“So often we’re striving for perfection, and the moment you give yourself a break and let people accept you for who you are you will feel a lot calmer.”

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Pay attention to the news and think outside the box

Consuming a range of news and staying abreast of what’s going on outside your beat can give you inspiration for stories.

Andrew said: “Some people try to say that sport and politics don’t go hand in hand but they really do. 

“I feel like it really gives a context to what is happening in front of fans so it’s important to know what’s going on in the wider scope of the world.”

There is always competition for covering headline stories so it’s vital that you can think of unique angles. This will make your pitches stand out to editors.

Asyia said: “Explain what the angle is, not just the general idea. 

“For example, instead of just saying that you have thoughts on the latest Spider-man, say something like: ‘this is why the ending of the latest Spider-man film was bad.’”

Create a portfolio

Our panellists advised creating a portfolio of your work, something you can use to get your foot in the door when pitching to an editor.

A portfolio also demonstrates extensive knowledge of your beat.

Asyia suggested using Journo Portfolio, which offers a student discount, WordPress or Wix.

She said: “It’s about looking at your body of work and seeing what the best way to split it up is. 

“This will let people who click on it go straight to the place they are interested in.”

Be passionate and don’t give up

All of our panellists agreed that showing passion for journalism can go a long way when you’re starting out.

Andrew said: “Be enthusiastic because people really build off that. 

“If you’re really keen, it’s contagious and people will notice that and chuck pieces your way.”

Asyia added that building friendships with other journalists helps to get through difficult periods. 

Jacqueline said: “Whether it’s for pitching or applying for different roles, just keep going.

“If you are passionate and have a good support network then you will get somewhere.

“Once you’ve made that first step, the second step will be easier and so will the ones after that.”

You can join Young Journalist Community, founded by Asyia, on Facebook here.

Now you know about different routes into journalism, check out our blog on the top takeaways from our social media journalism panel.

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Journalism

The Top Journalism Websites for News and Analysis”

Alice Trout

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Journalism plays an essential role in keeping the public informed about current events and issues. The internet has made it easier than ever to access a wide range of news and analysis from reputable sources. Here are some of the best journalism sites for keeping up-to-date on the latest happenings around the world:

  1. The New York Times (www.nytimes.com) – The New York Times is a well-respected newspaper that has been in operation for over 150 years. It offers a wide range of news and analysis on politics, business, technology, and culture.
  2. The Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) – The Washington Post is another well-respected newspaper that has been in operation for over 150 years. It offers in-depth coverage of national and international news, as well as commentary on politics, business, and more.
  3. The Guardian (www.theguardian.com) – The Guardian is a British newspaper that offers a wide range of news and analysis on politics, business, technology, and culture. It has a strong reputation for investigative journalism and has won numerous awards.
  4. BBC News (www.bbc.com/news) – BBC News is the online news division of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). It offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events.
  5. Al Jazeera (www.aljazeera.com) – Al Jazeera is a Qatari news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of the Middle East and North Africa.
  6. Reuters (www.reuters.com) – Reuters is a global news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of business and financial news.
  7. CNN (www.cnn.com) – CNN is a global news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of breaking news and live events.
  8. The Economist (www.economist.com) – The Economist is a British magazine that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events, with a focus on economics and politics.
  9. The Atlantic (www.theatlantic.com) – The Atlantic is an American magazine that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events, with a focus on politics, culture, and technology.
  10. ProPublica (www.propublica.org) – ProPublica is a non-profit organization that focuses on investigative journalism. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of politics, business, and social issues.

Guest blogging is a highly effective marketing strategy that every business should be utilizing. By purchasing PR publications, you can increase traffic and establish authority.

These are just a few examples of the many great journalism websites that are available. Whether you’re looking for breaking news, in-depth analysis, or a particular perspective on current events, these sites are an excellent starting point.

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Journalism

The Ethics of Healthcare Advertising: Balancing the Right to Information with the Risk of Deception

Alice Trout

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Healthcare advertising has the potential to inform and educate the public about important medical treatments and products, but it must be done in an ethical and responsible manner. On one hand, the public has the right to access information about healthcare options that may improve their quality of life or save their lives. On the other hand, there is a risk that healthcare advertising could deceive or mislead consumers, leading to negative consequences for both the companies and the public.

One issue with healthcare advertising is the promotion of prescription drugs for off-label use. Off-label use refers to the use of a drug for a purpose that has not been approved by the regulatory agency, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States. While it is not illegal for doctors to prescribe drugs for off-label use, it is illegal for pharmaceutical companies to promote drugs for off-label use. This is because the FDA has not determined that the drug is safe and effective for the unapproved use.

Unfortunately, some pharmaceutical companies have been known to engage in off-label promotion in order to increase sales. This can be harmful to patients, as they may be prescribed a drug that has not been thoroughly tested for the specific condition they are suffering from. In some cases, off-label use of a drug can even be dangerous.

Another issue with healthcare advertising is the use of exaggerated or misleading claims. This can include making false or unproven statements about the effectiveness of a drug or treatment, or downplaying the risks and side effects. Such practices can lead to consumers making informed decisions about their healthcare, and can also harm the reputation of the healthcare industry as a whole.

In order to strike a balance between the right to information and the risk of deception, it is important for both regulatory agencies and the healthcare industry to prioritize ethical practices in healthcare advertising. This can include measures such as strict oversight by regulatory agencies, clear guidelines for the approval and review of advertising materials, and campaigns to educate the public about how to evaluate and interpret healthcare advertising. By taking these steps, we can ensure that the public has access to accurate and reliable information about healthcare options, while also protecting against deceptive practices that can harm both consumers and the healthcare industry.

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Journalism

Supporting Startup Founders’ Mental Health: The Importance of Prioritizing Well-Being in the Fast-Paced Startup World

Alice Trout

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As the startup world continues to thrive and grow, it’s important to recognize that the fast-paced, high-stress environment can take a toll on the mental health of founders and employees. In fact, research has shown that entrepreneurs are at a higher risk for mental health issues such as anxiety and depression compared to the general population.

One key factor that contributes to this risk is the pressure to succeed and the fear of failure that can come with starting and running a business. Additionally, the long hours and lack of work-life balance that are often associated with the startup world can also contribute to mental health challenges.

It’s essential that startups prioritize the mental health of their founders and employees, not only for the well-being of the individual, but also for the overall success of the business. Research has shown that mental health issues can negatively impact productivity and decision-making, which can have serious consequences for a company.

There are a few steps that startups can take to support the mental health of their team members:

  1. Encourage open communication and create a safe space for employees to talk about their mental health concerns.
  2. Offer resources such as counseling and mental health benefits to employees.
  3. Foster a culture of self-care by promoting healthy habits such as regular exercise and proper nutrition.
  4. Set boundaries and encourage work-life balance to prevent burnout.

For those not ready to go to the doctor or looking for support, mental health startups Europe offer help through apps.

It’s important to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health, and it’s crucial that startups prioritize the well-being of their founders and employees. By taking steps to support the mental health of their team, startups can create a positive and healthy work environment that leads to success for both the business and its employees.

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