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Top takeaways from our social media journalism panel

Patricia Cruz



We invited editors and producers from across the industry to share their advice and experiences of being a social media journalist.

The panellists included Chandni Sembhi, senior producer for PinkNews, Helen Thomas, senior social editor for VICE, Neve Gordon-Farleigh, TikTok producer for Journo Resources, and Will Thompson, social media manager and digital sports journalist for Sportsbeat.

Helen and Will both did their NCTJ training with .

What is a social media journalist?

In the age of social media, journalists have adapted to find stories, write pieces, film videos, and publish them in the spaces the public are most likely to consume them.

There is increasing demand for multimedia journalists who can navigate social media, consider audience analytics, and get creative with journalism that suits every type of social media platform.

Our social media journalism panellists gave advice to aspiring journalists via Zoom.

What skills do you need?

To be a good social media journalist, first and foremost you need to be a good journalist, reporting on the news quickly, accurately, and fairly.

You also need to develop some specific skills to make the most of the platforms available to you.

Will said: “One of the most important skills is your research because social media is a constantly changing landscape.”

Chandni and Helen agreed, saying you should learn the changing rules and trends of each platform, what the algorithms are, and learn to read and interpret social media analytics.

Helen said: “Numbers are the best proof of what people want. Not that we should let the algorithm decide our content, but you can use stats to guide you.”

There are plenty of tools out there to help journalists tell stories on social media.

Chandni said: “I use Canva all the time, it’s great. It helps to create a consistent theme across your platforms.”

How can you start getting experience?

The first step to launching any career is to get some real-world experience.

Although finding work experience can be difficult, there are loads of ways you can get started.

Neve said: “It’s about being able to put yourself out there. If there isn’t experience coming to you, make it yourself – create a blog or a YouTube channel for example.

“Showing your transferable skills might pay off more than a week of work experience where you make a few phone calls.”

Helen added that having a successful personal social media profile can boost your chances of landing a job in social media journalism.

She said: “TikTok is a really good resource. If you have the confidence to do it, it’s definitely something I would recommend.”             

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What are some tips for applying to jobs?

All the panellists discussed the need to understand the brand of the company you are applying too.

Will said: “You have to understand the audience you are talking to. You have to know the tone of voice of who you are working for.

“Social channels are the shop windows for the brand, it’s what everyone sees, it’s public. You have to be mindful of the power of social media.”

Helen said it’s important to read and care about the publication you want to work for so you come across as genuine and enthusiastic.           

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What are the biggest challenges?

Chandni spoke about the difficulty of navigating what you should be paid.

She said: “Pay can vary so wildly in this industry, it can depend on so many different things. When you’re starting out it’s really hard to know your worth.”

Will shared the challenge of coming up with fresh ideas when scheduling so much regular content.

He said: “Everyone gets creative block. Like with every job, take a break so you can come in fresh. You need to look outside the box.”

The panellists agreed about the need to be as impartial as possible.

Neve said: “Sometimes you do need to leave your opinions at the door. Find your niche and be consistent.”

What training do you need?

The panellists discussed the different routes you can take into social media journalism.

Helen said: “I would recommend doing an NCTJ journalism course because there are certain things you really need to learn, like media law and impartial reporting.

“I did a part-time course which meant I could work freelance alongside it. The NCTJ is very hands-on which I really liked.”

Chandni said: “Journalism courses are so good for meeting people and having those ready-made industry contacts.”

You don’t have to go straight into a journalism course to become a social media journalist – plenty of people go into the industry having had different jobs beforehand.

Will said: “It’s never too late. Go out and get the experience.

“There’s a lot of brands who want to use an authentic voice so if you become a micro-influencer who has an in-depth knowledge of something you can start working with brands and become a go-to person.”

Neve believes if you work hard enough you can always find a way into journalism.

She said: “If you’re willing to fill the gaps in your knowledge – with an NCTJ course, or another way – I certainly don’t think it’s ever too late to change your career path.”

Check out our blog on how to prepare for an NCTJ journalism course!

The post Top takeaways from our social media journalism panel appeared first on .

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The benefits of practicing mindfulness and how to start

Alice Trout



In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of everyday life. Between work, family, and other responsibilities, we often forget to take care of ourselves. This is where mindfulness comes in. Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment, without judgment. In this article, we will explore the benefits of practicing mindfulness and how to start.

Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness

  1. Reduces stress and anxiety

Mindfulness can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. By focusing on the present moment, you can calm your mind and reduce racing thoughts.

  1. Improves mental clarity

Practicing mindfulness can improve mental clarity and focus. It can help to clear your mind of distractions and increase productivity.

  1. Enhances self-awareness

Mindfulness can increase self-awareness and help you to understand your thoughts and emotions better. By being present in the moment, you can learn to recognize your patterns of thinking and behavior.

  1. Improves relationships

Mindfulness can help to improve relationships by increasing empathy and compassion. By being present with others, you can develop a deeper understanding of their needs and feelings.

How to Start Practicing Mindfulness

  1. Set aside time

Set aside a specific time every day to practice mindfulness. It can be as little as 5-10 minutes per day to start.

  1. Find a quiet space

Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. It could be a quiet corner of your home or a quiet park.

  1. Focus on your breath

Focus on your breath and the physical sensations of breathing. Notice the rise and fall of your chest and the sensation of air moving in and out of your body.

  1. Be present

Allow yourself to be present in the moment without judgment. Let your thoughts and emotions come and go without dwelling on them.

  1. Practice regularly

Make mindfulness a regular practice. It takes time to develop the habit, but the benefits are worth it.

In conclusion, practicing mindfulness can have numerous benefits for our mental and physical well-being. It’s a simple yet powerful practice that can be incorporated into our daily lives. By setting aside a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness, we can reduce stress and anxiety, improve mental clarity, and enhance our relationships. So why not give it a try? Your mind and body will thank you for it.

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How to create a perfect morning routine for a productive day

Alice Trout



Do you ever feel like your day has gotten away from you before it even starts? One way to combat this feeling is to create a perfect morning routine. Establishing a routine can help you start your day off on the right foot, and set the tone for a productive and successful day. Here are some tips on how to create a morning routine that works for you.

Determine Your Priorities

Before you start creating a morning routine, it’s important to determine what your priorities are. What are the things that you want to accomplish in the morning? Do you want to exercise, meditate, or have a healthy breakfast? Once you have a list of your priorities, you can start creating a routine that includes them.

Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day

Waking up at the same time every day can help regulate your body’s natural sleep cycle and make it easier to fall asleep at night. Try to wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This can help establish a consistent routine and make it easier to stick to.

Take Time for Yourself

Many people feel rushed and stressed in the morning, but taking some time for yourself can help alleviate this feeling. Whether it’s meditating, reading a book, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee, taking time for yourself can help you start your day feeling calm and centered.


Exercise is a great way to start your day, as it can help increase your energy levels and improve your mood. Whether it’s a quick jog, yoga practice, or weightlifting session, try to include some form of exercise in your morning routine.

Eat a Healthy Breakfast

Breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day, and for good reason. Eating a healthy breakfast can help fuel your body and provide the energy you need to start your day. Try to include protein, whole grains, and fruit or vegetables in your breakfast.

Plan Your Day

Taking a few minutes to plan your day can help you stay focused and productive. Make a to-do list or set priorities for the day, and review your calendar to make sure you’re prepared for any meetings or appointments.

Stick to Your Routine

Once you’ve created a morning routine that works for you, try to stick to it as much as possible. Consistency is key, and sticking to your routine can help establish healthy habits and improve your overall productivity.

In conclusion, creating a perfect morning routine can help set the tone for a productive and successful day. By determining your priorities, waking up at the same time every day, taking time for yourself, exercising, eating a healthy breakfast, planning your day, and sticking to your routine, you can create a morning routine that works for you. Remember, it’s all about finding what works best for you and your lifestyle.

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10 simple yet effective ways to reduce stress in your daily life

Alice Trout



Stress is an inevitable part of our lives, but it can have a negative impact on our mental and physical health if left unchecked. Fortunately, there are several simple yet effective ways to reduce stress in our daily lives. In this article, we will explore 10 such methods that you can easily incorporate into your routine.

Exercise regularly

Physical activity is an excellent way to relieve stress. It helps to release endorphins, which are natural mood-boosters. You don’t have to engage in high-intensity workouts to reap the benefits. Even a brisk walk or light yoga can help reduce stress levels.

Get enough sleep

Lack of sleep can cause irritability, mood swings, and increase stress levels. Make sure you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night to feel well-rested and refreshed.

Practice deep breathing

Deep breathing techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing can help to calm your mind and body. Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this for a few minutes to feel relaxed.

Spend time in nature

Spending time in nature can have a calming effect on your mind and body. Take a walk in the park or go for a hike in the woods to feel rejuvenated.

Practice mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. It can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Set aside a few minutes every day to practice mindfulness meditation.

Listen to music

Music has a soothing effect on our minds. Listening to calming music can help to reduce stress levels. Create a playlist of your favorite relaxing tunes and listen to it when you feel stressed.

Practice yoga or tai chi

Yoga and tai chi are ancient practices that combine physical postures and breathing techniques. They can help to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation.

Connect with loved ones

Talking to friends and family members can help to reduce stress levels. It can provide a sense of comfort and support during challenging times.

Practice gratitude

Focusing on the positive aspects of life can help to reduce stress levels. Make a habit of practicing gratitude by writing down things you are thankful for every day.

Take breaks

Taking short breaks throughout the day can help to reduce stress levels. Go for a short walk, practice deep breathing or simply take a few moments to close your eyes and relax.

In conclusion, stress is a part of life, but it doesn’t have to take over. By incorporating these simple yet effective methods into your daily routine, you can reduce stress levels and improve your overall well-being. Remember, taking care of yourself should always be a top priority.

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