On November 14, students from a range of courses, departments and faculties gathered at our Discover Careers in… Journalism panel to find what it is really like to work in this industry. Our Discover Careers in… panels are a fantastic opportunity to hear from industry professionals and alumni about their career stories and gain advice about working in a range of sectors.
The panel consisted of Ashitha Nagesh, a Broadcast Journalist from the BBC; Ceylan Yeginsu, a London-based reporter for the New York Times; Jessica Evans, a Freelance Journalist and Contributor for several publications including Grazia, The Telegraph and VICE; and Jini Reddy, author of Wild Times and Freelance Travel Journalist.
If you are interested in pursuing a career in Journalism and did not make it to this event, do not fear! Here are five top tips and career insights that we learnt from this event:
1. Be proactive: You can start writing stories and articles from anywhere in the world, so why not begin your career in journalism now. Use your time at university wisely by getting involved and contributing to student newspapers and magazines. The digital age has also created a plethora of opportunities for budding journalists, so why not start your own blog and write about whatever takes your interest.
2. Pitch, pitch, pitch: Getting your work published by established publications is easy, it is all about the right pitch and perseverance. Once you decide who you want to write for, all you need to do is come up with an idea and pitch it to an editor. Do not be scared to pitch a ‘stupid’ idea or be discouraged if your story is not published, just make sure to do your research and try to come up with something new. It is also important to note that just because you are a student, you do not always have to work for free. If the story is good, then publications should pay you like the real journalist you are!
3. Network: Journalism is all about putting yourself out there. Reach out to journalists you admire for a coffee and do not be scared to ask questions. Attending talks (like our Discover Careers in... panels) are a great opportunity to find out more about the industry. The world of journalism can appear quite small and everyone seems to know each other, so being friendly and making connections goes a long way!
4. Learn from the pros: Whether you are interested in working for a national newspaper or want to freelance for several publications, getting work experience is extremely important. You may not start working at your dream publication but applying for internships in your university holidays will allow you to learn from established journalists and understand how the industry works. There are also some great mentoring schemes, such as The Second Source, who offer career development advice and help journalists starting out in their career.
5. Get qualified: The great news is that studying at King’s is already a step in the right direction, as throughout your degree you cultivate research, reading and writing skills. Some newspapers also require a NCTJ (National Council for the Training of Journalists) qualification, so make sure to research who you want to work for and find out if this is necessary. Aside from qualifications, the most important quality the panelists emphasised was good people skills! You could have all the qualifications in the world, but the best stories come from engaging, empathetic and inquisitive journalists.
Keep an eye out for more of our events and Discover Careers in… panels on King’s CareerConnect and find out what career options and opportunities are out there.