How to get into journalism?

HackFor my sins, I’ve agreed to go back to my old school on Thursday to give a talk at a careers evening.

The idea is that I impart my wisdom on how to get into journalism and what you should and shouldn’t do.

Now clearly I’ve got my presentation sorted out already, but I just wondered if anyone had any pearls of wisdom for 16-year-olds who think that journalism sounds like a bundle of fun and want to find out more!

Come on, you know you want to tell me, don’t you?

Darts – student newspaper days

Having recently moved, I was looking through cardboard boxes full of “loft stuff” and came across all the old copies of the student newspaper I used to work on.

Long since relegated to the “dead pool”, Darts was the student ‘rag’ for Sheffield University and, in its time, was a hotbed for budding journalists. One year I worked on it, we won a Guardian Student Media award and one of our crew was the Student Journalist of the Year.

I often wonder if there’s a percentage of student journalists who continue their careers in the media – all I can say is that there were a good number of the people I worked with who carried it on.

– David Prosser is now the Independent’s money editor

– Kate Finnigan is a successful journalist, who has written for the likes of Elle and The Guardian over the years and is currently working at The Times

– Rachel Newsome won the Student Newspaper Journalist of the Year award and went on to edit Dazed & Confused magazine

– Lucie Cave is now the Features Editor at heat magazine

– Lech Mintowt-Czyz is now a journalist at The Times, having previously worked for The Daily Mail and Evening Standard.

– Rachael Garnett became News Editor on daily regional newspapers, such as the Bournemouth Daily Echo

– Katharine Hassell entered magazine journalism and currently works on women’s magazines at IPC Media

– I do the odd bit, but then you probably knew that already!

There are probably more, who I have forgotten, but that’s a pretty good hit rate from just a couple of years.