Before I took the plunge and journeyed down the M1 from Newcastle to come and study in London, I often fretted about what type of journalist I would eventually become. Would I be a sports reporter, spending my days trying in vain to get interesting quotes from cumbersome footballers? Or perhaps I’d become a sub-editor perpetually locked in a dark basement, slaving away in the name of grammatical and stylistic consistency.
It didn’t take long before I realised that because of the state the journalism industry was in, I’d have to take any job I was offered. Whether doing Fiona Bruce’s make-up at the BBC or tea running at ITN, I’d have to accept that I wasn’t going to be swanning around the Bahamas as a travel journalist any time soon.
This willingness to work laterally and in all areas of the industry has been stretched even further in recent months, as I’ve came to a new realisation: journalists aren’t just writers anymore. More and more journalists are expected to be involved in all areas of the media production process. Taking photos, shooting and editing videos, coding, working with content management systems… the list goes on. With media outlets cutting back on expenses and jobs disappearing left right and centre (see News of the World closure), the modern day journalist is expected to be a jack of all trades, working multi-dimensionally and publishing their work across a range of platforms.
There’s so much competition in the industry pro tem, so if you want to get a job, put down the pen for a while and try your hand at working with media in a different way.