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Work Experience – Update 1

When I was doing my undergraduate degree, a holiday meant exactly that. A chance to relax, catch up with friends and ignore the large pile of holiday reading which I’d pretended was going to get done at the beginning of the previous term.

On this course, a holiday actually means an opportunity to do work experience. Not only is work experience essential if I want to get a job at the end of this (and I do, I really do), but it’s also compulsory for one of my modules. So although I did get a week off for Christmas, I’m spending the five remaining weeks of my Christmas break interning at Retail Gazette.

So far, it’s been good. I was thrown in at the deep end when the editor went on annual leave, putting me in charge of the site with two days of training under my belt. I had to prepare a news list every morning, and then write as many stories as I could manage in a day. It was stressful to say the least. But after a week and a half the site is still there, I haven’t been sued and other than the day when the biggest piece of news was the new Sainsbury’s back fat-smoothing bra, I managed to get the requisite four stories up every day.

As of today, the editor is back and it’s all change for me. I’m still writing news stories and suggesting stories for the news list, but I also have time to work on bigger things. At the moment, I’m planning a feature and have already had the proposal approved. I feel like a real journalist, and it feels great.

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In at the Deep End

As of today I’m halfway through my first week at Kingston and I think it’s fair to describe it as intense.

For one thing, that halfway mark also means that I’m halfway through a module, one which requires me to do a group presentation on Thursday. I hate presentations with a passion, so this should be interesting.

Terrifying summative assignments aside, the past two days have been fun. We’ve had a crash course in the future of the journalism industry (with three very different views of where that future looks brightest), a lesson in editing copy, and a fairly scary assignment: finding our own story.

Yes, that’s right, yesterday afternoon we had two hours to get out onto the streets and find a story for either the university’s newspaper or its local news website. My partner and I explored a few different options, including sitting in on the beginning of two boring court cases, but ended up choosing a story about accessibility for disabled students within the university. We pitched it to two of our journalism lecturers, who said that it would be a good story if we kept it focused, and went away feeling that bit more like real journalists. Because at the end of the day, that’s what this course is all about – that and seeing how long we can survive on the bare minimum of sleep!

A Brief Introduction

Hello and welcome to Destination Fleet Street, a blog following my journey though MA Journalism and into the big wide journalistic world. I am aware that Fleet Street is no longer the journalistic hub that it once was, but as the name is still a metonym for the industry I hope that the reference still makes sense.

Let me give you a brief summary of my journey so far:

In April, I visited Kingston for the first time, fell in love with both the campus and the course, and sent off my application.

In May, I received an invitation to interview, which clashed with one of my final exams. I begged them to reschedule and twiddled my thumbs nervously, waiting for a reply.

In June, I got the reply that I was hoping for, offering me a new interview date.

On July 3rd, I attended my interview. I also flew to America. It was a rather stressful day.

On July 4th, I received an unconditional offer. I then proceeded to party like an American on Independence Day (the setting at least was appropriate).

In August, I read through my reading list and wept as I placed the most expensive Amazon order of my life.

Which brings us to September, in which I started this blog. Keep reading to find out how the rest of the year pans out, as well as anything else useful and journalism-related that I happen to find along the way.