WHAT DO I NEED TO BECOME THE JOURNALIST I WANT TO BE?
Though the concept of exercising a healthy media diet was introduced early in our course, it remained a constant reason for rebuke even at the end of our first semester.
“If you’re not reading enough decent examples of journalism, what examples are you going to follow when you’re trying to write your own articles and features?” scolded our News, Features and Comment supervisor, David Lancaster. The logic behind David’s reproach was impossible to misconstrue: an essential step to becoming a journalist of any type is to aim for specificity in consumed media and journalism.
At the start of the semester, I took the liberty of cleaning out my browser bookmarks and my Twitter followings. My Korean-American ethnicity and my current situation as an international student in London prompted me to keep tabs on news from the US, UK, and South Korea. New York Times, The Guardian, Daily Mail Online and BBC News sit in my News folder on my Google Chrome browser while SBS News, KBS News and Instiz contribute frequently to my Twitter news feed.
In the effort to narrow my interests to fashion, lifestyle and entertainment, I frequent ELLE, Vogue Magazine, W Magazine (and its Korean counterpart) while Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Valentino take up a good chunk of my Twitter news feed, conveying my commitment to high fashion. Innisfree, Etude and Mixxmix are Korean fashion and cosmetics brands that I follow on multiple social platforms, due to their reflection of my own personal and casual taste. I consult fashion and lifestyle advice from bloggers Shini Park (Park&Cube) and Margaret Zhang (shinebythree).
SMTOWN, YG Entertainment feature on my Twitter feed and Youtube subscriptions, providing further evidence of my interest in the Korean music industry. I’ve bookmarked Jae Chung’s Tumblr blog “JDZCITY” and follow Tablo, Irene Kim and f(x)’s Krystal on Instagram to keep tabs on Korean celebrities I like.
But having a healthy media consumption comprised of entertainment, lifestyle, and fashion journalism isn’t going to turn me into a professional journalist overnight. Some of the course options I’ve looked at for my second and third years of this course include Pitch, Produce, Publish: Creating Modern Magazines, Specialist Journalism for Fashion, and Polylang.
I’m a firm believer in the equality of importance for both content of journalism and its delivery, which is why Pitch, Produce and Publish will be an essential module to take. Specialist Journalism for Fashion Journalism will lead me in a more specific direction for future options. Polylang will allow me to continue to exploring languages I love and have yet to probe, ultimately opening new doors of travel opportunity for work in the future.
Work placements and internships are a little tricky, with my Tier 4 Visa status restricting my work hours. The following work placements are of casual or temporary contract hours and meet the requirements implied by my student visa.
Since I’m open to a more editorial or digital role in journalism, a work placement of four weeks at DUCK Productions is tempting. DUCK Productions offers experience in digital software and shows how a professional team can create and deliver content. They can be contacted at email@example.com and the application process only requires a CV and a covering letter.
Because journalism can be broadcast on television, television studio work experience would also be very welcome. Applause Store offers this and more with a paid work experience that will allow me ample opportunity to learn the ropes at a studio where television and radio content is created and broadcast. The application process requests an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, including the submission of a covering letter and CV.
The last of the work placements I’ve explored on Engage include a very flexible work placement at wepluggoodmusic.com. This opportunity is unpaid, but offers the opportunity for budding young journalists like myself to exercise editorial and writing skills. The audience size is great and I’d be able to work from home, saving me the expenses of commuting.
Looking into different modules, social media moguls, and internships has allowed me to understand that good journalists aren’t created overnight, but rather, are the result of initiative, commitment, and a healthy media diet. Though nothing is set in stone, I’m hoping the steps and measures I’ve noted now will aide me in my attempt to become a respectable journalist in the future.