A week of work, lessons and journalism

By Holly Stanford

My name’s Holly Stanford and I’m a sixth form student at Saffron Walden County High School. I study English literature and language, history and geology. I plan to study English Literature at university, however, journalism is a career path I’m considering.

During my week with the NCTJ, I’ve written blogs and articles for the Journalism Diversity Fund website, analysed and reported on data from customer feedback surveys and filed exams and reports. I even visited a local newspaper office which was especially interesting and a valuable experience.

The top three things I’ve learned about journalism are:

1)      Shorthand is difficult but essential: employers look for the gold standard in shorthand and, although this is difficult to achieve, the NCTJ provides quality teaching and resources so many of their students do achieve this.

2)      You must have the confidence to go out and talk to people because they have the information and stories you need. Building up contacts is key because you can use them for future stories: the more contacts you have, the easier finding and getting information is.

3)      Above all, I’ve learned that journalism is a difficult industry with irregular hours and stressful deadlines. But it can be very rewarding and everyone says the good times outweigh the bad times – so never give up, even during the bad times!

Finally, I would like to thank the NCTJ for making me feel so welcome and giving me the opportunity to experience the world of journalism.