Journalism is fun but not glamorous, journalist tells students

Journalism can be fun, interesting and exciting but it is definitely not glamorous, Cambridge News journalist Florence Snead told an audience of high school students.

“Don’t go into journalism if you are expecting a nine-to-five job, or a glamorous job. It’s fun but it’s not glamorous,” said Florence, who was speaking to a group of sixth form students from Joyce Frankland Academy Newport and Saffron Walden County High as part of an annual journalism careers event hosted by the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

The event, held on 10 March at the charity’s offices in Newport, Essex, was designed to provide information on journalism qualifications and routes into the industry.

Florence talked about her time studying her NCTJ Diploma in Journalism qualification at Lambeth College in London, as well as what it is like to work for a regional newspaper. She also offered students advice on learning shorthand (“It gives you confidence that your article is accurate”) and dealing with the daily pressures that come with the job.

At a time when managing social media is often an essential part of the job of a journalist, Florence cautioned students to think about their own social media profiles and what impression they would give to a potential employer.

Those attending were also given information on the different career choices available in the media industry, the qualifications available to them, as well as advice on finding work experience from members of the NCTJ management team. The students also had their journalism skills tested with a headline writing challenge.

Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the NCTJ, said: “The NCTJ has a UK and industry-wide remit but we are keen to support schools in our local community. This seminar has become a regular fixture in our calendar and we are glad to have the opportunity to help students decide if journalism is the career for them by explaining the different training options.”

Tom Routledge, a student at Saffron Walden County High, said the afternoon provided a “useful insight into the journalism world”.

Caption: Cambridge News reporter Florence Snead (right) with students from Joyce Frankland Academy and Saffron Walden County High School.