National Careers Week is taking place between the 2nd and 7th March, and the NCTJ is proud to support the campaign. Throughtout the week, we will be sharing first-hand accounts from NCTJ graduates now working in a range of roles.
Gurjeet Nanrah is a Community News Project reporter at Nottinghamshire Live and the Nottingham Post. He achieved his NCTJ diploma at Nottingham Trent University, and he is now working towards the National Qualification in Journalism (NQJ).
Tell us about your job, what does a typical day entail?
My role sees me write stories on under-represented communities and issues within them.
The communities I report on are ethnic minorities, students and geographical patches further north in the county that our brand provides less coverage on.
I regularly go out into these areas and meet people for stories and speak to community leaders about issues there.
As part of my job, I write news stories and features which bring to light issues that our wider readership may be less aware of.
How did your NCTJ training prepare you for a job in journalism?
Studying at Nottingham Trent University's Centre for Broadcast and Journalism gave me pretty much all the essential skills to be a successful reporter.
I learnt shorthand at 100wpm, skills to maximise the reach of journalism online, video editing and photography which are all skills I use regularly.
Also, learning modules in media law and court reporting gave me greater understanding of the boundaries reporters can operate in too. All in all, it has given me the tools to sharpen my appetite for working in the newsroom.
Why did you pick your course?
After studying history as my undergraduate degree I wanted to look into studying a course that would let me look at more current issues.
I had always taken a keen interest in the media industry and felt my writing skills could be put to use writing copy with the analytical skills I picked up in my degree.
I wanted to study something with more practical learning that I felt would give me a greater digital awareness I could use later in life too.
Why did you want to become a journalist?
As my interest in the news has increased over the last five or six years I felt myself wanting to play a role in ensuring people were reading news about the most important issues and hearing accounts from people that have often been overlooked and misunderstood.
What advice would you give to any aspiring journalists?
Don't be afraid to be keen as journalism is an industry that is truly what you make of it.
Try to engage with different sorts of journalism in your studies too because you never know what you may find your passion in.
And finally, in a world where it's getting harder and harder to do so, be mindful of your screen-time and the amount of time you spend using social media!