Students learn how to be a reporter at journalism career seminar

Journalists need to be kind, approachable and inquisitive, Saffron Walden Reporter journalist Michael Steward told an audience of high school students.

Michael was speaking to a group of students from Joyce Frankland Academy, Saffron Walden County High and Forest Hall School as part of an annual journalism careers event hosted by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).

The event, held on 21 March at the charity’s offices in Newport, Essex, was designed to provide information on journalism qualifications and routes into the industry.

Michael talked about his time studying his NCTJ Diploma in Journalism qualification at St Mary’s University in Twickenham, as well as what it is like to work for a regional newspaper. He also offered advice to students on dealing with the daily pressures that come with the job.

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.

As well as finding out about the routes into journalism, the students also engaged in a practical session on ethical photography and the use of images in the media. The pupils shared their thoughts on some of the controversial front-pages from the UK press and discussed whether or not they would run a story with particular images or change them.

Lydia McGrath, a student at Joyce Frankland Academy, said: “I am definitely going to look into getting work experience from a local newspaper. The seminar was really informative and I enjoyed it thoroughly.”

Alex Howlett, who studies at Saffron Walden County High School said he found it informative to learn about the difficulties of becoming a journalist and some of the ethics involved in running a story.