What happens when you start a NCTJ course.

On this blog I thought I could bring in a new section; having started my NCTJ Journalism course, I thought that I would share a little bit-in a creative way-about the course, and what I’m up to. So: you want to be a Journalist. You get yourself on this diploma. Asides from academic subjects, etc, what happens next?

  1. Some days minor things, apart from your course, seem really taxing. You have to commit yourself to the work your course entails. ( Sorry about the many unanswered emails.)
  2. You will be intimidated by some people on the course; I’m the youngest, yet virtually everyone else in my class has been in the Newspaper industry, travelled, and they have bundles of stories to tell. Some have even been in films and have children!
  3. But you get along, because this is learning for yourself; it is no longer state-mandated. This is a privilege, it can’t be abused, and you should really make the best of it. I have found my ‘intellectual home’.
  4. You meet some pretty cool individuals.
  5. Lesson one on the first day: you can’t be shy any more.
  6. You accumulate a collection of pens. (Or is that just me?)
  7. There are some ‘in jokes’ that you will eventually be privy to; anyone who is outside the realm of Journalism will probably not understand them. Because who understands the fascination that court cases hold better than a Journalist?
  8. You develop a skill to be on-the-ball at any given moment.
  9. There are a lot of abbreviations, enough so that your relatives may get confused. There’s the JDF, IPSO, NCTJ, PCC…
  10. Contacts are your best friend; I cannot stress this enough.

To start my diploma was probably one of the best choices I’ve made; in terms of education, it is like I have finally found my place, with a kin of my own. Conversations are about features, concepts, politics, etc, not how pretty someone is, popularity, gossip. And I like it that way.

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