What’s your routine on Saturday?
At 9:15, I start the first topic lecture (currently Law), with a lunch break in-between, with Shorthand later. In Law, we learn about things such as Defamation, libel-with things such as Untold (Podcast), and Harry Evans (brilliant journalist) thrown in.
But the break is where ‘magic’ happens.
Among the food-a combination of rice on a dish, a sandwich, or a delicious Naan Hut or Chips, we all love a chat, a good old chinwag.
We may be on a break to eat our lunch, but we talk. Usually: “How are you finding Shorthand?” or a particular favourite of mine “Got any stories?”
These chats yield insights that are of such use; it’s a way to find out what is happening locally, what stories are up for grab, and how everyone is feeling. It’s also a way to chat about topics such as politics, current news events (with BBC news on seemingly continually), and any challenges we’re overcoming.
If the group could be divided, there are some distinct personalities; the Court reporters, the political gurus, the sports journalists, the ‘niche’ writers, the investigator (me, possibly), and Data journalists.
The best networking takes place on your break. These aspiring journalists are your friends, and they are brilliant.
These people can relate to you in terms of career and the industry that you’ll be going into once you finish the course. You could discuss all sorts of scenarios:
- A problem with a story. If you’re out interviewing people, formulating quotes, taking pictures, there can be problems. However, the people around you are great for advice. Ask them what they would do.
- Going on an outing. I haven’t been to a Court, but I am very curious about going. Law lectures often mention what happens in a court-but I would like to visit the different types to illustrate further.
- Discussing the course. What are your worries, your hopes, what you’re struggling with?
If you end up doing an NCTJ course, the people (i.e students) are one of your best assets. They are your friends, and they will help you out.