Archive | June, 2010

The multiskilled journalists of the future…

4 Jun

So, the time has finally come for my degree to come to an end, and the job hunt to begin. I foolishly believed that having a degree in media and communications and a fair amount of experience in journalism that it wouldn’t be too difficult to find something, at least to tie me over. I was wrong there. In the past couple of weeks I think I’ve applied for over 100 jobs; all I’ve had back so far has been 4 invitations to interviews – which all turned out to be from scamming companies.

One thing I have noticed about a lot of the job advertisements I’ve seen is they all seem to request people with a variety of skills. It won’t just be ‘Writing high quality copy’, you’ve also got to have ‘Some design skills’ or ‘Be confident with producing video content for an online audience’. Having specialised in a degree in journalism, my technical expertise is very slim. I still remember when myself and my best friend had to produce a video interview in 6th form, nearly 5 years ago – neither of us were particularly technical, and I remember those hours spent in the editing room as never ending – in fact I’m pretty sure we nearly killed eachother! So, since then I have come to the conclusion that I should generally steer clear of the technical side of media. I do have some limited experience in design and producing podcasts from my time at University, but generally the quality of my work in these areas is pretty low. So I figured, why not just stick to my strength? Sticking to what I think I’m okay at – writing – meant that I could utilise and improve on this skill; producing text for a number of different styles on publications; new, features, online etc. But maybe I was wrong in this judgement. I remember going for an interview for work experience at a local newspaper. I explained my University course, that you can choose your specialism – TV, Web and New Media, Pr, Radio or Journalism. I told the editor happily that I’d chosen journalism – it was what I wanted to do. He responded with; “So out of all of them, you picked the one that’s dying out?” It seems that in this new modern, media-saturated world where print media is known to be the dying breed there are barely any jobs positions which require somebody to just write. The walls between different media channels are falling, journalists need to embrace new emerging technologies, not shy away from them like I did.

I even recently found myself lying in a covering letter. It was only a white lie of course – but I definitely learned my lesson. Having claimed that I had ‘some experience’ producing video content and podcasts for online users, I almost immediately received an email back asking for examples of this. At that point, I panicked and decided I’d get my boyfriend to show me how to use these programs and help me create a good quality video tomorrow. Of course, the next day came and I was swamped with University work – I never got around to making that video. A few days later I received another email, again requesting examples of my work. I ended up ignoring it again and, surprisingly enough, I received another one a few days letter informingĀ  me that I had not got the position. But it seemed that they had had some interest in me in order to write back so quickly. If I’d only not lied in my original covering letter, there’s a chance I could have got that job.

So I will continue my jobhunt, but considering my lesson learned. I now know that in order to succeed, I’ll have to embrace allĀ  sides of media production, even if to start with they don’t appeal.