Richard Horsman Profile picture
Sep 16, 2018 14 tweets 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
I don't have a course to give a pep talk to any more, so if you're starting any #Journalism undergrad course in the morning, here are my top tips.
1) Today is the first day of your professional life as a journalist. Keep your eye on the exit. Three years will pass very quickly, if you wait until finals to think about your first job you've missed the opportunity.
2) Noone in the real world cares about your marks, so long as you pass everything. It's nice to get a First, and with the right attitude it's more than possible, but given the choice between brilliant grades and work experience, take the placement. Every. Time.
3) Get present requests in early to Santa, and put driving lessons top of the list. Only this week I recommended a brilliant ex-trainee (graduated in July) for a job with an immediate start; but they couldn't drive so missed out on the opportunity.
4) No-one made you pick Journalism. You chose it, and with that comes an obligation to absorb the news like your mother's milk. Not as a passive consumer, but as a critical practitioner. Where did that story come from? How can it develop? What's the tomorrow line on it?
5) That means reading, watching and listening to a wide range of outlets to compare and contrast styles and treatments. Uni will teach you to write fluent Guardian, which is great, but you also need to have the voice to write fluent Sun. And conversationally for broadcast.
6) You can learn all you need to know of the technology in a few weeks, and although some tutors and institutions tend to obsess about the latest tech that knowledge dates very quickly. Originality of approach, telling an old tale in a new way is much more important.
7) You will hear the phrase "think of a story ..." a dozen times a day, as your tutors progress through introducing the devices used in text, audio and video ...
8) ... This is where you can really stand out if you come to class with ideas of stories that matter to real audiences, NOT STUDENTS. So don't propose stories on binge drinking, student housing, loan problems or the latest STD testing campaign.
9) Your first job in Broadcast is likely to be in local radio, if it's the Beeb the average audience age is over 50. And then some. Pick stories and treatments that would interest your parents or grandparents.
10) If there's a chance for work experience, grab it with both hands. Cancel the trip to Ibiza. Forget the birthday party. When you're in your first job interview and an editor asks what you've got apart from a degree, you can point to election or match day coverage.
11) That said, make time for yourself on the other days. Do a workmanlike job, but no story, package or treatment will ever be perfect. Because the carousel never stops. Do the best job you can and move on.
12) Enjoy your time with your coursemates. It's a small industry. If they're any good and you're any good your paths will keep crossing for life. You'll be competing with each other for jobs, sure. But you can maintain friendships on all the other days.
13) So what stories have we got for today?

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Richard Horsman

Richard Horsman Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!