Media student spotlight: Anas Hassan, NCTJ distance learner

ANAS Hassan is a self-employed pharmacist, based in Kirkcaldy and hoping to change career within the next 12 months.

He submitted this on Monday, March 24.

What course are you studying?

I’m studying for the NCTJ Journalism diploma via distance learning.

What inspired you to choose this course ahead of all the others on offer?

As a graduate, this course offers me value for money and will equip me with the skills I need to progress, to take my media career forward.

At what stage are you at?

I’ve only just started the course. But, I want to have completed the course by the next year so I can really get fully going with progressing in my media career.

What have you most enjoyed about the course so far?

It’s a bit hard to say at this stage, but I’m especially enjoying the video-journalism-for-online module already – it’s the most practical one out of all of the modules that I am studying and the most relevant for my own aspirations in wanting to become a broadcast journalist.

I also love broadcast journalism; talking in front of a camera or behind a microphone is my kind of thing.

What lies ahead and how are you preparing yourself for it?

Within the next 12 months, I want to move away from my current career as a pharmacist and start a new, fresh and exciting career within the Scottish media.

One aspect of my course is to complete an e-portfolio and I’m hoping to gain as much experience as possible through a variety of different platforms such as broadcast and print. I also wish to build as many contacts as possible and make new friends within the media industry in Scotland.

Prior to starting this course, I already had a rich set of skills and experience. But the course that I am studying will give me the essentials that I require, such as in areas like the law affecting the media, public affairs and shorthand skills.

Are you currently using any of your new-found skills in actual ‘media work’?

I am currently presenting for Victoria Radio Network, an award-winning hospital radio station in Kirkcaldy. I have been a presenter with them for over a year and one of my speech packages (where I reviewed the play, ‘The Confessions of Gordon Brown’, and interviewed its Emmy-nominated writer, Kevin Toolis) has been nominated in this year’s Hospital Broadcasting Association Awards. The winners are announced at the weekend.

I have also completed work experience with STV News and Kingdom FM which gave me the chance to learn new skills and take on board some very important learning experiences. I am competent in using audio and video editing software such as Adobe Audition and Final Cut, respectively.

I have also done a lot of blogging online and even freelanced on occasion for various magazines/publications. I have successfully run my own blog on my website and also blog for the Pharmaceutical Journal online. I have set up a new blog called ‘Caledonian Journalist’ and will blog on my progress during my studies as they go on.

What next, after you have no doubt successfully completed your course?

Hopefully, having my own workstation at a TV or radio station somewhere within the country and enjoying myself in doing the job that I was frankly born to do.

Any single piece of media studies advice you want to share?

Work hard, but enjoy what you do. Journalism, despite all of the major effort required, is rewarding.