Diary of a Journalism Post-Grad, Chapter 19

My second term has now come to an end – with more of a whimper than a bang, unfortunately. After the frenetic pace of the last three weeks, putting together papers, the last few days have been a complete contrast: intense shorthand sessions for those not yet up to speed and a rather turgid self-assessment assignment, which somehow counts for more marks than the final papers produced.

Not that I’m complaining: another house party at the weekend has led to a week long clear-up. Never again will I allow monkey nuts to be consumed in this flat. I would rather people had smoked indoors (some did, leaving a small, but not invisible, hole in the front room carpet) than crack open their fibrous shells and dance them into the carpet. I will be finding traces of them until we move out.

So many hours off and an unseasonable bout of warm weather has made me put off the preparation I had intended to do before embarking on another stint of work experience. Still, I’ve the weekend left to brush up on my Teeline, come up with some decent story ideas and learn the reporters’ names by heart.

I’m nervous about going back to work. Having focused on features all term it’s been a long time since I last wrote a straightforward news story. I may practice by writing bulletins over the weekend in a self-narrative style so that I’m not too rusty.

One journalistic item of note this week was a training session from the Press Association. I’m doing a couple of shifts for them, filing the results of the Scottish and Welsh elections in May. It’s data entry, but well paid and interesting to see the political process from this level. Having just handed in my PA trainee application, looking round their offices was such a
tease particularly as the news staff we dealt with were so welcoming. I am considering stowing myself away during election night… Most of my fellow students have got a shift too and it’s a good example of one of the perks of this course. They often throw work our way or alert us to internship schemes. There have even been a few placements specially created for our department, which is none too shabby.

Got our exam dates this week too and it’s comforting to know that a decent chunk of time has been reserved for revision. I’ll need all the hours I can get readying myself for media law, especially as it’s 100 per cent of our mark for the module. There’s also a few extra sessions thrown in for good measure, like an introduction to podcasting, InDesign and writing for video. Sounds promising, but you have to wonder why these sorts of things weren’t incorporated earlier?

Rumour has it the university is due for a multi-million makeover this summer so hopefully the next batch of postgraduate hopefuls will enjoy a more multi-platform (apologies for using such jargon) degree.

Have a good Easter. Laura x

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