NCTJ – Week Two.

I feel like I haven’t properly blogged in ages, but that’s not to say I haven’t been writing. I miss blogging, I enjoy writing it and I don’t have to constantly be thinking what I’m writing, it just comes out as I type. The writing I have been doing is for my features module.

Features is what I want to do when I’m older, and I have always chosen what features I wrote near enough, so it was a bit of  shock when I was told to write for a trade magazine in production… So far I’ve had to write a review about my college in the style of a magazine of my choice (I chose Cosmopolitan), and two reviews on the same film, one aimed at a trade mag and the other at a more liberal magazine. The Cosmo feature wasn’t too hard, although it did take a bit of going through my dissertation articles I used to make sure the language was Cosmo enough and noticeable. Still awaiting my mark.

The next task with the two reviews was quite hard – but that was more aimed at the fact we were only allowed to write a snippet of 120 words for each, which is a lot harder. I wrote mine on The Hunger Games, and aimed my production mag review at their budget, and the other about the emotion of the film. Really unsure how these went to I’ll keep you posted.


Above is currently my room on a daily basis. That consists of both Law and P.A books hanging around hoping to be read. Piles of pieces of paper with shorthand on and my shorthand notebook (which is nearly finished…), COFFEE, my diary with about 3 to-do lists each day and my module outlines and timetable stuck on my wall so I know what I’ve let myself in for each week.

Law and Public affairs are taking up the most time, probably because in every lesson (both three hours long) I am pretty out of my depth. Some of the people on my course have done something to do with Law before in A level or university, but I’ve never done anything like it, so it’s not only learning the new stuff, but also going over the basics when I’m at home. I constantly have ‘RESEARCH THIS –>’ written over my notes in Law, and come home to define everything and finally realize what the teacher was talking about.  I’m trying to keep up to date with my notes and making sure they’re neat as after we’ve learnt all the content, our exam is basically the week after so it doesn’t leave much time for revision.

OH and I’m going to Brussels to visit the European Parliament! Six of us are going on an expenses paid trip to visit Parliament in Brussels, names got chosen out of a hat and I guess I got lucky! We might even get the chance to interview people, eek. Look at this picture, amazing.

That’s in November for three days, so something to look forward too 🙂

The dreaded shorthand. The thing is, I actually quite like learning shorthand, and the only reason it is ‘dreaded’ is because everyone knows how much we are supposed to learn and how fast we need to write in such a short period of time. I do think I have learnt a lot in these two weeks. Yesterday we did our first dictated, timed passage, at only 40wpm. It was hard without her constantly pausing when she reads like she usually does, but I managed to do it, and again at 60wpm. The stressful part is when she read out 100wpm and after 3 words we all sulked and chucked our pens on the table because it was ridiculously fast. Eugh. Anyway – we are up to the part in the book where we can now listen to dictated passages on the CD to help our learning, which I think is something we’re going to have to do daily.

Reporting. I didn’t say much about this last week, but every Thursday we have a full day of reporting. This week’s was particularly good because our teacher put us in groups of four, gave us a topic for our story and we were asked to go out in Brighton, get interviews, whatever we needed, to write a 500 word article. It was a bit scary at first – our group had to get reactions to the front page story of the Metro, which was a Tory MP saying children should work for less than minimum wage or resort to other means like ‘busking’ to get money. We split our group up into 2, and me and my partner went on the streets to ask students, mothers, shops and the YMCA (who ‘didn’t have an opinion’) about it. It was really exciting, but you get that horrible feeling of pestering people when you approach them, knowing they really want to run away! But, on our first reporting assignment we did it all in time and by the deadline so… not bad.

Although we have had our first Design lesson, it was all basic theory and admin, so more to say about that next week.

NOW I have work all weekend, and need to try and squeeze in some shorthand practice somewhere!



4 thoughts on “NCTJ – Week Two.

  1. Wow , it all sounds so difficult!Good luck! 🙂 I’m afraid of pestering people also, I’ve never done it and I have to in a couple of weeks for an article..I’m scared they’ll ruin away!

  2. Hey! 🙂 I’m thinking about doing this course after I finish Uni next year but it sounds really difficult. I barely passed shorthand at 80wpm and writing 100wpm is just impossible! Is it bad as I think it is?

    • Hello! Well you’re ahead of me then 🙂 I’ve only been doing it for 4 weeks, I can write at 60wpm but still learning theory. Are you doing a journalism degree? I actually quite enjoy it though haha

      • Hey! Yeah, I’m doing BA (Hons) in Journalism atm and it’s all been academic work really. Not much of features, news articles and all!

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