NCTJ / Work Experience

So it’s finally half term…

…and I don’t even get the week off.

When I first got a place on the course back in April sometime, we were told about the weeks we had available to do work experience. Unfortunately this is placed in half term, although we were told it was compulsory so, being organised, I got one sorted. When we actually started the course we were told that it isn’t compulsory to go on work experience although it is ‘strongly advised’ so those who didn’t manage to get work experience sorted in time are lucky enough to get the week off next week, while the other people in the class are on work experience. I would love a week off right now to catch up with everything and stop feeling constantly behind but you can never turn down an opportunity for work experience. And of course, even though all the teachers know we have work experience, they still set us ‘half-term’ work as if they think we are going to be sitting at home doing nothing for 5 days.

I’m going to SO magazine in Tunbridge Wells:

It’s a lifestyle magazine in Tunbridge Wells and is a really easy read, I have downloaded the app to so I can read it on my iPod. I’ve been looking at upcoming events and thinking of ideas for features in case they ask me. Unfortunately my days are going to be even longer than college though as it’s going to take me just over an hour to get there every day including walking the 10 mins after I’ve parked… yawn. It will all be worth it in the end.

This week…

Reporting was an interesting lesson. We started off by going over more of the exam questions and how we should answer them. Then our tutor split us up into pairs/groups and I was put in a group of 4. We were told that we had two hours to go out and find a story that made everyone go ‘WOW’. We came out the building, and sat thinking about anything interesting happening in Brighton that we could report on, but didn’t have much luck. When we were walking down, we saw some police officers talking to a drunk man and round the corner, with two camera men filming it. I went over to one of the camera men and asked what was going on – he said they were filming for a BBC documentary called Inside Out about police community officers, and they were filming them in action, he then had to run off as the drunk man was going down the street. We stood and watched (and took some pictures) as the police officer was grabbing the beer out of the man’s hand and he was shouting at her not to touch him, and for the cameras to get out of his face. Obviously – we had our story right here, street drinking and the police’s involvement. We decided to split up. Two of the people in our group when to pubs and off licenses to ask their opinion of this. I went with my partner to the police station, although there was no one there to talk to us. We then went to one of the benches where a lot of people sit around and drink and, cautiously, decided to interview some of the people who were drinking. It went a lot better than expected and they gave us some good quotes, which I sneakily recorded while they were talking (to avoid having to do shorthand). We managed to all get back, write up our story and be back in time for the 2 hours. Eventful to say the least!

We have finished our shorthand theory! Yay! We have gone through all 20 units and now are on to speed building. When we come back after half term we are going to start building up our speed ready for our first exam in December. I really really really want to get my 100wpm but it just seems so hard at the moment. I can write it with prepared sentences but when it comes to thinking every time she reads out a word and writing it all quickly AND being able to read it back, etc, it seems a lot harder. I’m looking forward to it though and it’s good we have finished the theory and can now start putting it into proper practice.

I am slowly but surely working my way through my portfolio, and I think the next piece I am going to do is a career mentor piece for We also have to do our compulsory public affairs piece and I have decided to do this on foster care in Sussex, so that will be my next hurdle!

We went through a public affairs past exam paper and it scared me a lot. I have being trying desperately to revise as I go along so it doesn’t all come as a shock at Christmas when I realise that I know nothing… although it’s so hard to find the motivation to sit and revise when I have so many other things that I need to do as well! We have a test on everything we have learnt after half term so I probably should start getting some revision done!

One thing that does have to be mentioned (although it’s nothing to do with journalism), is the BANE OF MY LIFE this week which has been trains!! Getting the train to and from college or work everyday is proving to be more stressful as the weeks go by. I don’t mind walking to the station, even if it’s raining, I don’t mind the journey, I don’t mind the two minute walk to college in Brighton. What I DO mind is constantly DELAYED TRAINS! My use of capitals hopefully shows how annoying this has been this week. Although you can get compensation for delayed trains, this is only if they are 30 minutes late or more. That means, even if a train is really annoyingly 25 minutes late you have nothing to do but sit and wait and be angry. I plan my journey to get a train that leaves me with enough time to walk down to college and be there on time, but nearly every day this week I have been faced with delays every time I walk onto the platform… hence this morning:

Note… after this picture was taken it was delayed by another 6 minutes…

After half term I am going to Brussels! I need to research some of the MEP’s that we are having meetings with so that I can find some questions to ask them and not sit there looking like a lemon!

Time to do some law and get ready for work…


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