General Journalism / Lessons learned / Uncategorized

3 unexpected parts of the job

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This isn’t to say they are parts on the job that I don’t like, but those that I didn’t expect. I was quite aware when I first start applying for jobs in journalism after studying, that writing wasn’t going to be the sole focus. Writing is included, of course, but so are a lot of other things. Here are the three that stand out the most…

High-res images

Have I written a post on this before? If not I feel like I should have, because high-resolution images are sometimes – to put it bluntly – the bane of my life. Articles, features, news stories, and anything in a magazine ALWAYS look better with images. Visuals catch the eye and make the copy stand out, tell you more about what the article is about and just well, it looks nice. Working on a print magazine, getting these images is always a lot harder. You can’t just download them from the internet because they aren’t big enough and will look blurry on print. Asking people to send you high-resolution images can sometimes be such a hassle, and half the time, they might not have one anyway! And then printing the article without the image just isn’t good enough… and so the battle goes on.

Relying on reader content

A large part of my full-time job is sourcing stories and content from schools to tell us about their events for ‘tried-and-tested methods’. This always adds weight to the article. If we’re doing a feature on dad-friendly events, then simply writing about ideas is never as good as showing our readers how people have done it themselves and been successful! So we would balance our own writing, with case studies from PTAs who have successfully run dad-friendly events, and it works! But if no one gets back to me, that’s when it starts to go down the pan. If we’re writing a feature on Christmas fairs that are small, or ones that go all out, we need to try and find case studies from schools who have done just that. And if we don’t have any fundraising stories to fill our fundraising feature then, well, we can’t run that feature. Our readers help make the magazine so THANK YOU to them, but it’s my job to find it!

Interest in design

I completed a design module along with the production module on my NCTJ, and it was very slow. We had one hour a week, with a teacher that didn’t really look like he liked teaching, and lots of handouts to read. It wasn’t practical and I didn’t learn much, but I did like doing it. It’s really satisfying to send copy over on a Word document to the designer, and have it back designed onto a layout with visuals and all fancy stuff! I use InDesign whilst subbing pages, and just by doing this I’m starting to learn it properly (out of a classroom!). It’s definitely something I’d be interested in learning more about in the future, after all, a feature is nothing on a word document…

 

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