Journalism is a massively competitive industry and with an increasing level of technology and new media- there is more platforms and more people (citizen journalists) to report this news than there ever has before (Twitter, blogs, internet radio etc), so you will need to be truly determined, persistent and talented to ever get a break in this industry.
This is where an apprenticeship could really help with getting your foot in the door!
A number of newspaper and magazine publishers, as well as some broadcast services participate in this scheme with their local Training & Enterprise Councils (TECs), so you will need to find out which publications encourage an apprenticeship in journalism.
A typical apprenticeship in this field could include tasks such as shadowing reporters, researching stories online, collecting interviews with the public (vox poxs), editing material and ringing emergency services press rooms to check if any major stories have broken in the local area.
Who is a Journalism apprenticeship for?
There is not a lot of money to be made in journalism at starter level, so you must be prepared to do the job for the love of it, rather than for the money.
- You really need to have a keen interest in all current affairs and you must keep up to date in news across a number of issues- from politics to sport.
- You need to be confident but communicate well with people and have a high standard of writing.
- Good spelling and grammar are both essential skills that editors are looking for when hiring journalists and you need a good nose to spot a story.
Some interviews won't scream out an obvious story to most, but to a good journalist, the story will smack them straight between the eyes! Also ,being able to make a good cup of tea will prove to be a vital skill for apprentices, when working in a newsroom.
What do I get after a Journalism Apprenticeship?
This apprenticeship enables employees of participating companies to undertake relevant training leading to an NVQ level 4 in Newspaper Journalism: Writing, News & Features or Press Photography.
Throughout the apprenticeship you will learn; how to structure stories, how they are discovered, finding a good angle to a story and how a newsroom operates. However, the more you ask, the more you will learn!
A starting salary in journalism can start anywhere from £10k-£16k. And jobs after the apprenticeship can see you find work on local newspapers or radio stations; or work in other writing or broadcasting environments such as PR companies.
Another route to consider are fast-track journalism courses. As long as you check to see that they are NCTJ accredited (to ensure that the resulting diploma will be respected by possible employers, such as newspapers or news websites) then these can be excellent springboards to your first proper journalist job. For an example, see this excellent case study of how a young news wire journalist grabbed her first job after doing a 10 week NCTJ accredited course in Brighton.
What vacancies are there?
Check out our journalism apprenticeship vacancies section to find the right opportunity for you.