The End Of An Era

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Today felt a little bit like the end of an era. It was my last news production skills session of my first year of studying print journalism. Woah. Where have the last seven months gone? I remember the first week when I was stood on the streets of Notingham vox popping strangers about all sorts of topics. I also remember how daunting it was and how much I wished I could escape it and just fast forward to the 'fun' parts of studying journalism. I hated it. There have been times where I've asked myself if journalism is for me, and throughout the first term and probably about half of the second term, I was a bit sceptical towards a career in journalism. I was learning all these new skills, some of which I was good at, and some of which I wasn't so good at, and I hadn't really found my feet. Journalism is a very broad degree and I think I was taken aback by the scope of the course. It isn't just a case of sitting at a computer and typing up an article, it's a whole lot more than that. And I think that's the most valuable thing I've learnt all year. It may sound like a silly comment to make, but it's true. There are so many tiny details that go into finding, writing and presenting a news story, and each individual story has to be refined until it's perfect. I'm not going to lie, I don't think I'm the best reporter. I know I've only studied journalism for seven months so I still have a lot to learn, but I much prefer writing up, subbing and the editorial side of things.

Today we had a practice news day in preparation for a lot more next year, and I was assigned the role of news editor. News days are tougher next year, but this particular one included three groups of around 20-25 students, with each group having to create three newspaper pages. At first, I wasn't entirely sure what the role of news editor entailed, but by the end of the day I had a huge smile on my face and felt very content. Don't get me wrong, certain parts were very stressful, but in general I really enjoyed myself. The day didn't drag, I didn't find myself on my phone from boredom, I didn't even have time to go out and get my own lunch! Which can only mean that I was in a little journalism bubble. I was completely wrapped up, if you like, in my role as news editor, that the day just flew by. Alex, the editor, was in charge overall, but he and I worked well together in deciding what stories were most important, making sure everyone knew what they were doing as well as playing around with the page design to create a template suitable for the stories we had. Overall, we managed to fill three pages with pretty good stuff, and I think everyone was pleased with the final product. Our team were lucky enough to have the editor of the Mansfield Chad, Tracy Powell, working alongside us offering support and guidance. She was extremely down to earth and easy to talk to which was great as it meant I could grab her when I needed a little bit of help.

I can't even explain how fast this year has gone. It always sounds a bit naff when people claim how fast their first year of university went. But it's true people - it really does come and go without you even realising, so make the most of it. Now I've completed my first year of news production, I think I've realised what my strengths and weaknesses are. I'm going to take all the feedback I've received this year and carry it through into my second year so I can try and rectify my common mistakes and produce a higher standard of work. I'm so used to getting up on a Monday morning, going into the newsroom and being set a news task that I think it'll feel a little strange now. That is until I start to relish Monday morning lay-ins and days off. Although I've still got one assignment and three exams to go until I've officially finished my first year of university, I feel like I've learnt a lot from the news production module. I have a little bit more insight into the career I may wish to pursue, and I certainly feel slightly more confident in my ability. For now, I guess I'll just keep writing...


  1. we just leaving out the fact i was the glue holding our group together then? okay cool.

  2. You would have been lost without your editor and news editor! I'll give you a mention in another post don't worry Mike