How to become a Journalist

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I want to be a journalist. I’ve wanted to be a journalist for quite a long while. My desire to be a journalist gave birth to this blog almost three years ago. My next step in this journalism journey is going to university to study it, later this year. Wooooo!

Over the past couple years, I have been advised and I have researched intensively how to improve myself to ensure I am ready to become a journo.  I am by no means an expert in this field yet obviously, but I have a few tips that hopefully will steer you to the right direction, especially if you want to be a presenter, journalist, reporter or writer.

  1. First of all, you need to love reading and writing. As obvious as this sounds, you would be surprised how many people want a career in Journalism, but groan when asked about books or panic when asked to write a short story. Mate, you need to love reading and writing.
  2. Secondly, you need work experience or work placements. This needs to be done as humanly possible. Seriously, start now. It doesn’t even matter if you haven’t finished high school yet – get work experience. Now, I mean no disrespect when I say this but when I say work experience, I am not referring to working in a primary school or a retail outlet. What I mean is in the media industry – intern in your local newspaper, magazine or radio station. Or all three. Anything and everything is valuable experience. Here are a few good sites to begin your search for placements, work experience, internships and apprenticeships: https://gothinkbig.co.uk/, http://www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/, http://www.bauermedia.co.uk/ and https://www.gov.uk/browse/working/finding-job.
  3. Thirdly, get yourself online. Nowadays, everything is online and we (as young journalists) need to use this to our advantage. All these media outlets and institutions are now increasingly using social media and online services. The online world is constantly expanding and evolving, rapidly – do not allow it to leave you behind! You (as a young journalist) need a twitter account. It is necessary to find out about news and opinions on news stories, literally as they are happening all over the globe. Keeping up with current affairs is everything (forget Keeping Up with the Kardashians) in this profession. Make sure you follow broadsheet and tabloid newspapers, radio shows and media cooperation (follow me while you’re at it: PaulaPaceSetter) such as; The Guardian, Daily Mail, The Telegraph, The Independent, Sky News, BBC News, Radio 1 etc. You cannot be a journalist if you aren’t interested in the world around you. You cannot live in a social bubble.
  4. Start researching universities from now. This one may be a little early or a little late depending on how old you are, but generally this is an important step in the whole journey. Find a course that balances all media platforms, especially online journalism which is an emerging mode. Also, make sure you find a course that is taught by established and practising journalist, that way they aren’t teaching out of date content.
  5. This one closely follows the previous step but is SO important it deserves it’s own number. Only go for universities that are NCTJ accredited. the National Council for the Training of Journalists has been training journalists since 1951. This course is the industry benchmark that ALL editors value and expect from their journalists. Make sure you go to a uni that offers this qualification alongside your BA or MA in Journalism because trust me when I say, it will be much harder to get a job with just a regular journalism degree. Do not waste three or four years of your life on something that doesn’t open doors to your dream job.
  6. Ensure that you can spell and write in good grammar. This seems really silly and small but honestly this is super super important. I recently completed (and passed) a 2-hour Journalism admission test at a university and honestly, I almost fell at the hurdle of the spelling and grammar part. It made me realise how much work I need to do on spelling.
  7. At any stage in the Education system when you are deciding what subjects to do, ensure you pick essay based subjects. You need to learn how to cohesively structure writing in and interesting but functional way. Here is a list of subjects I suggest from; English Language, English Literature, English Language and Literature, Sociology, Phycology, Media Studies, History, Geography, Law, Government and Politics, Philosophy and any modern foreign language.
  8. Lastly, practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Find a story in your local area, get interviews and write an article. Just write. Then ask someone to read it and get feedback. then build on that feedback and build up a portfolio of your work. This blog is kind of my version of that.

 

I hope this tips are some what helpful. If they are, I’m glad.

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa x

 

Here’s to 2015

Happy new year, my lovely readers.

It’s an amazing thing to be alive and well in another new year, if not for any other reason other than you are alive. You have life. Be grateful. And the fact that you’re reading this also means you have internet, a computer/laptop/tablet/phone and probably a chair. Another few reasons to be grateful.

I’m not a huge believer in making new year resolutions. If I want to change something, I’ll change it. Whether it is the 1st of January, 31st of December or 26th of March. But, I have been considering where I want to take this blog in this new year. It’s crazy because, as of this date (1/1/2015) it has been exactly two and a half years since I started this blog. And as I came up to my third year, I want to see some significant progress, in terms of content, quality, views and feedback.

Recently, someone encouraged me greatly concerning this blog. She said that I might not even realise the people I’m reaching, blessing and entertaining by this small site that I write on from time to time. And that’s the truth, I just don’t know. And that is a driving force of doing this blog – PaulaPaceSetter.

In 2014, I bought a domain name and that, to me, was a huge step in me taking this blogging and writing thing seriously, because I do genuinely love it.

So, here’s to 2015. Here’s to more and more great, funny, informative, uplifting content. Things that I would be proud to post and be proud for people to read. Here’s to more and more media opportunities.

Let’s make 2014 jealous of 2015. God bless you all. Have a prosperous year, loves. Be positive.

 

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xo

You Know I Like You

You know I like you if I give you my undivided attention. You know I like you if I ignore you.

You know I like you when I am always nice to you. You know I like you when I constantly tease you.

You know I like you when I laugh at your jokes. You know I like you when I dead out your jokes and tell you that you’re not funny.

You know I like you when I smile at you. You know I like you when I frown at you.

You know I like you when I’m always positive around you. You know I like you when I always complain about things around you.

You know I like you when I talk a lot around you. You know I like you when I’m really quiet around you.

You know I like you when I remember every little fact about you. You know I like you when I literally forget you name.

You know I like you when I complement you. You know I like you when I don’t comment on your new haircut when I probably noticed.

You know I like you when I have cyber stalked and professionally preed every social media account you own. You know I like you when I don’t like any of your pictures on Instagram or retweet any of your tweets on twitter.

You know I like you when I know what subject you have at what period. You know I like you when I ask what subjects you do when you told me just yesterday.

 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that, you probably wouldn’t know if I liked you. Only I would know. But I probably like you. I like everyone. 

 

 

Thank for reading. I was having a really girlish moment earlier this week, and felt like sharing a snapshot of my daily thought process. I’m not saying every girl is like this, I’m just saying I am.

Peace&Love.

Paula ox’

FRIENDSHIP

A friend (within or outside marriage) is that person who will still hold your hands when you are in error.

A friend is the person who may be unable to solve your problem but can give you a shoulder to lean on.

A friend is the person who can listen to you even when you are not making sense.

A friend is the person you are not afraid of sharing your struggles with.

A friend is the person who can still call you ‘my friend’ when you do not deserve it.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do the things which I command you. No longer do I call you servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I heard from my Father, I have made known unto you. Ye did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that ye should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should abide: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. (‭John‬ ‭15‬:‭13-16‬ ASV)

 

Peace&Love.

Paula ox’

WHO IS YOUR SHARPENER?

“Iron sharpens iron; so a friend sharpens a friend.” (Prov. 27:17, NLT)
The people you keep around you will determine how effective you would become in life. You would either move faster or slowly due to their push or pull. You can never be drastically different from your friends. You are just like them, in their belief system, the way they think and talk, and what they prioritize. Therefore, be mindful and carefully who you allow into your life. A Judas may betray you and an Absalom may try to overthrow you. A King Saul may want to take away your life before you get to your throne and a Delilah may want to seduce you, deceive you and take away your strength and render you powerless. For your life to reach where God has destined it to be, you must filter your contacts. Not everyone around you can help you get to your destination. Some may be destroyers and others may be detractors. Beware! Just like iron sharpens irons, move with people who can bring the best out of you.

How to make an impact – 4 simple steps

Have you ever asked yourself, ‘how do I make an impact?’ In this kind of world, it gets harder to truly be the person God made you and wants you to be.

1) Make an impact through the type of lifestyle you live
People are watching you… Us. Everyone is looking for that guidance, that ‘something’ and therefore we must be that ‘something’ in their lives, shown through our lives.Be a comforting voice or reason in peoples lives, a voice that reassures everyone. Let people know you as a positive person, a person know for uplifting words and actions, not words and actions that pull others down.

2) Make an impact through your giving.
This one is a little touchy because I know most of you lot were literally like, “Oh! Heck no! My money is my money!”, but giving don’t always mean money. It can mean giving your time, your emotions, your service, your resources or your knowledge. If someone is in need, and you are capable of helping them, help them. It’s not everyday sit and wait until they come to you begging on their needs; some days just help wholeheartedly. It is literally the little things that people will notice are different in your life. You’re in McDonald’s for lunch with a friend. You’ve already ordered and paid for your lunch. Your friend assumes he/she has more money than she actually does and can’t afford the medium diet coke with the meal. If you have that extra pound, give it to the friend. That is making an impact with your giving. Lastly, don’t be that person who keeps a record of your givings. “I gave you 33p on the 6th of June 2005, it was a Monday, and it was snowing. You was wearing a blue top, I was wearing a red.” That’s just ridiculous. Give wholeheartedly. Again, give wholeheartedly.

3) Make an impact through your speaking
Prayer is communicating with God; it is just talking. It may look like you’re speaking to yourself, but you’re not. God is listening.
You can make an impact by praying over your life and the lives of your friends, family and peers. Quick story; once, a good friend of mine was heading down the wrong path, and it was really worrying me. I didn’t feel like I could talk to her about it because she had the mindset that everyone was judging her, and that everyone, including me, was against her. In fact, it is the exact opposite. I wanted what was best for her. So I tweeted out, “What do you do when your friend is going down the wrong route?” and someone replied and said, “all you can do is pray for them.” Long story short; they are back to where they are supposed to be, thanks to the prayers of myself and her friends, family and church. If you care about someone, pray for them.
2 Chronicles 7:15
15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.

4) Make an impact through knowledge and passing on knowledge

The Bible is referred to as ‘The word of God’. Technically, people wrote it, but it was under the interpretation given to them by God. I don’t know how some people expect God to pick up a heavenly pen and heavenly paper and wrote down stuff. God is a spirit and not of this earthly world. Therefore, he must use physical people to physically write down his words. When you hear or read the things written down in the Bible, your faith grows. Faith is your belief, your belief in life, your belief in God and your belief in yourself. Think about it like this, if someone verbally abused a child from a young age over a long period of time, that person will grow into a young adult and believe all the abuse the have heard over time. The Bible works in a similar way, except it is positive, reassuring words that helps you build a confidence which pulls you through troubles and problems in life. The Bible’s definition of faith is found at Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Furthermore, Romans 10:17 (Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.) establishes that hearing the word of God is a priority. As well as hearing the word, you need to be able to share the word with other people. This encourages people who have low levels of faith and belief, in their selves or in life, due to what they have gone through in the past.

These four simple steps work when used all together in a persons life.
These steps are an adaptation from a message heard in church, so not all my own work.
Peace&Love.
Paula ox’