Monday, 30 January 2012

Why Journalism Tips

Journalismtips - or more precisely @journalismtips - started life as a Twitter feed in spring last year. It has been picked up (and dropped) by a few journalism students but many who have read them have said how much they enjoyed them and how useful they have been.

So here's the blog….

It seems journalism has never been more popular - well let me rephrase that - journalism courses have never been more popular; journalists have never been more despised. Well, at least since the last general moral outcry (it is an occupational hazard).

Anyway despite finding ourselves ranking somewhere between kitten killers and, say, CEO of the RBS (a joke which will inevitably fade into obscurity in the next few months - unlike the £1m bonus) (a joke which is now already out of date since Stephen Hester gave up his bonus last night) journalism (courses) is booming…

What a pity then that there aren't hundreds - perhaps even thousands - of jobs to accommodate all these fresh faced things leaving college, NCTJ certificates in hand all ready to work for the ummm - Guardian.

So the point of this blog is to help people maximise their chances in newspaper journalism, it may help for television and online as well but it is principally about UK printed media. 

And it is very much from one person's perspective - mine. Not that I am professing to be a great journalist. In fact I would go as far as to say far from it.

But the ideas and concepts are so basic they are a start for anyone interested in setting out on a journalism career. All the complicated stuff, the wonderful turn of phrase, incisive original thought, a brilliant network of contacts - all that stuff which makes a truly great journalist isn't to be found here.

These are just a few pointers - well 297 at the last count - that might, just might, help you rise above all the others.

It is not a quick fix or easy guide….if you want easy have parents who are already in the newspaper industry. This is the hard way. Over the next few weeks and months (between sleep and going to the gym) I plan to put up journalismtips with examples and so on of what I mean.

Many (but not all) will be from my own cuttings and taken from nearly 20 years of personal experience only because they are easier to find...


  1. I've commented to get the ball rolling for you.

    You can comment back if you want and tell me whether 'get the ball rolling' is too much of a cliche.

    I always think Evelyn Waugh had it right on cliches: you should not just avoid cliches, but avoid those phrases where you can feel that a cliche is being avoided.

    So it would have been just as crap - maybe even worse? - if I'd said - get the spherical object rolling for you... although that does have a certain bizarre ring to it.

  2. Good start. As Waugh once said: "I'll watch this blog with interest". Paul, not Evelyn.