Tag Archives: Journalism

The unexpected impact of spending cuts

Originally uploaded by iwouldstay.

Now that last month’s spending cuts have been thoroughly digested, it’s a good time to look at the implications for media training.

The impact of the Browne Review has been looked at by the Wannabe Hacks who rightly point out that there may be more demand for fast track NCTJ courses as students opt for traditional subjects along with more cost effective vocational training.

However, I believe that even if this shift happens, the academic route into journalism will remain strong particularly at post graduate level, despite fee increases at undergraduate level. And ironically, I believe it will be the public sector spending cuts that boost the numbers of Journalism MA Programmes and other professional post-graduate courses.

It has been predicted that the public sector in the UK will shed around one million jobs over the next few years. Few of these people will be able to find new jobs in the public sector, leaving them with the option of finding work in the private sector, starting their own business or retraining. Continue reading

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This Gun’s for Hire – the joys and pitfalls of freelancing

Uploaded by Nadaone2.

It’s a fortnight since I learned that my future in journalism would not involve a monthly pay cheque and the coziness of a contract.

So far, it’s not been as scary as I thought. In my first week I had two shifts. In the second week that doubled and regrettably I have had to turn down shifts because of clashes.

This is certainly a good start and the fact I will earn at least enough to replace my staff earnings relieves some of my initial anxiety about freelancing. However, the challenge will be to match this next month – October’s spending review has been good for me in the sense that it has provided me with more work (probably only in the short term though).

In the past few weeks I have learned a lot about freelancing and a few things about myself: Continue reading

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A sudden turn in the road

Originally uploaded by Aztec West.

A few weeks ago I wrote a guest post for Wannabe Hacks about my work on New Start magazine and my background in the trade press.

Well, little did I know it at the time, but my stint at New Start (and possibly in the trade sector) was coming to an end. Over the weekend, I learned that the company that publishes New Start was winding up with the October issue the last one. As a result, along with a handful of other staff members, I am out of a job.

The reason for New Start’s demise as a print title and its future as an online service for Manchester-based think tank Cles is set out in this article. Essentially, it is linked to the spending cuts which have had an impact on some of the company’s more lucrative activities. Continue reading

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Best of both worlds

UCB, Berkeley, school of journalism

Originally uploaded by bobcrazybear.

Last week’s A-level results signalled the start of the annual clamour for university places. But the shortage of university places this year and the growing burden of debt on students has led some to question whether it is worth going to university at all.

One area that has been singled out for particular criticism is vocational courses, which includes journalism. As I said in my last post, I did not do a journalism post-graduate qualification. I did not do a journalism degree either.

While I am pleased I opted for a more academic BA programme (Modern History and Politics), I can see three advantages of a journalism degree: Continue reading

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Social democracy

It’s now more than six weeks after a landmark election in modern British Politics. It resulted in the first coalition government for almost 70 years – something scarcely imagined a few months ago.

It was also tipped to be the first social media election. As the dust settled following the election and its aftermath, I attended the Value of Journalism Event organised by the BBC College of Journalism, where I heard a panel of journalists, politicians, pollsters and political activists debate the digital election.

Here are some observations from the event and my reflections on political parties and journalists’ use of social media during the election: Continue reading

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Future or Bust!

Uploaded by Vermin Inc.

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about the future. Although to be fair, I haven’t done much of the thinking myself – there are many people better placed than me to do that. For me, it’s been more of an exercise of observing and listening.

The two areas that have been the focus of this recent bout of crystal ball gazing are news and regeneration. In December and January I attended the Future of News group, a monthly discussion about where the news industry in this country is heading.

Continue reading

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The Quay Ingredient

Uploaded by Peter-snottycat.

This week, the BBC started the recruitment process for the departments moving up to Salford.

This is something that many northern media folk are excited about. For so long people working in this industry (including yours truly) have had to move to London to fulfil their ambitions.

The BBC’s Media City development will hopefully encourage other media employers to cluster around the quays area and create something similar to London’s silicon roundabout. But it’s not just about jobs. Continue reading

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Stop, collaborate and listen…

Alex Wood of the Berlin Project

Originally uploaded by berlinproject.

Last week I blogged about the launch of a journalism cooperative by the team behind The Berlin Project. There’s been a lot of talk about new business models for journalism, but the idea of cooperatives has barely been mentioned. So it’s refreshing to see someone breaking new ground in that respect.

Another model deserving more attention is social enterprise. At News:Rewired earlier this month, Philip John, one of the brains behind hyperlocal site The Lichfield Blog, outlined his plans to turn it into a social enterprise. In an excellent post on the JournalLocal site, John suggests that to save journalism, local media could go down the social enterprise route and fund its work through grants and subsidies.

Continue reading

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New Toys

Originally uploaded by Immagina.

I love getting something shiny and new to play with. I’d been looking to replace my dictaphone (wasn’t bad for recording, but playing back on a PC was a little fiddly), but I wanted to get something for doing more professional sounding recordings.

I’ve recently started a blog about my local area and would like to record some podcasts. So after toying with the idea of getting a Zoom recorder or a Kodak Flip Killer Zi8 (actually a video camera) I went for this bad boy.

The Tascam DR-07 is an entry level digital stereo recorder. It has more settings than I am used to so it takes a bit of fiddling around to get the right sound. My first attempt to record was spoiled by picking too high a recording level (and also by a coughing fit in the middle) but I put a useable bit on Audioboo to check out the results. Continue reading

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And boo to you too

News:Rewired at City University January 2010

Drawnalism's take on news:rewired

It’s always a tough call to decide which break out session to go to at conferences and yesterday’s News:Rewired was no exception. The event, organised by the website Journalism.co.uk, offered a glimpse of how the media is changing and which news models could prosper in the future.

The morning session included break-outs on Multimedia, Social Media and Search Engine Optimisation. I opted for the first one. The speakers included Steve Phillips, a traffic and travel correspondent at BBC London, who outlined how social media applications have aided his in this work.

BBC London Travel uses Twitter for both information gathering and sharing. They invite people to tweet them from their phones with stories of travel chaos whilst they are out and about. They use that infomation on radio, television and online. And of course, they also have their own Twitter feed to update the Twitterati. Continue reading

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