The Realities of Being a Journo

Saturday 26 September 2015

Hello lovelies!

I'm a very lucky girl. I'm at my dream university, studying my dream degree. It's something I've wanted to do since I was 11 years old and I've worked really hard to get to this point.

When I tell people that I'm studying Journalism, it's usually met with one of three responses; "Oooh, will I be seeing you on the telly soon, then?!" (GUYS, newspapers and the radio are still a thing, okay?!)

Or it's "well, that sounds interesting, I bet you get to do all sorts of amazing things!"

Or my personal favourite, "Is that really a proper degree?" (Yes, people do actually say this to me. And yes, it IS a proper degree!)

On Monday, I start my final year and I thought now would be a good time to do a post on what it's really like to be a Journalism student and the work we have to put in.

1. Shorthand
Most journalism courses will put emphasis on shorthand and encourage you to get a shorthand qualification. Shorthand is soul-destroying. It's literally like trying to learn another language- you have to practice a little bit every day. When you don't practice, you feel guilty for not practicing, it's like a little niggle in the back of your head all the time! Three years in, I still need to master it and with every new term I promise myself that I'll nail it this time and pass. Maybe this year- we'll see.

2. It isn't glitz and glam
No, I don't get to report on really exciting stories. I mean, every so often you get a little gem of a story, but 90% of the time, you're sat in an incredibly boring council meeting, or spending your day in the lobby of a court waiting for a delayed case to start, wondering how you're going to hit your word count. Or you're begging a local councillor to give you an interview for news-day but they're either not responding or reluctant to waste their time with a student because they have a million and one other things to do. Journalism is so heavily reliant on other people that there is no winging it, no inventing stories at the last minute.

3. We have to do a little bit of everything
This may have been a little naive, but I never would have thought that I'd have to study a bit of politics, a bit of public affairs and a bit of law. I've had to buy some ridiculously thick textbooks and wade through some long and incredibly boring topics, which I did not expect from such a vocational course!

And between all of this, there's long nights in the library, battling with editing, white-balancing and slow news days.

Despite all of that, I do love my degree. It's hard work, but still the best decision I ever made. So the next person who tries to tell me it isn't a real degree can read this post and eat their words!

Are there any harsh realities you have to go through at school/uni/work?

Sian Kathrine xo

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