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Posted By: paulajw
Posted On: April 15, 2014

Nick

The NCTJ got me a job at an accounting firm by former BJW student Nick Chowdrey.

You wouldn’t really expect there to be a job for a trained journalist at an accountancy firm, would you? In reality, producing compelling online content has become a great way to promote any business and, as a result, more and more companies need to employ well-trained writers.

As a BJW graduate myself, I work for Crunch – an online accounting firm in Hove – who have currently altered their content strategy with a view to getting on Google News. When I applied for the job I was told that I’d need to demonstrate excellent news writing skills, as I’d have to write one news piece a day to a tight deadline. It therefore came in very handy to have a whole portfolio of well-written, published work to show my boss-to-be at the interview.

This should be reassuring for NCTJ students, because it shows that the skills you learn on your course will still be valuable, even if you don’t see yourself going down the traditional route into journalism.

Here’s why getting on Google News so important. In the wild west of information that is the internet, Google is the Lone Ranger, constantly patrolling the wastelands of spam to find content that might actually be worth reading. Any company in the business of producing online content knows that the key to success is getting in Google’s good books. News is no exception.

Google launched its full news service, Google News, in January 2006. Aggregating content from over 25,000 publishers worldwide, the service uses Google’s algorithms to search for and promote the top news stories of the moment. Users can customise what topics and publications they’d prefer to see and can order stories using various filters.

Getting listed on Google News is not easy. They have extremely strict standards and a publication can only register for consideration once every six months. Google then use its web crawlers to scan your site and determine the journalistic integrity, authority, accountability and readability of your content.

The rewards for getting listed, though, are substantial. Not only will a listed site benefit from the huge amount of traffic that goes through Google News, the added authority that a site gets from being listed means that more sites will start linking to your articles, which bumps you up the Google search rankings.

As a result, many businesses have started publishing news content in the hope of being accepted into this lucrative club. This is great news for journalism students, because Google will only list publications which demonstrate a professional standard of journalism, meaning that that skills learnt on he NCTJ are becoming more and more in demand.

For graduates, not only will this open up writing jobs in all sorts of areas, the NCTJ diploma should give you the edge over other non-qualified and inexperienced news writers.

Nick Chowdrey