In Career in Journalism, Top Story
Worthing Herald

Jennifer Logan

Aspiring journalists start their NCTJ diploma courses at Brighton Journalist Works with a dream, the dream of a job as a working journalist.

During the last ten years graduates have gone on to work in the regional press, for national newspapers, magazines and business titles and in financial journalism.

It makes tutors smile when they see a former student’s byline when they click on a story from Huffington Post, The Independent or The Sun.

Now our July 2106 graduates are passing on their good news, as they start their first jobs.

Jennifer Logan applied for a job at Sussex Newspapers before impressing the editorial team during her work experience placement at the Worthing Herald.

She said: “I came in on my first day with a page of news story ideas.

“I went through these with the content editor, Katherine Hollisey-McLean, and we decided on what I should start working on.

“I got the go-ahead for quite a few and think she was impressed.”

Tenacity and working on her own stories, as well as tasks handed out by the content editor, proved Jennifer had the skills for the job.

The Vamps lead vocalist Brad Simpson and Worthing girl Isobel Mills. Photo: Channel 4

The Vamps lead vocalist Brad Simpson and Worthing girl Isobel Mills. Photo: Channel 4

She said: “Every day I came in with a new idea. I was working on around four or five a day.

“I was also passed on stories Katherine wanted me to work on – including two men who planned to swim the English Channel. I managed to arrange a face-to-face interview with one of them, which I chose to do off my own back.

“Another story I enjoyed writing was about a Worthing woman who was dating a UK pop star and had appeared on Celebrity First Dates with him.

“I met up with her face-to-face and got an exclusive interview.”

The thrill of a work placement and doing the job proved Jennifer has picked the right career.

She said: “I got a real buzz from the placement as every day I was working on my own ideas, sourcing news, working on articles throughout the day, leaving the office for interviews and then seeing my name in by line online and in print.

“I knew the hard work was all worth it and so rewarding.

“There was no one there to direct me or tell me what to do. It was all down to me on the placement.

“I discovered I was capable of the job and could really establish myself as a reporter.

“I had finally found a job where all my work and studies to date would mean something and I was finally doing something I loved. ”

Jennifer has some great tips for people on work experience placements.

“Go in on your first day with tonnes of ideas as this will impress the newsdesk,” she said.

“Pick up the phone – don’t be nervous!

“This is quite daunting at first as you don’t know anyone and no one has told you to start using the phone, but you can’t work on an article without any interviews, can you?

“Try to get out and about to complete interviews face-to-face rather than just sit in the office all day on email and on the phone.

“Make sure you tell the editors you are popping out though. Be ready to go to court or any council meetings, so dress smartly every day.”

The Worthing Herald offices Picture by The Voice of Hassocks, licenced by Creative Commons

The Worthing Herald offices
Picture by The Voice of Hassocks, licenced by Creative Commons

Before her job interview, Jennifer researched Johnston Press its publications and social media presence.

She said: “I managed to demonstrate research in the interview and suggested some improvements that could be made to the editors.

“I think they were impressed with this and could see I understood an online and digital presence.

A useful tip for trainee journalists is to revise ethics and law before a job interview.

“I was hit with a load of scary questions that were hard,”she added.

“Oh – and be prepared for intense role play or scenarios. I was faced with both.”

Jennifer Logan completed her NCTJ diploma on the year-long part-time evening and weekend course.

 

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