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Ed Torrance studied on the MA Journalism one year course, in partnership with the University of Sussex. From shorthand to video editing, he shares his experiences…

There is no substitute for actually getting out there and reporting as a journalism student. After three years of studying at undergraduate level and two years chained to my desk at the office, I was itching for something more practical, where I could put my writing skills to proper use.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my year at Brighton Journalist Works for this reason. There is a consistent, laser-guided focus on the tools that a working journalist needs. Writing local news is a lot like speaking a second language. Without a solid grasp of the foundations – how to set out a piece, what you can say without getting everyone sued and why the council has so many different people doing basically the same job – the most interesting parts of what you’re saying just don’t make sense.

Since starting in September, I’ve become not only a trainee journalist but also a cameraman, a newsreader, a video editor and even someone who can write passable shorthand. Being able to call on these new skills really fills me with confidence, especially in such a famously competitive field.

Our group grew quickly from anxious novices to a hard-working, tightly-knit team of colleagues. It’s been an absolute privilege to work with them over the past year and we’ve developed into good friends.

The BJW tutors have been an important part of that, cultivating a positive, relaxed atmosphere where we all feel able to ask for help when we need it. Their experience, knowledge and support have all been really valuable and I’m sure this will continue when I make my move into the industry.

Find out more about Brighton Journalist Work’s MA Journalism courses.

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