Concordia Winter 2023

graphics I charted the NHS winter crisis daily, on business my 22-year-old self could interview chief executives on most days of the week, and on social media I pressed the button to release posts to millions of online followers. It is a trope, and one that used to put me off journalism, that the profession is dying – nobody buys newspapers any more, Gen Z don’t even bother visiting websites as they sit glued to TikTok. There’s an element of truth in all that, but it certainly doesn’t feel like a dying trade. I’ve never been anywhere more vibrant than a newsroom, and I’ve been in a Fourth Form class on the last day of the summer term. Newspapers often feel like the front line of journalism. Radio and television producers read the morning papers to decide what goes on the bulletins; CEOs and ministers read The Times every day. Journalists at newspapers now know that they’re working for a website that also has a physical paper, not the other way round. The business model of subscriptions has put quality publications in rude financial health – and fundamentally, there is always a market for decent news and analysis. It’s great value: if you’re about to go to university, you can sign up for The Times for just £9.99 a year. The best advice I had was that you can always be a journalist. You don’t need to wait to get work experience, shifts, or fret that you don’t know anyone ‘in’. Find your own stories now, something “marmalade dropping” as we call it, about your local area, university, hospital, and

email it to individual journalists. If it catches their eye, you’ve done the most valuable thing you can do for a future employer by taking the initiative. I’d like to bust some other myths too. The journalists I’ve met are absolutely lovely people. It’s a vocation not a job, granted, and the environment of breaking news is exhilarating but intense. But from my own and my friends’ experiences, there’s not a newsroom in the country where the editors aren’t warm, friendly and welcoming to new recruits. And when several of us junior reporters end up in the same place – in the High Court eyeing up a fraudster, or out at the site of a murder halfway across the country – they get along and help each other out. It’s a job where you can really feel you’ve made a difference. Seasoned colleagues of mine have had countless laws passed, criminals arrested and lives saved, as a direct consequence of their work. Authors of books speak of the power to make their readers laugh and cry through their words. Journalists have the privilege to do that every day.


Made with FlippingBook Online newsletter creator