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  Getting into journalism
Sports writer

 
Shelley at work How I got into journalism
Shelley is a journalist on the Newsround website and has also worked on radio.

Click on the questions below to jump straight to the bit you're interested in, or scroll downwards to read the lot.

1. What subjects did you like at school?
2. When did you decide to be a journalist?
3. What GCSEs did you do?
4. What did you do after GCSEs?
5. How did you pick your degree course?
6. How did you get your first job?
7. What other jobs have you done?
8. Advice for getting into journalism


What do you enjoy about journalism?
It's a great buzz; I like knowing stuff and then being able to pass it on to the audience. I really enjoyed that on radio and at Newsround I really like making stuff enjoyable and understandable for kids. It's really good when a big story breaks and it's all hands on deck, seeing how fast you can get the information out there.

What subjects did you like at school?
I only liked English and art, that was it. I hated everything else - I really did. History Geography sciences - I hated them all. But I loved English.

What were your hobbies?
I did hospital radio and I spent the rest of my time going to see bands. I was heavily into music.

Did you do any writing apart from school stuff?
I was trying to get into radio so I didn't write a lot. I got my experience in hospital radio and then got work experience at the local BBC station and the local commercial station. That's where I started writing for news bulletins.

When did you first think that you wanted to work in the media?
When I was about 10, I'm not sure why but mainly I was really into radio and loved listening to it. I wanted to be one of the news broadcasters and I found out that to get into radio news you had to be a journalist. My dad wanted me to be a lawyer.

Which GCSEs did you do?
English language and literature, French, Maths, Physics (grade U), Geog, RE, Latin and Art.

What did you do after GCSEs?
I did A levels in English language, economics, art and general studies

How did you choose your degree course?
I wanted to be a journalist by then, so I picked the media courses that were around - I applied and went to do media and cultural studies in Liverpool. But I don't think I got very good careers advice because I now know that you don't have to do a media degree to get into the media. Languages, business and law are also good.

What did you do after your degree course?
I did a nine month postgraduate diploma in broadcast journalism at a college in Cornwall.

What was your first job, and how did you get it?
I worked as a broadcast journalist on Red Rose Radio in Lancashire. I was doing some freelance work during the course and the editor I worked for told me that the editor of Red Rose was looking for a journalist, so it was an example of how important networking is.

What other jobs have you had?
I have been a researcher on the Guinness Book of Records and I also worked at BBC local radio stations and commercial stations. I freelanced for a news service that puts bulletins on mobile phones. Now I work for the Newsround website.

What's the worst bit of working in journalism
The worst bit about this work is the hours. It's shift-work, and that's never likely to change.

What's your advice to young people who want to get into the media?
You have to be very keen and very confident because of all the competition. Get as much experience as you can for your CV by working in the areas that you are interested in.

If you are not going to go to college then you have to get loads of experience. It's harder to work your way up but I know plenty of people who have done it. It's another route.


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   back next   
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