Getting ahead as a new journalist – a personal take

Earlier this year I was asked to speak to a group of students at Journalist Works, a journalism training centre based in Brighton, about how the working world of the journalist is changing.

I’m no great PowerPoint whizz, but I thought I’d share the notes (please excuse for typos) and slides I used for the talk:

Presentation slides –

Notes –


Notes from the NCTJ student council meeting – new advice needed?

All good tips for would-be journalists looking for and applying for jobs right now, but something about the advice given to journalism students at Friday’s NCTJ student council meeting struck me as decidedly lacklustre.

Telling students to make sure they spell their applications properly (they should) and to avoid addressing them to generic Sirs/Madams (they should) must be cold comfort to graduates who face an uncertain job market.

How about telling us what makes graduates stand out for them – in tangible terms? What kind of writing/digital skills/projects employers have seen that have won someone the job?

Even better – let’s hear from last year’s NCTJ graduates who’ve landed work. And let’s hear from those that are working in both ‘traditional’ journalism roles and applying their skills elsewhere.

(In fact, if any such recent graduates fancying doing a Q&A with me on here about this issue, drop me an email to laura.oliver1 [at]