Editor tells FV1 students what it takes to work in media
13 August 2012
Tower Hamlets Futureversity journalism students enjoyed an inspiring visit from the News Editor of The Docklands & East London Advertiser, Victoria Huntley, last week (10 Aug 2012) where she met with questions about what it takes to become a journalist and her views on the media industry.
Speaking to a packed room of 16-25 year olds made up of aspiring journalists and the charity's Youth Assessors, who help lead the youth charity's summer programme, Victoria said: "For anyone aspiring to be a journalist it can be daunting being told that 'it is a tough business' and that 'you aren't going to make much money' but I believe if you are driven then you can get the opportunities. What is important is that you put yourself out there and experience your community and the world. The next thing you should do is realise you can work as a journalist 'now' through blogs, twitter and making contacts with local organisations and charities like Futureversity. As long as you've got a good story to tell and the communication skills to get it across you've got every chance of succeeding."
Victoria Huntley's top tips for getting a job in journalism:
· Read the news online or buy a daily newspaper
· Create a contact book. Start building relationships
· Develop communication skills - learn to use the phone as well as email
· Be open to rejection and get feedback
· Follow your favourite writers and study their success
· Practice pitching your story ideas over the phone
· Don't be afraid to ask News Editors questions
· Start a blog and tweet to get yourself noticed - build up a profile online
· Post stories on other blogs. Charities like Futureversity have them
Futureversity student Bayar Hassan who attended this year's magazine journalism course said: "I've learnt so much from taking part in the FV1 course and I got to interview the poet, novelist and playwright Benjamin Zephaniah about dyslexia. I wasn't really taught how to use my own words and voice in my writing at school but meeting Benjamin has showed me that even with dyslexia you can inspire people with your ideas. It was a terrific opportunity to meet the local Editor and learn how it operates in East London, and hear how we can get more involved. I will definitely be calling her with my own story ideas."
As part of Futureversity's annual summer programme the charity runs the popular FV1 online youth magazine course for 16-25 year olds where students can develop their writing skills and get their work published. This year students have written about how young people are using cosmetic surgery and have interviewed Tottenham MP, David Lammy, about last year's riots and the role of Fathers.
FV1 previously known as Nang! won the prestigious Philip Lawrence Award in 2006 and went on to win The Guardian Student Magazine of the Year Award in 2007.
Notes to editors
1. Futureversity delivers award-winning free courses and activities for 11-25 year olds to help them develop the skills and self-belief they need to make the most of their lives. Piloted as a crime prevention initiative in Tower Hamlets in 1995 (as Summer University), today the charity delivers learning opportunities to thousands of young people in partnership with businesses and industry professionals. Last year (2010-2011) Futureversity courses were oversubscribed by five times. Futureversity patrons include two of its former student, music artist Dizzee Rascal and co-founder MP Rushanara Ali, plus film director Danny Boyle and Baroness Oona King
2. BBC TV Apprentice Gabrielle Omar (2012), and trained architect, will be teaching the Futureversity course 'drawing in architecture' on 21 Aug 2012
3. The Futureversity Youth Assessor Programme is an exciting project for 16-19 year olds that keeps young people at the heart everything Futureversity does. By training young people in the skills needed to go out and assess Futureversity Programmes, Youth Assessors become the charity's eyes and ears across London. They work to ensure that Futureversity continues to get better and better every year by checking that we are delivering the highest quality service to young people everywhere
4. Poet, writer and playwright Benjamin Zephaniah is a Futureversity Patron