Getting a job in the new media industry requires a different set of skills to traditional media jobs. Three online media gurus working in the industry shared their advice for young journalists aspiring to a career in digital media last week.
‘‘You need to really think about who your audience are and be clever in how you present your stories,” she said. “We have to build up trust with the community.”
Especially if you want to succeed with your own business, you must have a combination of journalistic and business skills, she pressed.
There’s a lot to think about. “For example, you need to consider your five-year plan, set up a company and have insurance,” she said.
Ms Jewell thinks there is still a place for local journalism in the digital age.
“What [Brixton Blog has] shown me is that local journalism isn’t dead,” she said. “It’s just the models used at the moment are not working.
“The best recruits who come to me are like, ‘Do you need me to work until 4am? Sure I’ll do that,’” she said.
“I look for people who are into social media. People who are switched on and interested. People who have an eye for design who can hold a lot of different styles in their head. People who are really into nit-picking – the really anal ones.”
She cautioned, however, that if reporting is your ambition a subbing job may disappoint you.
“[Some newcomers] get very frustrated two months in when they realise it’s a production job,” she said. “If you really want to be a reporter it’s not the job for you.”
“It was a really interesting grounding,” he said. “If you can get by in that environment you will get on anywhere.”
He said getting a job at Buzzfeed requires different skills to those needed for jobs in traditional media outlets.
“The point of Buzzfeed is to create stuff that people enjoy and are going to share,” he said. “It’s not a newspaper. It’s not a magazine. It’s not a television company. It’s not trying to be any of those things.
He also urged students not to be afraid of freelance work.
“Going freelance was really good and don’t be scared of it,” he said. “It can be the making of you and I really recommend it. It turned out that I got work almost straight away.”
He added that you should not be too fussy about your first job in the industry.
“Most of the journalists I know who have done fairly well have taken some risks in their career and taken some less glamorous jobs to get to where they want to be.”
Any tips for different skills and advice for those wishing to pursue a career in digital journalism? Let us know your thoughts @wannabehacks.
Michael Allen is an Newspaper Journalism MA student at City University. Follow him @Michael_K_Allen
Flickr: Sean McEntree