Do you think you could make a story go viral? Are you great at using social media? Do you have a knack for chatting to people and finding simple ways to explain complicated information? A career as a journalist could be for you.
Journalists hunt down interesting stories from all sorts of places and bring them to people using their story-telling skills. They work across social media, online publications, radio and TV.
You don’t need to go to university to become a journalist. You can do an apprenticeship instead. In this guide we’ll look at what journalism apprenticeships are, what they involve and what skills you need to get started.
What are journalism apprenticeships?
An apprenticeship is a programme that lets you work, study and earn at the same time. You have an employer and you also go to college to work towards a qualification. You take home a salary too, and you can usually apply straight from school. It’s one of many alternatives to university. Learn all about apprenticeships.
'Do you think you could make a story go viral? Are you great at using social media? A journalism apprenticeship could be for you'
Journalism apprenticeships and sports journalism apprenticeships:
- Are available at the advanced level.
- Last for around 18 months.
- Pay a salary.
- Give you a qualification that’s recognised across the industry.
What will I learn?
Apprenticeships in journalism will give you the skills needed for a modern newsroom. Depending on the exact nature of your apprenticeship and your employer, you’ll learn how to produce news and information for TV, radio, print and online publications.
You will learn how to:
- Identify what makes a story.
- Carry out research and interviews.
- Develop your contacts.
- Write and create news stories that are accurate, fair and balanced.
- Work according to codes of ethics.
- Write to a very high standard of English.
- Meet tight deadlines.
- Understand web analytics.
- Make use of ‘user-generated content’ (that’s information that comes from your readers and the general public).
- Gather, use and present data.
- Understand how laws affect journalism.
- Write and transcribe shorthand at 100 words per minute (only for print apprentices).
- Write headlines.
- Take good quality photos.
- Report from different settings.
- Interview people for broadcast (only on broadcast journalism apprenticeships).
- Find material for TV (again only on broadcast journalism apprenticeships).
- Operate simple radio and TV equipment.
What qualifications will I get?
Apprenticeships in journalism and sports journalism apprenticeships let you study towards the NCTJ level 3 diploma in Journalism. That’s a key qualification which is recognised across the industry. During the last six weeks of your programme, you’ll complete a work-based project.
Many apprenticeships will offer a full-time job after the apprenticeship.
Hear from journalism apprentices at the BBC:
What skills do I need for this apprenticeship?
You won’t need much experience or prior knowledge to apply for an apprenticeship, that’s the great thing about them! But employers are on the look-out for some key personal characteristics and qualities, like these…
- Curious and inquiring.
- Interest in news and current affairs.
- Persistent and determined.
- Adaptable, willing to be flexible (read this to learn about adaptability skills).
- Professional attitude, conscientious.
- Resilience and enthusiastic.
- Great team-working skills.
- Some knowledge of social media.
- Willingness to learn.
- Great communication skills.
- Creativity skills.
Can I apply?
The entry requirements vary depending on the exact apprenticeship. Usually you’ll need give GCSEs at 9-4, including English and maths.
Search for apprenticeships right here on Success at School.
Main image via Freepik