Back in the day when I was a journalism student I had to do two weeks’ work experience. I was lucky to get one week at my local paper, Hexham Courant and a four week placement at Johnston North East Press (who cover Sunderland Echo, Hartlepool Mail and the Shields Gazette in the region).

I felt very grateful to those papers for letting me gain work experience with them. It allowed me to get an insight into what it was like to work as a professional reporter but to also get an experience of working in a professional newsroom. Not only that but it  allowed me to develop my portfolio of published work, as I was able to get my work published on both paper and online platforms.

Gaining work experience has made me more determined to get a job in this field, and prepared me for what I thought was going to become my job. After graduation, like all other students I started to apply for jobs and I was successful in getting interviews. One thing that was stopping me from progressing to the next stages of the application process was the fact that I had little experience of being in a newsroom environment.

So I took the initiative and got myself some work experience. Recently I went to another paper in a larger city a long way from home. It was an interesting experience and I really got a taste of what life is like as a journalist. But to be honest, it put me right off wanting to work as a reporter or a journalist in any form. The staff were so rude. I didn’t get introduced to anyone so I had no idea who wrote for which section or how they got started as a journalist.

I was there for a week and for the first few days they looked after me and made sure I knew what I was doing, but by mid-week they couldn’t care less. I had nothing to do so I started finding my own stories and writing them, as when I went to confirm my stories the reporters had no time for me. I didn’t want to bother them so much but when I did it was necessary, but the reporters didn’t want to know.

On the last day I was completely ignored so do you know what I did? I walked out of the office and didn’t go back.

I was so passionate and interested in the industry. I was keen to learn and clearly the newsroom were keen to have me out. I would have thought that professional reporters would want to inspire the next generation of writers but sadly not. I felt completely unwanted there and it has put me off journalism for life now, so much so that I am going to go into PR and Marketing to see what another aspect of the media world is like.


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