Tomorrow I begin my four-day NCTJ exam campaign. Beginning with newswriting, I have approximately 80 hours in which to prove myself as a journalist and sub-editor.
Without these qualifications, it will be very difficult to persuade an editor that I’m safe on the British press. And I’m acutely aware of the importance of grades – a ‘c’ in media law might be a pass, but it isn’t going to fill an editor’s heart with optimism.
More immediately though, the newswriting exam tomorrow is impossible to revise for. Negative marking means that a single spelling error can bump your (otherwise perfect) story down to a fail, and none of us are too hopeful about a perfect story anyway thanks to a lukewarm reassurance from the lecturer that we ‘might pass’.
I haven’t made a blog post in a month and I’m very sorry. Goodmorningbrighton has lost its way (and is a good example of failed directional blogging) in that it was going to be about an alien in Brighton but quickly became yet another observational journalism blog. For the next few days I’ll concentrate on my exams, but then I’ll get back to updating it regularly and with perhaps a more coherent theme, especially if I end up leaving Brighton.
The job market looks quite lean. Regular browsers of Holdthefrontpage.co.uk and Gorkana will have seen the fluctuations in job availability and job type. The course I’ve been on has equipped me with subediting skills, so I’ll be looking at subbing positions as well as the traditional trainee reporter starting posts. It’s difficult to be optimistic, but tentative e-mails to editors and HR departments have been met with sceptical warmth.
Do you have a position available for a freshly qualified hack and enthusiastic news junkie? I can sub as well as write, on Quark and Indesign. Please get in touch and I’ll send you a CV.