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    Hi

    I would like to do MA in journalism. MY top unis are Leeds, Sheffield, Cardiff and Newcastle. The problem is i don't have any experience in journalism. I got my diploma in other field. My grades are not up there in the sky but they are not bad either. So can anyone pleaseeeeee tell me what can i expect? How difficult is it to get into journalism course offered by these Unis? Ill be 26 when applying.

    thank you
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    To be honest, you should probably be considering a post-grad in something more specified if you're looking to get into a journalism career. Something like political science, or international relations. Obviously it depends on what field of journalism you're interested in.
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    (Original post by jumpingjesusholycow)
    To be honest, you should probably be considering a post-grad in something more specified if you're looking to get into a journalism career. Something like political science, or international relations. Obviously it depends on what field of journalism you're interested in.
    I agree. Too many generalists in journalism, which is a career you don't need any kind of degree to get into anyway.

    The real shortage is in specialist journalism - science, financial and development, amongst others. The ability to really understand an area or field and be able to summarise it in an article for public consumption is in short supply.
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    You need to do the pgdip to get into journalism, noone will take you on if you do not have the specific qualification from journalism. A lot of people say its good to have studied another subject previously as that will give you a more specialist subject. what was your undergrad in?
    As for getting onto the courses, as long as you show lots of enthusiasm and work experience it's fine, that's all they look for!
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    (Original post by Piece)
    You need to do the pgdip to get into journalism.
    This is not true, in fact nobody I know that has recently become a journalist has any sort of journalism qualification.
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    i just wrote i have no experience in journalism. and well i belive this can be my downfall when applying to these courses.
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    The people on my MA did their first degree in all sorts of disciplines. Many have relevant work experience, but certainly not all.

    Journalism experience is relatively easy to acquire. Write for your university newspaper, volunteer at your local community radio station, even start a blog (an interesting one, preferably, not some random stream of consciousness). It will all demonstrate an interest in the field.
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    (Original post by beefmaster)
    This is not true, in fact nobody I know that has recently become a journalist has any sort of journalism qualification.
    sorry, but this is very true. You can get into some journalism with no qualifications but you'll only be able to reach a certain level. That's the problem with journalism these days, you cant just get in and work your way up, you need the diploma. And I have this from very reliable sources as I looked into doing it myself.
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    (Original post by Piece)
    sorry, but this is very true. You can get into some journalism with no qualifications but you'll only be able to reach a certain level. That's the problem with journalism these days, you cant just get in and work your way up, you need the diploma. And I have this from very reliable sources as I looked into doing it myself.
    You are completely wrong. How can you believe that once you start getting promoted and have years of experience / stories published an employer will turn to you and ask if you have a postgraduate diploma?!

    OP believe what you want! But the above poster has no idea what they are talking about. If you want more information as to what I am basing this on you can PM me.
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    I really think that any postgrad qualification in something as vague as 'journalism' is going to be one big missed opportunity. Get an undergrad degree. Do an NCTJ if you must. But any postgrad qual should be subject-specific: science, finance, whatever. Journalism is not a subject for postgrad study.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/me...-2264846.html#
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    (Original post by Jez RR)
    I really think that any postgrad qualification in something as vague as 'journalism' is going to be one big missed opportunity. Get an undergrad degree. Do an NCTJ if you must. But any postgrad qual should be subject-specific: science, finance, whatever. Journalism is not a subject for postgrad study.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/me...-2264846.html#
    That McKenzie link is a nonsense though. He became a journalist in the 1960s when the world was far different and techniques and trades different too. I suspect he has no real idea as to what the best path to follow is than anyone else, he's likely been that far removed from anything remotely at that level for the best part of twenty or thirty years now.
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    (Original post by beefmaster)
    You are completely wrong. How can you believe that once you start getting promoted and have years of experience / stories published an employer will turn to you and ask if you have a postgraduate diploma?!

    OP believe what you want! But the above poster has no idea what they are talking about. If you want more information as to what I am basing this on you can PM me.
    I have to agree with beefmaster here. A PG diploma isn't the be all/end all of a journalism career. The two people I know who have masters in journalism aren't any more secure or better off in their journalism gigs than the ones I know who got into journalism through experience (and in fact, one of my good friends had an editor position at a reputable local newspaper without having any sort of PG diploma because his portfolio and experience was so strong).
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    (Original post by AaronG)
    That McKenzie link is a nonsense though. He became a journalist in the 1960s when the world was far different and techniques and trades different too. I suspect he has no real idea as to what the best path to follow is than anyone else, he's likely been that far removed from anything remotely at that level for the best part of twenty or thirty years now.
    I know he's a bit of a dinosaur and that much has changed. But the point of the article is how it should be. And I agree with him that no media degree is going to teach you news sense. No amount of academic essay writing is going to prepare you for the day-to-day realities of the job, and nor should it. A degree might well get you in the door, but that's a nonsensical system if that's as far as it gets you in terms of time and money invested.

    He's right about something else as well. Print media are looking for ways to get rid of people, not take them on. What used to be five distinct jobs are now expected to be done by one multitasking journalist. My local regional the EDP has just announced 20 redundancies, losing a fifth of their journalists. Almost exactly one year ago they got rid of 30 more. The knock-on effect of trying to run newspapers on a skeleton staff is hard to quantify in terms of what it means for news, but it's not going to have a beneficial effect, however highly qualified the remaining staff are.
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    (Original post by Jez RR)
    I know he's a bit of a dinosaur and that much has changed. But the point of the article is how it should be. And I agree with him that no media degree is going to teach you news sense. No amount of academic essay writing is going to prepare you for the day-to-day realities of the job, and nor should it. A degree might well get you in the door, but that's a nonsensical system if that's as far as it gets you in terms of time and money invested.

    He's right about something else as well. Print media are looking for ways to get rid of people, not take them on. What used to be five distinct jobs are now expected to be done by one multitasking journalist. My local regional the EDP has just announced 20 redundancies, losing a fifth of their journalists. Almost exactly one year ago they got rid of 30 more. The knock-on effect of trying to run newspapers on a skeleton staff is hard to quantify in terms of what it means for news, but it's not going to have a beneficial effect, however highly qualified the remaining staff are.
    But often we see the hypocrisy in the arguments against 'media' courses. If it is too vocational it is 'mickey mouse'. Yet if it is too theory based it is dismissed as being unrealistic and not going to prepare students for the realities of the job.

    I think journalism courses have probably matured over the years with many from the actual industry who have experience deriving that and injecting it into the courses that they tutor or manage/oversee.

    In the end, however, I do think it is down to the individual and what they take from and put into any course. There are many people within the industry at high end positions who have taken journalism either as UG or PG. Of course there are other ways to gain entry into the industry, as there are most others. But a path is still a path, whether the majority or minority use it. With most things the main component to making a successful career for yourself in any area of life is being there at the right time and making the right choices and pushing open new doors.

    On the original subject, I'm in a slightly different boat. I am a mature student who has worked for a few years on an investigative claims unit. I feel given my age (26) and admittedly tenuous investigative experience, that I want to do an UG in journalism but if I struggle to find work after graduation, would be open to a PG in politics. As we've seen here though, my circumstance, is perhaps unique to me. At least, I am unique to my circumstance, if you see what I mean. For others it may not be necessary or suitable to follow the same path as I intend to. Therefore I can take exception to anyone insinuating, not that you were I understand, that one path or route is 'better' than the other. It all depends on personal circumstance, who you are and what opportunities and chances you're willing to take.

    From a personal perspective I would welcome the opportunity to study PG, as it would allow me to hone in on the specialist subject of political journalism that is my current ambition. However circumstances change and situations and people evolve, so I'm content not to plan that far ahead at this minute. If there's one thing to expect it is the anticipation of what you do not yet expect.
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    My advice is to do an undergraduate in a relevant area, depending on what you want to specialise in. if you do not have a specialty, undergraduate degrees in English, History and Politics are looked upon well. You must do the postgraduate diploma afterwards. Don't compare yourself to anyone else, as each individual case is different, depending on your aspirations and ambition, along with relative experience. As for the issue of "generalisation" in a postgrad in journalism, the course contains mandatory modules but then you are allowed to choose two areas to specialise in for your final two modules. This allows you to gain insight into areas you are interested in and will help direct you into the area of journalism you are interested in. Hope this helps.
 
 
 
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