Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

Wanna be a journalist? Get writing!

Posted in Journalism by Adam Westbrook on October 5, 2009

It’s a call that’s been made many times before, so I’ll keep it brief.

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If you’re a journalism student, or thinking about becoming a journalist one day in the distant future, don’t wait for the work to come to you: get writing. Now.

Video Journalism pioneer David Dunkley-Gyimah‘s been urging J-students to get writing again, listing 12 reasons why blogging is so important:

1. The blog gives you visibility
2. Your blog allows you to hone your writing
3. Your blog allows you to try out new ideas
4. Your blog demonstrates your power of research
5. Your blog tells an editor how serious you are at writing
6. Your blog is a marketing tool. Your de facto CV
7. Your blog is a forum. Less a magic wand, but a space to experiment
8. Your blog revolves around ideas such as crowd sourcing, twitter, social networking et al
9. Your blog allows you to blog
10. Your blog could, at that interview, be the difference between getting that job.
11. Your blog says things about you not immediately apparent: time management, critical analyses and prioritising.
12 Your blog is you. It is the identikit used to judged you, form an opinion of yourself. Use it; keep it and nurture it wisely.

I know people who have been offered work, just because they run a decent blog.

The look of ‘eugh’ on the faces of some journalists-to-be when I try and implore the importance of blogging suggests it’s still seen as a chore.

But it should be pleasure: your chance to write, publish, research, connect, tell a story…if you consider any of those five things a chore, maybe it’s time to ask yourself what you really want.

5 Responses

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  1. Dan said, on October 5, 2009 at 8:52 am

    I concur. I’ve been blogging since I did my journalism course at Cardiff in 2006 (and of 30 people on the course who were compelled to do it, am now just one of, I believe, 3 or 4 who still do it regularly) and now write daily, even if it’s about nothing in particular (which it generally is). It’s just a good chance to keep your style going, in amongst professional publications styles, and to follow ideas through / thoughts / comments on stories, ideas and issues you have an interest in.

  2. Dan Thornton said, on October 5, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Completely and utterly agree. Shortly before I switched from journalism to marketing I was in a position to interview and hire, and I’d been increasingly convinced that experience of blogging was essential.

    Even if you’re active on LinkedIn and Twitter, having a blog (particularly self-hosted and regularly backed-up) means you have a CV, portfolio and updatable web presence which is entirely yours and can’t be erased should a company disapear or be taken over.

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