I am now officially a trainee journalist! I started the course yesterday, and I met my coursemates and we did some general admin. Then we had a reporting lecture, where we had to come up with potential sources for our allocated patches of Brighton, and then practice writing a short news story. Then we had shorthand (terrifying) where we just grappled with the basics, i.e. the Teeline alphabet and the common words, along with some joining of letters.
Today, we had reporting first thing again, where we practised 60 word and 100 word stories, and looked at the structure of longer news pieces, and learnt some basic theory about quotes. We had a visit from The Argus’ news editor, who said that his favourite stories are the quirkier ones you might hear at the pub or through friends, which is right up my street. Then more shorthand this afternoon, where we moved onto words and sentences, and some 40wpm dictation exercises.
I’m currently cooking up some stories to research for my patch, and I need to practice some shorthand tonight. Shorthand is so intimidating. 100wpm feels completely unattainable right now. I know it’s only day 2, but it’s still daunting. Tomorrow, we have our first Public Affairs and Media Law lectures, which I feel a bit apprehensive about, but I hear the lecturers are very good, so we’ll see. On Friday, we’re going to an art gallery to do a review, and then in the afternoon we are conducting vox pops in our patches, based on a topic of our choosing. I can imagine we might be able to get some alright stories out of those, if we think it through properly.
Some more good news is that I was accepted to be a writer for studentbeans.com, so although I’m going to be insanely busy for the next few months, at least I’ll be doing something productive with my time.
I’m sorry this post can’t be more in-depth, but I have essays I have to finish for my degree, and shorthand to practice, and stories to find! Shorthand post to come soon, watch this space!