The Become A Journalist Summer School is well underway here at PA Training. Undeterred by rail strikes and blistering heat, 24 wannabe journalists have been taking part in this fantastic four-week course at our training centre in the heart of the City
The free summer school, delivered by PA Training in partnership with the Google News Initiative, is coming to the end of its third week – and what a packed programme we have got through.
From news writing to video filming, from social media to podcasting, every day has introduced the trainees to new, exciting skills that will be essential for landing a job in today’s busy, multi-media newsrooms.
Everyone is working hard to gain their Certificate in Foundation Journalism, a qualification set by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ), that will help launch them on their career paths.
All those interested in being sports journalists have been enjoying terrific sessions with former Sky Sports news editor Laurie Tucker who has passed on tips for interviewing top athletes and writing first-class match reports.
Former BBC presenter Robin Bailey has given everyone the skills they’ll need to produce lively, must-listen podcasts. There were some worried faces when he sent the group outside to interview people on the street but once they discovered that the public don’t bite, everyone came back with some great soundbites and all raring to do more.
PA Media photography expert Craig Gunn impressed everyone with his tales of working with the Kardashians and Kylie Minogue. While Owen Williams, with 25 years’ TV production experience, gave an invaluable masterclass on talking to camera – just like the news presenters on location.
The ins and outs of high-profile court cases such as Johnny Depp and ‘Wagatha Christie’ formed the basis of some lively legal discussions during the media law sessions, while a regular interactive news quiz has kept everyone on their toes.
But the highlight of the course so far has been watching a group of bright, enthusiastic young people come together and interact as if they have known each other for years – not just three weeks. Hopefully everyone will leave here with not only a career-building qualification but also with some friends for life.