Monday, December 08, 2008

Tale of two differing era journalists - digital vs traditionalist

He was respected in television, working for one of the most respected programme makers in the UK.

The other equally ambitious has started his tentative journey into broadcasting with a big bang.

It is the tale of two journalists, digital versus traditionalists and today presents the most starkly differing paths in which both now plough.

Today I heard from both acquaintances - one of them someone I have been mentoring

He young working as an intern is now a researcher for one of the biggest brand names in global broadcasting. Someone who's name is synonymous with world class.

And by all accounts talking to my mentoree on the phone, he's made his own personal brand quite something in the few weeks in tele. For in the short time as a researcher he's pulled in some heavyweights to the programme such as Kofi Annan.

When I just finished speaking to him, he'd just come from his employer's office, who'd offered to write him a reference, if he needed it.

"If he's willing to say something on tape so you can stick on your site that would do", I said.

The New Rules
Rule 101: When looking for a new job do it from a position of power, when you're working and on a high.

Rule 201: In today's climate it's far better to build a one page site and email a prospective employer with a 3 para letter and link to your work. Keep it very short.

Showreels and letters don't really work as well and cold calling, whilst bril, can sometimes leave you hanging.

Email, then follow it up. This is something I tell my Masters students all the while

Rule 301: don't expect to hear back from your source the first time. Email again later and then again.

Trad journalists
After twenty plus successful careers in broadcasting my other acquaintance I heard from today is retraining in social care. But in the meantime as I learned today he's cabbing.

It's giving him he says the flexibility to work his own hours.

There is nothing wrong with being a minicab driver. It is a much in need profession for many people who need to get around.

But I suppose it's not something you have in mind, after winning media awards.

I understand the thin line that divides broadcasting ( something you enjoy doing- it's not really a job) and anything else ( where you realise the strain).

We've all been there and will continue to tread these two finely separated paths.

For the fact is media/ broadcasting was mooted as a young person's game in the 90s. Today it is nothing less than a young person's world; the pay, the hours and the rewards.

But I can't finish without this news. Forty years of working for one of the world's most formidable news agencies, Peter who took compulsory redundacy has found a job as a lecturer. Never say never.

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