In academic terms, my first semester at Uni is over now and it’s been great (I’m almost done with my second one, but I’ll fill you in on that in exactly two weeks) . Not quite what I expected at first, but I grew accustomed to the new system, the fancy and expensive journalistic equipment, the library loan system and thinking, dreaming and breathing in a different language. I’m quite happy that I went from being an introvert when it came to speaking in English to being able to speak it coherently, without stammering. But I’d still take writing over speaking anyday now, and I guess that’s good, since I’m on my way to becoming a journalist.
In my Newsgathering module, we started uploading our articles, NIBs, vox pops etc. on a WordPress platform I think in the beginning of November, whilst working on our remaining pieces for the InDesign templates. The templates were pre-set and we were allowed to change only minor details, such as the picture position or size and some of the fonts, so it wasn’t that difficult pasting the articles I’d written in them. I struggled with my review templates because I kind of, slightly, only a teensie tiny bit, exceeded my word count and then I had to chop a whole lot off and rephrase stuff in order to fit it in there, but I did it, with some help from my tutor who was extremely helpful. I ended up reviewing ‘Ladies of the Street’ for my journalistic book review and I enjoyed it more than I had thought. As for my film review, I did ‘The Perks of being a Wallflower‘, as it was the only movie I went to during that term and plus, I really liked it. My other template was a news template, which comprised of 4 articles of different lengths, 3 NIBs and 3 vox pops. My ‘main’ news story was about the Romanian and Bulgarian students’ work permit situation and seeing as this is a fairly close topic to my heart, as I’m facing those hardships myself, I tried to get it as much coverage as possible, so I ended up being awarded the great opportunity of publishing it on The Independent’s website. Click here to read the article and in case Tom Mendelsohn, the editor of the Student section ever reads this: thank you so much, Tom! Apart from these InDesign templates (final versions of the .pdf will go down below), I also handed in a 1,500-word essay about the Leveson Inquiry (which was not released at the time of writing) and which regulation I’d implement for the British press.
For Journalism and Society, every week for the duration of the term we had a one-hour lecture and a one-hour seminar, which covered topics such as the origins of the press, photography and news, the arrival of television, gender and power, news and racism etc. Seeing as this was a 100% academic module, our only assessment was a 2,000 word essay one of this topics. I chose the following statement: “Outline the main factors explaining news definitions of gender and assess the evidence that journalism contributes towards the alienation of women within society”, because I was truly fascinated with the books I read for my research and the issue of gender discrimination in our society then and now.
Lastly, my Professional Craft Skills module didn’t end in December, as it’s a year-long module and it ends on April 12. Our broadcast portfolio (which I’m feverishly working on these days) should contain a 1 min 30 sec TV package, a 3 minute radio news feature and an online multimedia slideshow. I’m 80% done with filming for my TV package and I’ve recorded my radio package (these still need to be edited and burnt to a disk), but I’ve yet to find anything interesting to tell in pictures for my slideshow. I think this is the module I’m feeling most edgy about, because although I’ve enjoyed it and I don’t completely reject the possibility of working in broadcast one day, it’s just not as enjoyable for me as writing is. Nevertheless, I still aim to put together a good portfolio and be as satisfied as I can with the work I’ve done.