Becoming a journalist

If you are interested in becoming a journalist there are several routes. It is just about still possible to get a job on a newspaper, but this is unlikely without qualifications such as those from the National Council for Training Journalists (NCTJ) or the Periodical Training Council (PTC).

Colleges around the country run accredited NCTJ courses that take approximately 16 weeks and provide a good grounding in the basic skills and great contacts, but no guarantee of finding a job.

Some broadcasters, particularly the BBC, run training schemes that are worth investigating and some national newspapers have both training schemes and bursary programmes that can help you gain experience.

Work placements are unpaid but can be a good way of gaining experience, but beware of employers who will not make use of your talents and invest in training.

The Bristol NUJ branch welcomes students (the NUJ has a reduced rate for you!) and the various events we run provide an excellent opportunity to meet people and find out more about the opportunities.

In the end, if you are interested, it’s up to you to talk to as many people as possible, gathering contacts and finding opportunities – which are all good journalistic skills!