You don’t ask – you don’t get

12993566_1245208832166853_790706658945578676_nStudent reporter Ailsa Cowen explains the attitude needed by an aspiring journalist

WITHOUT trying to sound cliché I’m going to open this column with the phrase: ‘If you don’t ask you don’t get’ – this was the attitude I had when I emailed my CV to Four Four Two in January.

In March I received a reply from Haymarket Media, who publish the magazine, offering me a week’s work
experience at Four Four Two, April 18 – 22.

I was over the moon to have been given such an amazing opportunity and quickly got round to buying my train tickets.
On my first day I sat nervously waiting in reception, wondering what
to expect. The Digital Features Editor happily greeted me and took me up to the office. He gave me a list of all the possible articles I could have a go at doing during my week.
Let’s just say I had plenty to keep me busy.

They ranged from finding quiz questions to researching possible blast from the past games which could be featured in the next issue. I enjoyed researching in the way I would if I worked for the magazine and experiencing the difficulties of finding football teams which have not yet been featured within the magazine.

I met numerous members of the team – the Social Media Executive, Writers and the Editor himself. Everyone was very friendly and were happy to answer any questions I had. I received some one to one feedback on my writing for the feature ‘In This Month’ in which I had to find out about a famous football match for the May issue.

After a packed week of researching and writing I was disappointed when my week came to an end. While saying my goodbyes the team told me if I ever wanted to do some writing for them or have a placement whilst at university just to get in touch.

Ailsa’s five tips for young aspiring journalists:

  1. Get out and get some work experience. As obvious as it sounds this is
    your gateway to getting noticed.
  2. Read the newspapers and watch the news. All journalists need to have an idea of what’s going on in the world around them.
  3. Sell yourself. Journalists need to be able to stand up and ask the question nobody else wants to.
  4. Have a specialist interest – along with a lot of general knowledge in the industry.
  5. Get involved within your local area. Being involved in your community allows you to get an easy insight into local news and potential stories and make contacts which are vital for aspiring journalists