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Advance your journalism career with 9 tips from Jem Collins


Advance your journalism career with 9 tips from Jem Collins

Picture of Kiril Stoimenov
Kiril Stoimenov — Marketing and Communications Manager
April 12, 2024

In this blog post, we will explore valuable insights from Jem Collins.

She is the founder of Journo Resources, a start-up that assists young people in breaking into and progressing in the media industry.

Jem shares her professional journey as the journalism field has its day-to-day challenges. This provides essential tips for aspiring journalists looking to make their mark in these turbulent times.

Copy of Portrets Kiril 2

1. Stand out with your application:

Consider adding creative elements to your application to catch the recruiter's eye in a competitive job market. Jem’s humorous video application to Save The Student is a great example of how you can stand out from the crowd:

I’d known about the website for a while, as I’d read it to pick up tips myself. When I saw they were hiring, I included a funny video of a load of guys on a boat with my application because I looked up that their office was on a boat and thought it would make a good joke. It seemed to work, as I got the gig!

2. Start something of your own:

If you can't find the perfect job opportunity right now, consider starting your own journalism project. Whether it's a blog, podcast, or digital magazine, doing journalism independently showcases your initiative and passion for the field.

Check this one-hour webinar on how to build personal branding for journalists:

3. Tap into webinars and virtual events:

With numerous free webinars available, use this time to upskill and network. Attend webinars hosted by journalists or media organisations and use the knowledge gained to produce exciting content or initiate meaningful conversations with professionals.

4. Explore relevant story ideas:

Even at home, school out with your friends, you can still do journalism by listening to conversations around you. Pay attention to the topics discussed around you; these might lead to interesting story ideas that you can pitch to professional media outlets.

5. Pitch to student publications:

As a student or recent graduate, there are plenty of important stories that need reporting, especially involving fellow students' experiences during this AI revolution or climate change matter. Pitch these stories to student publications, gaining valuable experience and exposure.

6. Be flexible in your job search:

Understand that the job market may be slow occasionally, but journalism will always be essential. Be open to exploring different avenues, such as freelance opportunities or part-time work, to build your portfolio and experience.

Jem Collins
Jem Collins collecting an award at the 2018 National Press Awards for digital innovation.

7. Personalise your applications:

Quality over quantity applies to job applications. Instead of submitting generic applications to every opening, take the time to personalise your cover letter and CV. Highlight your unique skills and experiences relevant to the specific position.

8. Utilise resources from Journo Resources:

Journo Resources offers a wealth of resources tailored to this generation, including job search assistance, freelancing guidance, and financial support. Explore their content to gain valuable insights for your journalism career.

9. Engage with the Student Publication Association:

The Student Publication Association is a supportive community of student journalists. Follow their updates, participate in webinars, and seek one-on-one support from experienced members to enhance your journalistic journey.

Source: Interview done as part of the EJC's 100 Paths to Journalism: how to advance your journalism career by Linda Vecvagare


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