Journalism and New Media – the course I’m currently studying, and loving every minute of here in UL. If any of you followed either my personal or leaving cert page on Twitter last year, you’ll know fine well that this was most definitely not what I wanted. I was adamant that I wanted to study Midwifery, and I was crushed when I was only a measly few points short. But what I never publicised was my love of writing. It’s always been something that I’ve enjoyed and that people have told me I’m good at. One occasion in particular I remember my teacher in third class telling my Mum that I would write a book some day, and it’s something that’s always stuck with me.
So why did I put it so low down on my CAO form? Well if I’m honest, it was because of the influence of other people. I was always told that it’s hard to get a job in journalism, that it’s a rubbish job and the pay is crap. But if you really think about it, people say that about every job these days. I believe that if you enjoy what you do you’ll never work a day of your life, and that’s what I’m doing. I worked unbelievably hard to get Midwifery but I know I got this course for a reason, it was definitely meant for me.
But I didn’t get offered this course on round one, round two or round three. No, I had to wait until I was six weeks into New Media and English (which no, is not like Journalism at all) before I got offered this course, because some dope corrected my English paper wrong for my leaving cert and I didn’t reach the requirement of a B3. We pay a huge amount to get our papers corrected, only for an apparent group of monkeys to do so. It still angers me that I spent six weeks in a different course because of this, but anyways. Naturally when I was offered Journalism, I was a little hesitant to take it because of the amount of work I’d missed, but I decided to go for it. This was possibly the best decision I’ve ever made regarding my education!
I get a lot of questions about my course from people hoping to do it next year, so I’m going to talk about what the course entails for a little bit. I did five modules last semester; Journalistic Writing, Sub-Editing and Design, Cultural Studies (which is changing to Introduction to Social Media this semester) and my two electives, Law and English. I love the Journalistic Writing module, it’s just learning the basics about writing and interviewing, skills you need as a journalist. Sub-Editing and Design is a lot of work on the Macbooks, where we learn how to design newspaper layouts as well as basic grammar correction. Cultural Studies was eh, very broad, I don’t even know how I’d describe it. I like English as an elective but I’m not a big fan of Law, it’s just really difficult and I don’t think I have the brain for it. 99% of the time I love my course, and prefer it to New Media and English by a mile. It’s a lot more hands on and focuses more on practical work.
Of course, coming into the course six weeks in I was really worried about making new friends. I figured that everyone would already have their friend groups, and with there only being 30 in the course I was pretty nervous. But I’ve made some amazing friends in Journalism, and we have some great nights out together, which is where the title for this blog came from. The night we did 12 pubs, and everyone got… Drunk. We all get along pretty well and this makes the course even better, knowing you can go into your Friday lectures nursing a hangover with a couple of friends in the exact same position!
As for the workload associated with the course, I wouldn’t say it’s that bad. We have a lot of continuous assessment exams which work out in our favour around exam time. This semester I only had two exams to do which took a lot of weight off my shoulders. The course itself isn’t difficult if you’re interested in it, but we are expected to do a lot of work outside of it. It’s up to you to get your portfolio up to scratch and try and get things published, which can take a lot of time, effort and motivation. When you have to transcribe a fifteen minute interview which ends up at over 1000 words, only to use about three quotes from it, the frustration is real. But it’s so worth it seeing your article published somewhere, a little moment of pride.
So what’s in stall in the future for me? I could work in either print, radio or broadcast journalism and I’m not really sure which one I’d prefer. Of course I’m not expected to know, I’m only in first year, but I’m a perfectionist who likes to have everything planned out. I love writing, but have recently done work experience with Midwest Radio for a week, and loved it. I could definitely see myself being a radio presenter in the future! But I’d love to try out broadcast journalism too, I mean who wouldn’t like to work on television? As I said, I don’t know what I want to do yet, but I’ll go wherever the wind takes me. Whatever happens, happens for a reason, and that’s what brought me on my journey to journalism.