I didn’t expect to learn to the extent I have this year. When entering my first year of Napier I was still nervous but self assured that I already knew what to do, almost arrogantly so. However, a few weeks into my course I came to the harsh realisation that I was not God’s gift to the journalistic world. The year before entering university I went to Glasgow City College for a HNC in Practical Journalism. This led me to the false conclusion that I would already know most things in my course. However, throughout the course of the year, I learned a lot more about journalism, writing and myself as a journalist than I thought I would. Having a blog also became a major help in developing a writing style
Hard News Story
I used to believe that hard news stories were easy because they were generally straight facts with no opinions. However, I realised while doing an assignment for Multimedia reporting that it was more difficult than intended.
I decided to compose a hard news story on the missing Malaysian plane. I thought I would be taking the easy route because so much information was circulating the media on the topic. Then I realised that was the problem, because there was so many stories and various information it was hard to filter through all of this to approach a specific angle. It was also a struggle to develop my own spin on the story when so many different angles had been covered and also to stray away form my usual writing style. My writing tends to be informal and to an extent humorous, I hope. Trying to develop a writing style with no opinion and purely about facts was more of a struggle than I realised but I feel it improved my writing technique and in result broadened my style.
I have been all over the place with my features. If you read my blog, which is how you would read this, you would see that I have a love for killer whales. However, my opinion on matters such as SeaWorld and a documentary called Blackfish have changed immensely from the start of the course till now. My first post on my blog was about the monster which is SeaWorld, how they abuse killer whales and are evil. Looking back this seems so naive and this topic is the reason that I feel I have bettered myself as a journalist because it taught me the value of research.
After watching a documentary designed to make the viewer feel and not think I fell hook, line and sinker for it. Then a few things began to tweak my absolute resolve that the killer whales need to be saved. Then I decided I had to research and I realised that I had been completely blindsided. I had listened to biased information and not think twice into doing my own research and I learned that could be a major downfall for a journalist. It taught me never take what you hear for granted and always research as you can find out everything has been fabricated and also stop you from looking like a complete idiot.
My favourite thing in the world is books, I love to read, always have, always will. This is why when it was suggested to do reviews I immediately knew my topic. However, this led me to discover how hard it is to break away from your comfort zone. When I first started my blog we were advised to break off from our comfort zone, my comfort zone is fantasy/paranormal novels. I was adamant that I could break way from what I knew and start to become cultured on other types of books such as murder mysteries and thrillers. I soon learned that this was a lot harder. I was so used to my regular type of books that it became difficult to get into anything else.
I learned that it is a lot harder to broaden your horizons than you think. Reviews also majorly helped me with my writing style. It enabled me to understand from a writer’s point, why certain things were written in that style, what language allowed the reader to become drawn in and how to capture attention from the beginning and these are all things that help me with my own journalistic writing. Writing for newspapers you have to be able to capture a reader’s attention straight away and keep then riveted to what you are writing. Reviewing novels helped me to understand this.
Throughout the course of my first year I have learned an extreme amount about journalism and myself as a writer. I learned the value of writing style, research, opinion and many other various topics. Throughout the course I have learned that writing can always be improved and also the importance of time. Meeting deadlines is immensely important and running about like a headless chicken does nothing to improve your writing which is something I am working on. Overall, I’ve learned that it is extremely easy to make mistakes and be intimated by others you believe are better than you but I understand that having a unique writing style that is continuously improving ensures success.