Yesterday morning I couldn’t tear myself away from Essex Chronicle Media Group senior editor Nev Wilson’s Twitter feed as he made his way through a stack of applications from people hoping to become a reporter on his papers.
It was quite clear from his tweets that many of those fighting for a chance to break into journalism in a hugely competitive job market were seeing their applications fall at the first hurdle because they were making very basic errors.
Journalism is a trade that values accuracy, research and – perhaps most importantly – the ability to handle language with care and confidence. Badly spelt applications and covering letters addressed to the wrong person won’t get you very far in most walks of life – but they are certainly not ways to ensure a newspaper editor remembers you. For the right reasons.
I’m not going to say much more on the subject – partly because I’m hoping Nev might get round to blogging about his experience – but you can see a selection of the tweets from Nev in this Storify I put together.
New Year, and time for resolutions. In 2013 I have vowed to get outside and take far more exercise. Nothing too strenuous, mind, just a regular stroll and a chance to stretch the legs.
And what better excuse to get out and about than the promise of tracking down the very best real ale pubs the south east has to offer.
This week I was a guest on the BBC Surrey drivetime show talking about public transport and the results of the first annual localpeople.co.uk town survey.
The interview was a response to a letter from Surrey County Council to Transport Secretary Justine Greening calling for greater investment in the rail network here in the south east of England.
Our localpeople.co.uk town survey, carried out last month across our network of 165 hyperlocal websites, found that people in Surrey are feeling let down by public transport and frustrated by gridlock on their streets.
You can listen to the interview here.
Facebook’s introduction of Subscribe in September last year and its resulting transformation into an asymmetrical social network has presented a new opportunity for connection – but is it an opportunity that is passing many journalists by?
Social media use has exploded among journalists in recent years. What only a few years ago was considered by many in the industry at best a fad, and at worst a time-wasting distraction, has now become a valued part of the reporter’s toolkit.
And the evidence around me – in newsrooms, in conversations with colleagues and online – suggests that Twitter has become the tool of choice for most. Where once Twitter was an unknown quantity, now it is almost surprising to discover a journalist isn’t using the micro-blogging service.
But is this really the best approach for us to be taking?
The story of dramatic rail fare rises in Britain is one of the great annual journalistic staples, along with pretty girls jumping for joy at their exam results around August and the inevitable autumn warnings that a big freeze is on its way.
Today the MailOnline reports, screaming headline and all, that manual workers in Birmingham are paying more than a fifth of their wages on commuting. Pretty shocking to some I’m sure, but surely not the worst of it by any stretch. As I tweeted earlier:
This prompted me to do a little light digging. Was my hunch right, or are the working people of Birmingham really experiencing the nation’s worst #farefail?
The decision of the judge in the Joanna Yeates murder trial to rule evidence of Vincent Tabak’s use of strangulation porn inadmissible has sparked intense debate in the aftermath of today’s guilty verdict.
A jury at Bristol Crown Court this afternoon ruled by a 10-2 majority that the Dutch engineer strangled the 25-year-old landscape architect at her flat in the city on the night of December 17 last year before dumping her body on a snowy roadside.
Within minutes of the decision being announced the details of Tabak’s pornography habits and use of escorts were circulating freely. Many online observers expressed shock and outrage that this evidence had been ruled inadmissible – but this was the right course for Mr Justice Field to take.