It is great to hear from two more apprentices on this scheme:
Yas Necati writes about Independent Voices:
I had done bits of writing and editing before for smaller publications/blogs. I really enjoyed doing this, and I’ve always wanted to be a writer, so when I heard about the apprenticeship I was very keen to apply. I wanted the skills, experience and training to become a journalist, and since I’ve started my apprenticeship I definitely feel like I’ve learnt a lot.
I’ve picked up new skills from headline writing to editing the letters to the editor page. It has been really exciting writing comment pieces on the Independent Voices desk about subjects I’m passionate about, including feminism, LGBTQ+ issues and party politics. I’ve also written for the culture section on trans characters and stories in theatre, and I’m currently writing a piece about the top 10 vegan cheeses for the food section.
I’ve really struggled with shorthand, but I’m hopefully getting there now. I also struggled a lot with headline writing and commissioning when I first started, and these are things I am continually working on. I hope to continue writing and editing comment pieces, as well as writing for and experiencing working for other desks.
Adebola Lamuye writes on the Evening Standard desk:
I’ve always wanted to work within the media industry, and when I was applying for this role, I knew it was a great opportunity to work within a well-respected organization. But truthfully, when I was applying I didn’t think I would get pass the first stage – so actually getting the apprenticeship was a shocked – it still doesn’t seem real sometimes.
A writing submission piece and a couple of interviews later, and I’m at UCFB starting my NCTJ course whilst going into work every Friday to get used to the newsroom environment. The first 5 months of training was spent at Wembley stadium. And when I say it was intense… It was intense.
I had spent 3 years prior out of education, and working full time, so coming back into that environment, and most importantly into that mindset was something I felt quite difficult. I’m somebody that liked education, but did not like school. However, learning in Wembley was different, the fact that our class was smaller and more intimate, made it easier to learn and ask questions.
Out of all our subjects, the most difficult one would be shorthand. It’s basically learning a new language, and if you don’t believe me, please Google it.
The other subjects included Production, Media Law and Regulations, Public Affairs and Essential Journalism.
Everything we were taught in the first 5 months really does come in handle when dropped into the newsroom. I was confident in myself to go out and find stories and pitch ideas. Having now been in the newsroom for a couple of month, I am fully embed and comfortable, however, I still have goals to achieve; passing my 100 words per minute Shorthand exam and passing my Essential Journalism exam. But like they say, practice makes perfect.
In the photo you can see (from L-R) Safeeyah Kazi, Yas Necati, The Mayor of London, Jessica Morgan and Adebola Lamuye.