The journalism community at our fingertips - #PassItOn Social Media Live Chat
As a part of our crowdfunding effort PressPad brought together the journalism community to offer advice to young journalists who are starting out in the industry. Amy Lyall sums up our #PassItOn Twitter thread.
It’s 6 days until our crowdfunder ends – if we don’t reach the £15,000 target then we don’t get any of the money that has already been donated. We need this funding to help put on Season 2 of PressPad Remote, a resource which helped hundreds of budding journalists during lockdown. Please consider donating to not only help us but help the journalists of the future. Thank you! ❤️
As journalists, we are continually making connections, building relationships, absorbing people’s stories and then sharing them with our audiences. It is often said that progression is largely about who you know as reflected in the contacts you have access to.
However, journalism can be a particularly isolating field – especially for freelancers, and those who are underrepresented.
In a 2018 study by Epson, almost half of respondents admitted to finding freelancing ‘lonely’ and 46% said it was ‘isolating’. Working from home and the absence of an office social life led over 30% to say they missed office banter.
Worryingly, the study also uncovered implications for freelancers’ mental health, with a quarter of respondents having experienced frequent periods of depression.
During the peak of the pandemic, masses of workers and young people were forced to continue their day-to-day office duties from home. Adapting to the blurred lines between work and life is still posing challenges for so many of us.
In response to this, PressPad aimed to rally the journalism community through hosting the #PassItOn Social Media Live Chat. Last Friday, the 27th of November, we invited experienced journalists to flood the hashtag with love, advice, and insight to share with newbies in the media industry.
As a twenty-year-old journalism student, I found the event to be a gold mine of media tips and tricks. It was lovely to see so many media pros coming together to share their experiences in support of fellow journalists.
Scrolling through the threads and comments on PressPad’s timeline reminded me that as young journalists, we all have the means to forge connections and feel part of a community – it is literally at our fingertips.
Here, I share some of the tweets that I found most interesting and relatable! If you are ever seeking guidance, inspiration or contacts for your journalism work – this list is a pretty good place to start!
Bring on the prompts!
First, we asked journalists for the best piece of advice they could share with youngsters in the media community…
Give all stories big/small the same level of passion, make yourself invaluable to editors & always be polite, prompt with deadlines & receptive to edits. Ask questions if you're not clear on anything - you won't be penalised and better than filing something off the mark #PassItOn— Harriet Hall (@Harri_Grace) November 27, 2020
Happy to support @PressPadUK #PassItOn efforts. My advice to new journalists: Have fun, enjoy the job. You get paid to right wrongs and fight injustice. But never forget the responsibility that comes with telling people's stories. Talk to them, hear them, treat them properly.— Shaun Lintern (@ShaunLintern) November 27, 2020
Next, we wanted to discover the worst tips people have been given during their journalism careers…
That I'd need to move to London - no, no, no! Anything is possible if you have a phone/laptop you can connect with anyone and write global stories from your kitchen table/car/boat.— Environmental journalist (@AnnaTurns) November 27, 2020
You have to work in local newspapers and work your way up to the nationals. Yes working in local papers is a fantastic grounding in journalism but it is not the only route to the nationals.— Dr Lily Canter (@lilycanter) November 27, 2020
Our third prompt asked journalists to share what they wish they had known about the media industry three years ago…
This 100%! Get involved with everything at uni while you can - I was involved with media, societies, events management, and student representation. It definitely helped me develop a drive and passion for a range of projects and also pushed me to manage my time effectively.— Mila Georgieva (@mila_georgieva) November 27, 2020
Try not to panic when on a placement! Literally EVERYONE you work with will have been in the exact same position in the past so know how nervous you'll be! @bjlfearn and @benjamesbason were fab with me on my first ever placement at @hallamfmnews #PassItOn https://t.co/Lf5INQlGlH— Natalie Higgins (@NatalieAHiggins) November 27, 2020
Number four encouraged participants to share their experiences of imposter syndrome, and to offer tips for overcoming it…
There's always going to be something that makes you different - gender, sexuality, ethnicity etc. I had a long-term illness for 9 years and am often one of few women in the room/ video chat. Your differences are your strengths - use them to help you find stories and angles.— Kira Taylor (@KiraTaylor15) November 27, 2020
Real life experiences are just as important as formal training 💪🏻— Hannah Green (@h_green21) November 27, 2020
Our fifth prompt was all about networking dos and don’ts, with particular advice for making connections during the pandemic…
People like a personalised approach, so find the people you most admire and then ping them a few emails with some specific things you know about their work. Also, “networking” / making friends, with junior members of the team is also a must. Don’t just go for the big bosses!— Alice Anderson (@AliceAnders0n) November 27, 2020
Finally, with Christmas approaching we were keen to find out what was on journalists’ media diversity wish list…
As an autistic journalist, I want media diversity to be more than a platitude, or a tick in a box. Open access in all news room inc. lifts, wheelchair access, even special pens for bendy people like me.— April (@April_L_Ryan) November 27, 2020
What works for most does not always work for people like me. https://t.co/rtRoYFOwkd
Open salaries and salary expectations on all job descriptions. The race to the bottom with a bizarre dance around the term ‘competitive’ or ‘based on experience’ fails those from minorities/less able to negotiate & is discriminatory for those for whom salary is a deciding factor— OliviaCrellin 📺📻🎥 (@OliviaCrellin) November 27, 2020
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the chat, generous in sharing valuable industry insight to #PassItOn to the next generation.