Scrolling through twitter one afternoon I came across a tweet with something I thought might be useful, and in some respects, I was right. 

After scrolling through quote after quote from writers for The Guardian, New Statesman and The Times I found one by a Journalist who writes for The Mirror. 

"Start writing now, every day about a topic you love. If you can’t do it or don’t prioritise it then you probably don’t want to be a journalist."  

Obviously, I have no idea who this person is, or if they ever were a student journalist as we know it today, but I found this advice a little out of touch with the life of a student journalist. 

As a second year, I found myself either out filming sequences, interviewing contacts or on campus reading, writing, revising and editing pretty much all day five days a week, and that's not even deadline week. The other two days a week I have to work so I can actually afford to be this stressed.

No, this isn't a blog post about how hard my life is, I am very privilleged to be here. Also, I am definitely not saying I don't have the time to ever write a blog post, because if something is important to you, you make time. However, I find having the time to spend hours a day writing is a little unrealistic.

Let's wave a magic wand and say we all had hours and hours to type away about our passions and interests as if it would matter. Would this help us become a journalist?

Blogging is often seen as a way in to the industry but personally I think this is deluded. If I was to sit in front of a panel at the BBC discussing a job that thousands of talented candidates had applied for, the last thing I would want to say is "Hey! check out my fashion blog Paul!"

No, I'm not saying blogging is completely useless, being able to write about a range of topics is useful for a journalist, and writing every day, of course, demonstrates that writing is your passion. 

But blogs are opinion based and what the hell does your opinion matter when writing in the style of the NCTJ? 

The only leeway we are given to show any form of passion or interest without being labeled as bias is feature writing and even that is far from a blog. 

In terms of "writing about something you love" nine times out of ten you won't. 

Without trying to sounding pessimistic, many of us will be sat in the office of a local paper regurgitating press releases about amateur theatre productions that aren't worth going to. That, or sat God knows where writing about who Selena Gomez has just unfollowed on Instagram. 

You wouldn't revise for a test by "writing now, every day about a topic you love" or you're not going to do amazingly on the questions about the topics you hate, and journalism is no exception. 

If I was going to give real advice to another student journalist, it would be to start revising early and to get involved in everything, not just your passions. 




Reasons I don't want to write this blog