Top tips on how to survive journalism school

With students across Canada starting out on journalism programs at university, J-Source has put together a handy lists of survival tips for the j-schoolers.

The first one is particularly salient – don’t get freaked out by your marks. Students tend to find it hard to switch from academic writing to story-telling, often grappling with language and focus.

I tell students at the UBC j-school not to be discouraged by their first attempts. After all, this is why they have come to j-school.

There is also valuable advice in this list, such as encouraging students to read widely. The better informed you are of the world around you, the better journalist you will become.

But perhaps one of the most important factors is passion, in as the 10th tip:

Journalism is about a lot of things – being curious, thinking critically, having ideas, being fair and balanced, being ethical. But without a passion for writing – even when your confidence is low – it’s difficult to get yourself motivated every day. Fall in love with writing.

One way of combining passion and writing is in a blog.  Blogging offers a way for students to write every day on a topic or issue they are passionate about. It demonstrates their writing and critical skills and serves a showcase for their journalistic abilities.

Post Author: Neil Black