Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Keeping my PMA towards journalism

PMA or 'positive mental attitude' is a mantra which has followed me around since my school years and has often been the only useful bit of advise I can recall when trying to cheer or console a friend with a case of the down-in-the-dumps. It seems a bit of PMA is going to a be especially useful in getting ahead in journalism.

Ben Bryant the editor of gair rhydd organised for some of the paper's 'old boys' to come and chat to us about getting into journalism on Saturday and I have to say thankfully, there are still things to be positive about.

They weren't old at all, of course, but only graduated a couple of years before I began at the University and so it was immensely encouraging to meet three Cardiff graduates, who not so long ago were just a part of another group of journalist hopefuls (a situation which I am soon to be finding myself in) but have gone on to do so well. Greg Cochrane now works for the music section of Radio 1's news service, Newsbeat and previously wrote for NME magazine. Will Dean works at The Guide at The Guardian and Gary Andrews is involved in PR at itv.

In a time when you can't view a news programme or open a newspaper without getting 'recession', 'credit crunch' and 'job cuts' shoved down your throat it was really great to hear how these three guys were getting on.

They painted a refreshingly positive image of the media industry, especially Greg, who without doing any postgraduate studies had gotten so far with hard work and an obvious enthusiasm for writing about and being involved in music.

It is though, as Gary reminded us an especially bad time for any graduate to get a job but I suppose it is useful to have learnt about myself - that even though it is going to be tough I have not lost the enthusiasm or drive to get out there and give it my best shot (PMA, PMA, PMA).

All three spoke a lot about the importance of the Internet and I think were slightly mystified when, upon asking, 'who here writes a blog' it was only mine and my housemate Ellie's arms who went tentatively upwards. It is because of the animated way in which Gary especially talked about such 'new media tools' that you might have noticed the addition of Twitter to my blog. I have to admit at first I thought it utterly pointless, similiar to the 'status updates' on facebook but I think now after a couple of days, I might actually get it! I'm following a range of people, instituitions and services and therefore get news headlines, weather forcasts and gig details mixed in with the ramblings from a couple of friends and hilarious quips from Stephen Fry and Charlie Brooker. Yes, I should probably 'fess up, "my name is Emma Barlow and I'm addicted to Twitter."

All in all it was a really helpful exercise, I am reassured, yet again, that journalism is what I want to be doing and reminded too, that it is going to take an awful lot of work to get there but so long as I keep that in mind as well as my ever trusty PMA, perhaps it won't be as scary as I previously thought it would be.

No comments:

Post a Comment