What is the best way to get a job at Reuters? ? ? They are one of the top media news agencies and I really want to work for them… what can I do to bump up my CV? What do they like from their graduates?!
[ Cut ‘n’ pasted from http://about.reuters.com/careers/graduate/graduateprogrammes/journalismprogramme.aspx ]
"Requirements - languages and education
Either – you be fluent in English plus one other language. This will mean being able to operate as a journalist in the language, reading the newspapers, listening to radio and TV, attending news conferences and conducting interviews. You will write in English.
Or – you will have an economics or finance related degree.
For all applicants, a strong interest in reporting financial markets is essential. We also require a 2:1 or above (or equivalent) in any degree discipline and you will need to demonstrate a passion for journalism, for example through experience with your school, university, local or national newspaper, radio, or TV."
Jimmy do you know what kind of questions are likely to come up at this type of interview? Just posted my application and want to prepare for the interview!!
What kind of questions come up in media interviews that wouldn’t come up in other interviews? Do you think I’ll be asked media related questions more than just competancy questions etc?!!!
Depends, I guess. I’ve done a few interviews at local/regional newspapers in the last few weeks (still waiting on the results, curse their oily hides!) and they didn’t do any of the usual competency based bollocks you have to waffle through in interviews - just asked about my experience, my goals etc. It was more like having a casual chat than a serious, formal interview.
However, if you were going for a graduate placement with a national paper or a newswire association like AP/Reuters etc. I should imagine you’d get asked both types of question - media knowledge and general competency. But in all honesty I don’t know for sure; I haven’t got any experience of that. I guess I’m going for the ‘start at the bottom’ approach with my media career rather than trying to leap in at the deep end!
For any media interview though, always make sure you’ve read the papers well in the days preceding and can discuss the key issues. That’s always vital or you’ll look like a proper muppet.
Hey Jimbo, ave you heard back from any of the places you applied to yet? How are things going? Have you got any more tips?!
Yes, I have one very big tip:
Make sure you have a sodding driving licence!
I tried to squeeze mine in last September before my course started, but unfortunately didn’t get it because the DSA cancelled my test on the day. Since then, I haven’t had the chance to retake it (doing an intensive course - 10+ hour days aren’t uncommon!) and have failed several interviews on that basis.
I got shortlisted for a job as a reporter on the Wiltshire Times, but the editor said it came down to me and one other person, and the other guy had a driving licence. Likewise, I’ve had two other interviews where it’s all gone well, had great rapport with the interviewer etc… then once the licence issue rears its head, things have gone rapidly downhill.
Also, in casual chats with editors, they’ve agreed that they’d rarely consider hiring someone, irrespective of other factors, who didn’t have a driving licence. I always knew - just through basic common sense - that it would be a huge advantage, but now know it’s more or less an absolute must.
Generally going ok though, to answer your other question. I’m midway through exams, which is stressful, but -fingers crossed - it seems to have gone well so far. Already got one mark back (an A in the politics module, woo!) so fingers crossed. Once the course is over it looks like I’ll have to scrape by with a bit of casual work until I pass my driving test, but hey-ho. Can’t have everything, just focusing on the exams for now.
How did your interview go? Was it Reuters specifically you went for or just something in that vein?
I think the driving issue is only important for local papers without great transport. If you were working for a local paper in a big city, then this wouldn’t be an issue at all really. Also, are you sure employers are legally allowed to not hire you because you haven’t got a licence? …if you need one they can train you or you can train once you have the job…
I think you do need a driving license for some jobs; I’m pretty sure they can make that a requirement if they tell you about it up front.
Yeah, I’m no lawyer but I can’t imagine it being illegal to require a driving licence for a job. You’ve just got to think about the fact that in some roles it would literally be impossible to get by without one (e.g. haulage driver, taxi driver etc!). I guess journalism’s one of those things where it’s borderline - you don’t absolutely, completely, 100% need one, but it’s incredibly useful.
The city/rural issue you mention is a factor - I’m sure in a biggish city it’s considerably less of a problem, but even here in Portsmouth everybody on the newsdesk team on the local paper has their driving licence.
Some urban/suburban papers will be willing to recruit without one but they’d still expect new recruits to get one ASAP - and you’d have to work a lot harder to convince them that your positive qualities outweighed the snag of not being able to drive. They certainly wouldn’t train you for it, you’d have to pay for it yourself.
Bear in mind, also, that most local papers these days cover outlying, more rural areas - not just the city where they’re based. So if you work for, say, the Bristol Evening Post, you could easily be asked to cover a story in Thornbury, Chipping Sodbury or the delightfully-named Nempnett Thrubwell. As a quick glance on Google Maps will show, they’re a fair way out of the city!
I’ve spoken to various people who work or used to work in the industry (including my tutors here, some of whom are former editors / subs), and I haven’t come across a single person who’s said it’s not a big thing.
In other words, whilst I’m sure it’s not impossible to get a staff role in journalism without a driving licence, applying without one will definitely make it harder. As I’ve ruddy well gone and found out
…and finally! I’m now a reporter on the Hertfordshire and Essex Observer, starting in two weeks’ time! w00t etc!
They want me to nail the driving licence within three months, but as I’ve had lessons before that shouldn’t be too hard. I’ll do 2+ hours a week.
So, it can be done…
Hey Jimmy what is it like working for a local paper? What is your day to day routine? …is it as exciting as you’d thought it would be…? I enjoyed reading your posts on the media, I’m thinking about applying to a enwspaper after University…do you think I’ll need a postgrad qualification and if so, which one do you recommend - MA/short course/NUJ accredited course?
Thanks in advance for your help!
It’s been good fun so far, halfway through my fifth week and I’ve already interviewed the comedian Ed Byrne and an FHM High Street Honeys finalist! The core of the work is office-based but you get to go out here and again to meetings, protests and other events. The hours are pretty long too, lots of overtime in the evenings but on the other hand they’re quite willing to give time off in lieu. Overall I’m definitely enjoying it, though I think I’ll feel a bit more settled once I’ve cleared my overdraft from college!
As for what you should do… I’d first try and get a bit of work experience on a couple of papers near you (if you haven’t already) and get a feel for what the job’s like, what’s expected of you and so on. Might also help clarify for you whether you definitely want to go for a career in news.
As for courses, you can do a number of different ones from MAs to fast-track ones, but above all else I would strongly consider only going for ones with NCTJ accreditation. They are the most vocational courses available, and teach you the real ins and outs of daily life as a journalist. Plus they do shorthand, which is an absolute must. I think the main reason I got my job is because I got my 100wpm nailed.
Have a look here for more info: NCTJ - Journalism Courses
Also, few more tips:
For any course you’re thinking about going on, it’s worth asking the college or university providing it how many people come off the course and go straight into a job or get one within a few weeks.
Don’t just ask about the syllabus, ask them how they will help you get insider knowledge of the industry and get you into a job.
Ask if they teach shorthand up to 100wpm.
Ask whether they give you a news patch as part of the course and do practical journalism / news gathering exercises.
Ask how many tutors on the course have previous industry experience, or whether there will be many guest speakers / lecturers with industry experience.
Erm, that’s all I can think for now. And on that point I have to go, as I have a council meeting to attend. Joy!
If you have a picture of the Honey, we would appreciate it
I don’t have the picture that went in our paper - not in electronic form anyway, they didn’t put it on the website and I don’t have a scanner!
This is her page on the FHM website though:
High Street Honeys Top Ten | FHM.com
Does anyone have any experience applying for Reuters journalism programme?
I know the recruitment will start at the end of this month, but
I’m clueless of what to expect…apparently there is hardly any info available on this…
any advice would be very much appreciated.