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Advice for Students

Day in the life of a News Journalism student

4 August 2022
Photo by Roger H. Goun via Creative Commons license on Flickr.
Photo by Roger H. Goun via Creative Commons license on Flickr.

I found it difficult to accept what my days would look like at the start of the year, I found the workload exhausting. I had envisioned my year differently, but I think had I read a ‘day in the life of’ I would have been able to start the year realistically – perhaps even manage it better.

Important to note: this will probably change each year depending on the lecturer’s timetabling so is unlikely to be yours exactly. This was what I experienced in the first half of term which includes lectures that are not continued into the second term. This article is more to give you a glimpse of the workload.

The days differ subject wise but in terms of structure it is a 9am – 4.30/5pm day with an hour for lunch.

Production day – Tuesday and then in the spring term Tuesdays and Fridays.

We had shorthand in the mornings til 10am. Editor meetings began at 10am where that week’s editorial team pitched the Newsroom’s stories.

At the beginning of term everyone panicked and wrote their stories the night before which meant they didn’t have anything to do other than edit other people’s. There is the option of doing multiple stories or taking part in live stories if you do finish early.

By the end of term I was writing my story on production day after having completed all the interviews and planned it before.

Production day finished when the last article is done and published. No one leaves until everyone’s articles are edited. Production days later in the term included Print (InDesign is used to create a newspaper) which meant that the deadline was always 4pm and articles are expected to be done way before that.

Wednesday

 

7am – Wake up, shower and get dressed. Put the Today programme on BBC Sounds on to find out the latest news, sometimes BBC Wales.

 

8.20am – leave Roath for the walk into the Uni building in Central Square.

 

9am – Shorthand with Sandra (80wpm)

 

10am – Shorthand with Sandra (100wpm) or an hour break if not yet fast enough.

 

11.30am – Public affairs lecture – learning about everything from the Monarchy, House of Lords to the structure of the education system. This lasted for around 1.30h.

 

1.30pm – lunch

 

2pm – looking for stories for next week or working on assessments. Would often use this time to interview people for my stories.

 

4pm – Law lecture.

 

5.30pm – walk home.

 

6pm cook dinner.

 

7pm – shorthand outline practise

 

8pm – chill before bed.

 

9pm – bed, wind down.

 

10pm – Sleep (I know its early but I was so exhausted I had to go to sleep this early!)

 

While this is obviously not the everyday structure, we always had shorthand at the beginning of the day and some form of lecture or practical journalism workshop until about 4.30pm everyday.

I hope that gives you some insight!