Journalism has had a lot of bad press recently but I still want to be a journalist

By Selina Ditta, bursary recipient 2011-2012

As a child growing up in the nineties I was always told of the importance of school grades and family. That’s why I wanted to become a reporter: magazines and newspapers were my entertainment and escapism.

The Sunday Times (thanks to their supplement – The Funday Times) was my introduction to reading the news and from then I wanted to be a journalist. I just didn’t quite know how to become one. I thought the right thing to do at university would be to take media studies. After graduating with a BA in Media Studies from Sheffield Hallam University in 2004 I pitched articles to various publications, and had a few published, but I felt I was stuck in a rut career wise. Then I attended the Catch 22 academy in north London and they saw my abilities as a journalist and helped me to find my feet.

Having secured a place on the course at News Associates, London, I knew I would never be able to afford the course fees and living expenses. So, with my tutor’s encouragement I applied to the Journalism Diversity Fund – twice. The first time I applied I was unsuccessful at the interview, but luckily I was invited for another interview and the second time around I was more confident and determined to prove myself.

I recently started the diploma in journalism and my arm is aching from practicing shorthand daily in lessons and at home, but I am working my hardest to be on top of my game. It is hard work and it is worth every ounce of energy. Even when I was taking the entry level exam I enjoyed the process of writing up a news report to the deadline.

Once I’ve finished the course I can’t wait to put my skills into practice. I would love to be a court reporter writing local or national news and as the course I am on teaches production skills, I now have ambitions to be a sub-editor in the future. Thanks to the Journalism Diversity Fund I am achieving more than I ever expected.