Changes and challenges

By Lisa Nelson, Journalism DIversity Fund intern

If you want to be a journalist, you have to be able to adapt to change.

I’m not just talking about the media industry as a whole, with the on-going Leveson Inquiry and the advances in online media content.

The day-to-day job of a journalist is not known for its predictability- no two reporter shifts will be the same, sometimes whole news schedules are turned upside down in a matter of hours.

But change brings with it opportunity and that is perhaps what holds the attraction for those who are applying for an NCTJ-accredited course this academic year.

Take myself, for example. I was recently appointed as the new Journalism Diversity Fund intern, employed by the NCTJ to administer and develop the fund.

I studied the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism at Belfast Metropolitan College from September 2011 to June 2012 and I have some great memories of life as a student journalist.

I was lucky enough to be part of a group of journalism students invited to the European Parliament in Brussels- a trip that complimented the theory laid out in the public affairs module. I also had the opportunity to gain some work experience with theBelfast News Letter and BBC Northern Ireland.

As well as some obligatory articles on Halloween events and charity fundraisers, I found myself sent on some interesting assignments- from being part of a media scrum outside a hospital, reporting on a well-known politician who had been rushed to intensive care, to interviewing Jedward and a sample of their adoring fans.

Now, within a year of starting the course, I find myself switching college in Belfast for the NCTJ offices in Newport, working on ways to reach out to and help as many wannabe journalists as possible.

As an added bonus, I will have the opportunity to meet some of the talented, enthusiastic journalists of the future, as well as working with some of the best in the business who are passionate about encouraging diversity in the newsroom.

So I look forward to the months ahead and the challenges they will bring.