“Growing up, I never heard any reporters on television with my accent”

Posted: 27 Mar 12
Categories: Blog

By India Adams, bursary recipient 2009-2010

Waking up on a Monday morning must be a real drag if you hate your job. Thanks to the Journalism Diversity Fund, I never have that problem. I love what I do and if a career in journalism is what you want, then it’s well worth the hard work that it takes to get into the industry.

I am currently a video journalist or ‘mojo’ (mobile journalist) for Sky’s new pilot website, Sky Tyne and Wear. My role involves a wide variety of skills, including traditional reporting skills and those you would expect of a camera operator/editor/online producer.

I would really encourage anyone currently studying journalism to get involved in as many aspects of training as possible. These days, it’s very rare that you’ll be confined to one role with a limited skills set, as even traditional print journalists are having to branch out into other areas, including online.

In journalism, there is never really a typical day. That’s the fun thing about it. One day I may be covering a national news story, such as the announcement of 2000 new jobs at the Nissan factory in Sunderland, which was broadcast on Sky News (a first for Sky Tyne and Wear). The next day I’m filming a chef making the perfect Mother’s Day meal.

And some of my favourites (being an animal lover) are the cute and cuddly stories like the cheeky otters that stole my microphone cover. And of course, there are the local celebrity interviews that are real fun, such as Sarah MillicanThe Futureheads and X Factor’s Little Mix.

No matter where you want to get to in your career, starting off on your local publication is a great way to gain experience, as there is always so much going on.

Regional press has had a hard time recently, but I’m a firm believer that people really do value their local news, whether it’s online, print or broadcast. I feel it gives them a sense of community and there are some truly amazing stories to be found. Where do you think the national newspapers get their stories? The majority of the time, it’s from regional news services.

Most people reading this will be hoping to get into journalism and many of you may also feel that this could be difficult because of your diversity, whatever that may be. I felt like that too. Growing up, I never heard any reporters on television with my accent and began to feel that jobs like that simply weren’t for people like me.

Despite this, I knew from a very early age that I wanted to be a journalist and that I would do whatever it took to achieve my goals. As a teenager, I even tried disguising my accent for a while, but for those of you who’ve watched my videos, you may be able to tell that this was a losing battle and not the right approach to take.

However, it was this determination and the help of the Journalism Diversity Fund that allowed me to pursue my dreams and on that note, I would like to end with this: If I can do it, so can you. Good luck and best wishes.