Saturday, 28 June 2014

Tips for Work Experience in Journalism

I thought I'd do a little post with a few tips for journalism work experience, as I've had placements at two magazines so far - Tatler and LOOK. Both are completely different magazines, focused on different areas of lifestyle and fashion. These tips are just from what I learnt whilst being at both magazines, and think would come in useful for any of you budding journalists out there..

#1. Be on time.
One of the most important things is to be on time. I always arrived at work half an hour early, just in case my train was delayed or there were delays on the London Underground. Also, it sets off the day nicely when you arrive and still have enough time to go to the toilet, make a cup of tea or go through emails. It also shows your boss your punctuality and motivation to work.

#2. Always be willing to do anything your boss asks.
Often, work experience means menial tasks such as throwing away old newspapers, filing magazines and newspapers, photocopying, sorting mail, etc. You may think you're not learning anything from this, but actually I found it helped me to understand how the office worked. What everyone's roles were, where things were put away, keeping things running smoothly. Without an intern or somebody similar, the day to day running of the office wouldn't be as smooth; these people have a huge amount of pressure on them and deadlines are as frequent as a Tube train, they don't have time to do these things so you are doing a great deal for them.

#3. Contribute ideas and research.
Sometimes, the editor will ask you to research something for an article they're working on. They might be working on several other articles all at once, so your research will prove massively useful to them. It could be information on a new product, details for a real life story or a couple of interviews they can refer to. If you don't know where to start, don't feel afraid to ask! I often asked where the best place to start my research was, and my boss always was happy to give me some advice. After all, you are there to learn and experience! As well as research, if you come up with some ideas that you think will be interesting for the magazine, just list them on a word document and email your editor. It's a good way of showing you understand the magazine's values, what it stands for and what it wants to talk about.

#4. Refer to past issues for an idea of the magazine's layout and style.
This is something I often do when I'm stuck; refer to past issues of the magazine. Especially if you aren't familiar with the magazine, it helps to get an idea of how features and pages are laid out in the magazine, especially in the way they're written and the choice of photographs. If I'm not sure how to present my research, I read how articles are written and try to write in their style, so it can fit in the magazine.

#5. Keep in touch!
At the end of the work experience, the editors will often ask you to keep in touch - this is a good sign! It means they've enjoyed working with you and would welcome you back. At both of my placements, the editors urged me to email them any time if I had any questions or wanted to come back. This really encouraged me as it proved my time spent with them was indeed valuable, and I went home with a smile on my face.

That's all for now, but do share your tips and experiences! I'd love to hear them.

Rebecca x


  1. This was really helpful to read and knowing you have already had two work experience placements makes this all the more useful. This is something I'm very interested in doing as well. Thank you!

  2. ooh great tips! i just started a marketing internship and find a lot of these tips relevant to me too :)

    from helen at

  3. Loved this, as someone who was in a journalism degree this was awesome to read. great post! :D

    x leah symonne x