As summer school is slowly drawing to an end, it is time for me to share with you my opinion about these three weeks I spent at the University of Westminster in London.
I’m currently studying at the University of Liège in Belgium, majoring a Master Degree in Journalism. By crossing the sea and a few borders, I was prepared to face a cultural choc. I expected to discover a whole different way to work and to apprehend medias. It happened not to the be the case at all. That was my first surprise. With a few exceptions, we all work pretty much the same way, have the same tips, same organization and writing.
I came here with the only expectation to work and learn. I’m leaving with the feeling that the contract is respected. I’ve practiced a real journalism through the profile, the review, the film, the opinion piece…
However, the main difficulty I faced was the language requirement. Even if I knew all the tips of a good journalistic writing (because I’ve been practicing for years at Liège University), it makes things harder when you have to write in a language that isn’t your first. I still have to improve my writing on many points. But all the articles I wrote here helped me get better. I do feel I extended my journalistic skills in researching and interview and writing news. The blog also introduced me to online content management techniques in order to publish my web stories – which I had done before, but not for a personal website. Once I’ll be back in Belgium, I’ll keep updating it and posting the articles I write.
Moreover, teachers were always available to help and for that reaison, I truly improved my writing and more important, I practiced the job on the field. The assignments were really hands on! In order to write a good article, we had to find interesting people to talk to. That’s the best way to learn by yourself, with both tutor’s ready to help if needed. They gave us the good tools in hand to get on. Starting the class with the theory and letting us practice by our own is, according to me, the best way to learn efficiently.
Through the assignments, I’ve targeted my weaknesses. The pressure is my worst enemy. I’ve experienced the job in real conditions, with the “Live News Day”. It wasn’t an easy piece, but that’s how you get better. We truly worked as a news team. We got used to the real environment of a busy working day.
My biggest strength is my passion for this job and my eager to learn and to improve myself. In this course, I’ve learnt that if you keep working hard and keep searching, you’ll be rewarded for your persistence.
One of the thing I’ll remember is that talking to people and being close to them is the best way to get the information you need to write the best article possible. Even if everything doesn’t always happen the way you predicted, if the work is done by the end of the day, that’s all that matters.
I picture myself working for some British newspapers or magazines in the future. With practice and will, I feel like these three weeks gave me the main keys and skills to keep going in that direction. It has been a great addition to my current cursus in Liège. I feel more convinced than ever that I chose the right path.