Journo student: Thoughts and exploits

Magazines you love, magazines you hate
April 5, 2009, 7:43 pm
Filed under: journalism, magazines, Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Due to the recent demise of British magazines such as Maxim and Arena, I decided to do some vox pops to see which magazines people would hate to see fold and which ones they wouldn’t mind seeing the back of. Click on the link below to hear the podcast.

Flickr image courtesy of Bravenewtraveler

Flickr image courtesy of Bravenewtraveler

 Which magazines would you hate to see go bust?


The death of Maxim, the launch of Wired
April 5, 2009, 3:40 pm
Filed under: journalism, magazines | Tags: , , , , ,

 The future of glossy, monthly magazines is looking increasingly shaky as news of the demise of men’s magazine Maxim is revealed this week.  The magazine can no longer sustain its print version so is now confined solely to the web. This, of course, throws up all kinds of worrying questions about the future of print magazines in general, especially after the recent death of Arena and Eve. Perhaps the future of magazines is inevitably going to be online, a terrifying thought for any aspiring magazine journalist.

 The launch of a different kind of men’s mag this week, Wired, does something to dispel this view however. Primarily a technology and lifestyle magazine with the tagline: ‘The future as it happens,’ Wired has jumped into the market at exactly the right time.


image courtesy of

image courtesy of

 So, perhaps it’s not the demise of print journalism that we should be worried about, rather a shift in mood that the likes of Arena and Maxim have not been able to catch up with.

 James Brown, former Loaded editor wrote in today’s Observer: “There are many reasons why the monthly men’s magazines sector is collapsing. They became to narrow in focus, driven mainly by covers selling sex, and they were rendered less relevant by the arrival of weeklies (Nuts and Zoo), frees (Shortlist and Sport) and specialist male newspaper supplements (The Mail on Sunday’s Live and Observer Sport Monthly).”

 Read the full article

After we graduate…
March 26, 2009, 5:06 pm
Filed under: journalism, magazines | Tags: , , ,

So, in my panic about the lack of jobs in the media I decided to find out what my fellow City students had lined up for after they graduate and what one of our tutors did when he graduated during the last recession…

In order- Izzy Janner, Nicola Davison, Jo Abeyie, Ali Plumb, Patrick (from the newspaper course) and John Rennie (City university tutor)


As the end of my journalism course becomes slightly more visible, panic is definitely starting to grow. Whispers of “job” and “internship” can be heard floating around the department and that niggling little worry that there are actually no jobs to be had in the media is beginning to surface.


Anxious questioning of fellow students reveals that, in fact, we are all in the same crammed and nervy boat. Hardly anyone has anything lined up for when they finish and everyone is still pretty clueless about how to go about finding anything. Far from reassuring me that I am not alone, I am acutely aware that there will be 46 of us released into the job arena at the same time, vying for minimum wage internships and editorial assistant jobs at Total Karp. And that’s just on the City magazine course.


While we are reassured by tutors that jobs will indeed materialise, I am becoming more unnerved by the day. An event held by Women in Journalism last week in Islington made it clear that coming straight out of a postgraduate course and into a job is becoming more unlikely. Maureen Rice, editor of Psychologies magazine commented on how internships are fast becoming the only way to get into a paid job on a magazine.


This may be the case for many magazines but I wonder how much of a waste of time it is to do an internship that doesn’t lead straight into a job. I did some work experience at Easy Living magazine over Christmas and was working along side a six-month-er who was coming towards the end of her minimum-wage internship. She told me how she was struggling to live in London on minimum wage and was hoping that this internship would leave to a permanent position at the magazine and a pay increase.


While I was there she was called into a meeting and told that they would not be taking her on after her six months were up as the magazine had no positions available. She was suddenly completely jobless and I don’t think my interjections of, “at least it will look good on your C.V” did much to console her.


So, even if you manage to get into an internship, there is no guarantee that this will lead into a job. A friend of mine from my course has decided to turn this job-drought into an opportunity to go abroad for a few months and take some journalistic work in Shanghai. This is starting to sound enviable. Ruth Gledhill told us that if we ever wanted to go travelling for a year, this is certainly the year to do it. Either that or, as Maureen Rice said that many young journalists are doing, turn from journalism to PR. God, I think I know which one I’d prefer.



Vlog it, pod it, sod it
February 15, 2009, 10:42 pm
Filed under: journalism, magazines | Tags: , ,

Will traditional reporting soon be obsolete? Image courtesy of CareersWiki

I came to my journalism course knowing very little about new media and frankly not caring a whole lot about it either. In the space of a few months I have gone from calm indifference to worry!Fear!Panic!

It is becoming glaringly apparant, as reiterated by every tutor and lecturer since September that my career in journalism will not be a career in journalism unless I welcome new media into my life as if it were the soulmate I never knew existed. My soulmate doesn’t like me, I can tell. The blogging is fine, it’s the other things that gets me down. The futility of Twitter bemuses me still and the podcasting and vlogging is obviously too complicated for my technophobic brain to deal with. Don’t even get me started on Quark.

So, PWR New Media (some American company, I’m struggling to work out what they actually do) released survey results last week saying that 60 per cent of the 215 journalists surveyed now contribute to a blog and other online media sites, 39 per cent of those only started this in the past year.

Clearly all journalists are starting to panic. Job cuts and fear are driving us all to the internet and there we shall stay until job security is resored. Maybe then we will be able to pick back up our notebook and pen and creep back into the arena of real life reporting. This feels unlikely however, new media is gaining momentum by the day. I mean, why go out on the street to look for stories when you can scroll through endless ‘tweets’. It’s not being lazy, it’s being media savvy don’t you know.