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Jobs & Internships Round-Up

Here’s a quick summary of some of the latest opportunities…

For more opportunities, take a look at our jobs and internships sections!

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The Scott Trust – Journalism Bursaries

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Location: Nationwide

Closing date: April 27th

The Scott Trust Ltd, owner of Guardian Media Group plc, offers a number of bursaries each year for aspiring journalists to study for a post-graduate qualification in either newspaper, online or broadcast journalism.

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Celebrity Contributors: Right Or Wrong?

Kate Moss Vogue Cover

Kate Moss has graced the cover of Vogue many times – now she edits for it. Pic: Eloisegiles

Student journalist Anna Fearon explores the ramifications of a very recent phenomenon: the celebrity ‘guest editor’…

Last month, James Corden stepped into the building of tabloid newspaper, The Sun. He wasn’t there to be interviewed – he was guest-editing the newspaper’s Friday edition in aid of Sport Relief. This was a great opportunity for the newspaper to rope in our favourite Gavin and Stacey character for some journo work – and Corden didn’t disappoint. He put himself on page three in place of the usual topless model and brought us an interview with Prime Minister David Cameron instead.

Whilst this may have been for charity, it isn’t the first time a publication has hired a celebrity to work for a magazine. Kate Moss joined Vogue as a contributing fashion editor in 2013, with her first assignment being to style model Daria Werbowy for a photoshoot. Of course, aside from her obvious celebrity status, it makes sense to have Moss on board from an editorial perspective. After working in the fashion industry for so many years, she obviously must have a lot of inside knowledge.

However, I think it would be safe to say that Kate Moss won’t be working the same long hours as the rest of the editorial staff. She won’t be in the office of Vogue House on a daily basis, sharing the stress of her colleagues as they prepare the magazine for publication. The fact is she’s a busy lady whose modelling career takes her across the globe, so there’s only so much she can do as a contributor.

The magazine responded to Moss’ appointment on its website by saying, “She will be a hands-on editor, joining the rest of the Vogue fashion team of stylists and working with her choice of photographers and models.” But how realistic is this?

Do celebrities really deserve to get such a job title when they have no former journalism experience and don’t put in the same hours that the in-house staff do? Getting celebrities involved in magazines can be good PR for a publication – but I can’t help thinking that it’s a kick in the teeth to journalists who have got the training and spent their career working hard and, in their early years, probably for nothing.

Getting into the industry is no easy feat and once you are there it doesn’t get any easier. News is 24/7, deadlines are short and standards are high. It’s not a career for the feint hearted. When a celebrity waltzes into an office and gets a role in an editorial team just because of their status it is certainly understandable that those who have worked hard to get into journalism should feel frustrated.

Of course, that isn’t to say that celebrity editors don’t work well as a concept. I once picked up a copy of US Glamour in 2012 which Victoria Beckham guest-edited. She then went on to edit the 2013 Christmas edition of Vogue Paris (naturally she was on the front cover).

Her contribution is invaluable to fashion journalists looking to gain an insight into the influences on her brand. It’s very hard to get interviews with stars like Victoria Beckham and Kate Moss. Public announcements from them are rarity, so at least if they edit magazines we can gain access to their outlooks.

But as journalists what should we do? Should we be utilising the stature of celebrities and employing them to work alongside us, or do we have a duty to ensure that only journalists edit publications? Our free press faces a real threat if more celebrities were to join editorial teams.

Imagine Hollywood A-Listers editing our broadsheets and tabloids – surely the outcome would be that nothing derogatory about them or their friends would ever be printed. Whilst I accept that there are many intelligent, cultured celebrities out there, I am not convinced that the right place for them is to play a key role within the editorial process.

What do you think? Should celebrities be editing magazines and tabloids? If you have an opinion, leave a comment below! Anna Fearon is Magazine Journalism MA student at Cardiff University. You can follow her on Twitter @Fearon91.

Life In Italy: My Journalism Traineeship

Florence: Pic: Echiner1

Not a bad view – Mark Briggs has spent a year on placement in Florence. Pic: Echiner1

Mark Briggs is currently on the European University Institute’s paid traineeship in Florence, Italy. As the scheme opens for this year’s intake, he shares his experiences and offers some advice…

It was never my intention to move to Italy. I’d graduated from my journalism MA the previous year and spent the winter scratching together the occasional freelance commission or taking part in unsatisfactory work placements and internships.

Every cover letter I wrote stretched my experiences to the full as I tried to eke out that dreaded requirement of “1-2 years’ experience” that seemed to be stained on any job description I could find.

I am sure many can relate when I say that the graduate job market in the media industry can be pretty unforgiving. It’s like a closed shop with hundred of voices shouting at the window begging to be let in.

That is where traineeships like the one I have been doing with the European University Institute can be so beneficial in kick-starting your journalism career. They really provide you with an opportunity to get that much-needed foot in the door.

I have spent the last year generating ideas for features, reporting on speeches or conferences and chasing down experts to get their opinions and analysis on current affairs. As a result, I have a portfolio brimming with articles on a vast variety of subjects.

So how did I get the traineeship? A year ago a friend sent me the job description for the position. There was no vox-popping, no re-writing of press releases, no making the tea. It sounded appealing, so I sent in my application.

A week later I had a phone interview and a few days after that they offered me the position. I think what helped me with my application was that I had experience writing in different styles – I had not just done hard news, but also feature-writing and interviews.

I had also lived in a foreign country before, having spent four months in Chile working for the Santiago Times. I would say that was quite important, as this is a year-long traineeship and the last thing they want is to have to re-advertise in two months’ time because the occupant is homesick.

The fact that English is my mother tongue was also essential – whilst the staff are all bilingual, they still liked having me around to check that a phrase in an email or announcement sounds “native.”

The role itself is varied. There is a print magazine for external stakeholders (EUI Times) and there is a blog and newsletter for the community (EUI Life). In addition to writing for these, there is the chance to get to grips with social media, as well as the opportunity to do a bit of photography and occasional video work.

A standard day would involve turning up at Villa Salviati (Google it, it’s gorgeous) and transcribing an interview from the day before. I’d then check the news to see if there were any stories that a member of the EUI had particular expertise in and arrange to interview them (usually over a coffee) for an article or feature I might be working on. Then I would villa-hop to my next interview.

There are obviously certain parameters, but to a large extent you can really make the role your own. For example, my predecessor was much more of a newshound than I am and did a lot of reporting from the myriad of events held at the EUI, whereas I focused more on features and interviews. There’s also likely to be more potential for multimedia work in the future.

Going into the traineeship, my biggest fear was that this was just going to be a press officer role dressed up under a more exciting job title. Whilst there admittedly isn’t much scope for investigative journalism (you’ll hardly unearth deep corruption and embezzlement of European Union funds), I can still safely say you won’t be churning out press releases either. I’ve been there nearly the full year and I can count on one hand the number of them I have had to write.

And of course, I cannot finish without addressing that big Dolce Vita-shaped elephant in the room: Florence.

Life in Italy is, to a large extent, pretty much everything you would imagine it to be. The food is good and the coffee is short. The locals are late, passionate and gesticulate more widely than a signer at a South African leader’s funeral. The surrounding region of Tuscany is a great location. You can get to most of the other major cities in around two hours by train, there is a great coastline, picturesque mountains and more history than your can shake Da Vinci’s paintbrush at.

I also now have a much better idea of where I want my career to go. I know what jobs I will be good at and which I won’t. At times I found the move away from the buzz and energy of London difficult, but I will miss Florence terribly. It has been a great year, and one that (in my opinion at least) has made me a better journalist. What more could you ask for from a traineeship?

The EUI is currently taking applications for this year’s scheme, beginning in June 2014 – to find out more, click here. You can also follow Mark on Twitter @briggsma.

 

European University Institute – Paid Traineeship (Italy)

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Location: Florence, Italy

Closing date: Ongoing

The European University Institute has a year long paid traineeship available for a recent graduate. The role involves everything from short news pieces to longer features writing, as well as interviews and a social media component. It’s a great opportunity for someone to learn by doing, while living in Italy at the same time.

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