The Times – Graduate Trainees, Picture Desk

Location: London

Closing date: September 28th

We are looking for two graduates to join The Times as trainee picture researchers. (more…)

Archant – Trainee Journalists (Stevenage)

Location: Stevenage

Closing date: September 26th

Archant’s Comet series serving Stevenage and North Herts is a great place to start your career.

(more…)

Manchester Evening News – Social Affairs Reporter

Location: Manchester

Closing date: September 19th

MEN Media is looking for Social Affairs Reporter to source, write and deliver high-quality, unique, agenda-setting content for our digital platforms.

(more…)

Telegraph Media Group – TV and Radio Internship

Location: London

Closing date: Ongoing

The Telegraph’s TV desk, which generates all TMG’s coverage of TV for both print and online from interviews with major TV stars to TV previews, is looking for a bright, capable intern to help with the running of the TV desk and a number of day-to-day tasks.

(more…)

The Life Of A Diarist – All Glitz & Glamour?

Champagne Glass by 1.Raymondo

A half-empty champagne glass – every diarist’s best friend? (Pic: 1.Raymondo)

Ever considered looking into newspaper diary writing as a line of work? Student Alexander Woolley fills us in on what life is like for those in the trade…

“Are you Scottish?”

I was wearing a tartan-looking tie. Well, striped, at any rate. “No,” I reply, a bit taken aback, in a very un-Scottish accent.

“Most of us are Scots, Catholics or Jews, that’s why I ask.”

It was the end of a week I’d spent in the office with the Mail on Sunday’s diary department, and I was chatting to a journalist friend of a journalist friend. “They’re all on the margins of society, you see,” he added.

Diversity of staff and diversity of roles – that was his message. And it’s something I’ve come to agree with this summer. Who knew that newspapers employ people to go to parties?

A diarist’s work revolves around reporting the comings and goings of the rich and famous, often in a light-hearted way, and appears somewhere towards the middle pages of a newspaper.

The Mail on Sundays diary is imaginatively called the Mail on Sunday diary, whereas other papers give theirs more exciting names. The Evening Standard has the Londoner’s Diary, the Telegraph has Mandrake, and the Mirror calls theirs the 3am column. The articles are often printed anonymously.

The life of a diarist is hardly what you’d expect journalism to be – which, in my imagination, was either sitting behind a desk armed with a telephone, email account and various caffeinated substances, or it was looking into a TV camera to the sound of gunfire.

Diarists, on the other hand, make a living out of going to parties, hunting celebrities and getting gossip out of them. “Go for the up-and-coming celebrities,” I was told. “They’re not so well media-trained.”

Diary work gets you in to places you wouldn’t otherwise have the chance, or reason, to visit. I’ve been to a Freemason’s lodge, the bar at the top of the Gherkin and a former fish market – all in the past couple of months. The job also makes you a pro at quaffing bubbly. “I’m just so used to drinking champagne,” a freelancer I’ve met a couple of times confided in me. “I drink so much of it for work.”

But it’s not entirely fun and games. Working at a party is never as enjoyable as simply being invited to one. Although the half emptied champagne glass is a potent tool, it doesn’t take long before you can no longer think of incisive questions to ask. You’re always slightly on edge, looking out for celebrities and determining when the best moment to approach them is.

But it is the sort of journalism that involves going places, meeting people and reporting on events that are taking place in front of you. It’s not just coughing up text to put around pictures.

Diarists aren’t the only type of journalists who attend these parties – which are almost all in London, by the way.

A lot of the events diarists work at are hosted by fashion brands, who like to promote new lines of clothing with glitzy parties. “Him? Oh he’s a famous fashion blogger,” a photographer told me at a recent event. That’s a thing you can make a living out of, apparently.

Mostly when people talk about journalism, it’s in sad and hushed tones, like you’d use at the funeral of a fondly-remembered great uncle. But with such a variety of ways that people are making a living in this trade, diary writing included, I’m struggling to see it that way now.

Do you think diary writing sounds like an exciting profession? Is it something you would pursue? Join in the debate on Twitter @Journograds or post a comment on Facebook

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