“Watch the evening TV news even though that’s not your usual practice,” was the advice given to more than 150 journalism students who attended Southern’s “Working in journalism” event at Southampton Solent University in late November.
The comment came from Sky’s assistant editor (mobile), Peter Diapre, who said that bulletins are good at visual storytelling. He added that the same techniques apply across a range of platforms, even for bite-size news on smaller screens.
Eighteen experts from the BBC, ITV, Sky, Olympic Broadcasting, local TV and press, including a range of freelancers, were on hand to reflect on changing industry practices as well as outlining the unchanging skills required for visual journalism.
Basic curiosity, good writing, stimulating stories and a strong visual imagination were all mentioned as essential.
Among the visiting professionals were those in their first jobs who had qualified in the summer. They stressed the need to land work placements and, when on a placement, to be confident and pro-active.
The new journalists also said that they had learned the importance of honing social skills and being well organised. “Great,” said one student. “I feel ready to go and do it now!”