Northland, New Zealand

Writing journalism: still some skin in the game

I threw myself headlong studying and practising journalism in 2013-2014 (Graduate Diploma in Journalism Studies through Massey University) and I published lots of solid news stories thanks to hard work. 

When I say I threw myself headlong, I mean editors asked me to jump and I would say ‘How high?’ I worked as hard as I possibly could and took every opportunity to impress the gatekeepers.

I got paid gigs doing shifts at NZME. throughout 2014, so that was cool, though the work was irregular. I experimented with trying to write news for publications outside NZME., and through a combination of bad luck and bad practice, I didn’t sink as many hoops as I wanted. In fact, I put together plenty of stories which were never published. 

There was also the problem of some people hiring me to write for them, and then those people running out of money after a couple of weeks…

Now, journalism for me was at a low ebb in 2015. It was only in 2016 that I secured an excellent job writing communications for Northland District Health Board, where I was given great challenges, the capacity to learn on the job, and I worked with big, serious, important topics and huge audiences. It was very rewarding. 

This year, I’ve come back to journalism with a passion. I set myself four goals and achieved three of those goals. 

1 – Get a story published on Noted.co.nz (Bauer Media) – achieved. 

2 – Get a long piece of journalism published on The Spinoff, and paid for it – achieved. 

3 – Publish a news story in North & South magazine, and be paid for top quality photos – achieved. 

4- Publish a news story in AA Magazine, which is one of the country’s largest mags – not achieved. D’oh! (that’s okay – the story is getting a big following on Neighbourly). 

So yeah, the point is, if you are truly passionate about an art form – such as journalism – even if you don’t achieve your goals on the first attempt, you can come back later and ace it. 

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Do you need a media release written? Would you like an interview about yourself published? Get in touch with Mike – mike@michaelboturwriter.com / 021 299 0984. 

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