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IS A POSTGRADUATE QUALIFICATION THE BEST ROUTE INTO JOURNALISM?


Keith Ruffles takes a look at whether another year at university really will land you that media job of your dreams…


Hannah Marshall is clear about how she landed a job at one of the world’s most prestigious broadcasters. “I’m now working at BBC Radio Nottingham; first I was freelancing, but then I secured a full-time contract by January. Since then it’s been renewed several times.”


Hannah, like me, completed a postgraduate course in broadcast journalism at the University of Sheffield a couple of years ago.


It’s one of the few such courses nationally to be accredited by the Broadcast Journalism Training Council, a fact which Hannah says has been crucial in gaining a proverbial foot in the BBC door.


“I firmly believe that if I hadn’t completed my Masters that I wouldn’t have been given the ‘newsroom’ opportunities,” she says. “Before I started the Masters in 2008, I had worked within the BBC for two years but I was never given the opportunity to do hard


news despite achieving a Broadcast Journalist title. As soon as I had the Masters, I got a job in the Radio Newsroom.”


It’s a similar story with some of the course’s other graduates. Nick Smith left Sheffield with a first in journalism and he’s now working as Joint Head of News for two global radio stations based in Devon, whilst Adam Gabbatt and Sarah Corker landed jobs at the Guardian and the BBC respectively at a time when redundancies across the industry have made it harder than ever to gain a toehold.


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