My Week as a Wales Online Journalist

Last May I experienced life as a professional journalist and the Welsh media powerhouse Media Wales, here’s how I got on. 

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Throughout university we are told work experience is invaluable when it comes to the media industry, therefore around about a year ago I started the painful process of emailing C.V’s and covering letters to media businesses, local and afar, in the hope of securing some experience. I was delighted to receive a quick response from Media Wales offering me a week long internship, I quickly R.S.V.P’d and set the internship up for after I finished my final semester of my second year at university.

I was overwhelmed yet anxious about the forthcoming internship as Media Wales is at the forefront of welsh news. Media Wales, based in Cardiff, produce numerous local newspapers around Wales and are the brainboxes behind the hugely popular Wales Online website, so I would be working alongside some immense and established names in the journalistic industry, which was exciting yet daunting at the same time.

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As the Monday rolled around I donned my stylish new office attire and headed to the Media Wales office in the centre of Cardiff. As soon as I arrived I realised I had nothing to be anxious about, I was greeted by Pat English who quizzed me on what I wanted to achieve during my internship (which was to gain an insight into a professional journalistic environment to judge my eligibility at becoming a journalist in the future), had a tour of the building and various departments, and was introduced to the news desk and the Celtic news writers, who would chaperone me during my week there.

To my surprise, I was straight away treated as a professional and asked to produce a story about a little girl named Grace who generously donated her hair to the Little Princess Trust to create wigs for Cancer patients. I was given some brief notes on the story and decided to contact Grace’s mother to delve deeper into the story. Whilst on the phone I was able to speak to little Grace herself and got a heart-warming quote off her explaining; “my hair’s going to make a little wig for poorly girls and boys with cancer, that makes me happy”. This story was a joy to write and showed me that news is not all about doom and gloom. After being sent to the news desk I was overwhelmed to discover that the article was published on the Wales Online website and had been shared through various social media platforms. I was even more awestricken to learn that the story would also be published as a full page spread in the Glamorgan Gazette, with my name in the by-line!

Another story which I enjoyed producing was entitled “Street Style Cardiff: Wales’ capital is embellished with fashionistas”. To create this piece I look to the streets of Cardiff to hunt down Wales’ most fashionable to snap them and feature them in this style article. This fashion piece was right up my street and was very rewarding, as everyone featured felt honoured to have been complimented and asked to feature in a fashion article.

In fact the week was non-stop as I produced numerous other journalistic pieces ranging from a garden visiting Heron to a record breaking hairdresser. I even had another story printed in the South Wales Echo congratulating generous twins on their charity work.

To sum up, I thoroughly enjoyed this week and learned that journalism can be rewarding as I made people’s voices heard throughout my pieces. I also loved the fact that I was treated as a professional at Media Wales and was offered the chance to showcase my journalistic ability rather than my tea making skills throughout the week. I would like to thank everyone at Media Wales for their time and for allowing me to gain an insightful and reputable piece of work experience in the contemporary media industry.

Here’s a selection of my favourite articles I produced during my internship;

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/amazing-grace-porthcawl-donates-treasured-9284786

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/watch-brazen-heron-swoop-down-9287717

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/hairdresser-curls-teases-tames-create-9287949

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/lifestyle/fashion/street-style-cardiff-wales-capital-9296527

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