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THREAD: As many journalism students are understandably concerned about their work during the disruption caused by #coronavirus, here is some of the advice I've been giving to my students...
1/ Adaptability is a key skill in journalism. This period will see you learning how to adapt in ways that you will draw on throughout your journalism career. See this as a challenge, not an obstacle...
2/ Watch a range of news to see how professional journalists are adapting to limitations on the movement of their sources, colleagues, and themselves — as well as adapting to the news agenda being dominated by one story
3/ ...Journalistic adaptation is both technical and editorial, so whatever area you are interested in — music journalism, fashion journalism, lifestyle, food, sports reporting — take a moment to think of story ideas which react to that news agenda
4/ It might take longer to reach sources — but equally, sources might have more availability because they have had to cancel meetings, trips etc. Ask for different contact numbers — mobile, Skype, etc. — as sources work from home, and always try to interview *verbally*...
5/ If you cannot interview verbally then take steps to counter the drawbacks of interviewing via email or messages via social media. Ensure you ask follow-up questions, be prepared to ask them to expand on points/provide more detail, ask them for images/video
[Correction: interview orally, not verbally - thanks to @petewhite for pointing that out] (see… for more)
6/ ...On the subject of journalists adapting, here's my former @BCUJournalism student @laurathejourno on how she's working from home as a radio reporter for Bauer… and @DavidDTSS on how to avoid burn out
7/ ASSESSMENT: Journalism students may be concerned about how their marks will be affected by having to work during the #CoronaCrisis. Remember that most journalism assessment is not just about the product, but the *process*...
8/ ...No reasonable journalism lecturer is going to mark down a piece of work because you couldn't interview someone in person or go to a particular place because of #coronavirus restrictions, but make it clear in any evaluation what you did in response (i.e. adapt)
9/ You can also improve your marks by showing that you have read around the problem you are tackling.
Here, for example, is an article on how sports reporters adapted…
And here is how Italian journalists are adapting:…
10/ ...Here is how the @guardian is adapting to the situation…
And here is @rsm's tips for managing a remote newsroom during #coronacrisis…
Read guides like that and draw on them to help your own reporting (and reflect on it)
11/ Don't fall into the trap of thinking that, as so much of life has stopped, that you should stop too.
Review your plans:
🤔Which stories can you still do?
🤔Which stories do you need to adapt?
🤔Which stories will you have to drop?
These are all normal editorial questions
12/ For the purposes of assessment you might want to make notes on:
✅How I showed resourcefulness
✅How I showed persistence
✅How I showed creativity
✅How I showed organisation and planning
✅How I showed professionalism
13/ MENTAL HEALTH: The current situation will generate various pressures on your mental health as a journalism student, from uncertainty about studies to concern about loved ones, social isolation, and the effect of a constant stream of negative news...
14/ ... It's important to acknowledge the effect that the situation will have on your mental health, and explicitly plan strategies to address that. This is, effectively, part of your health and safety planning as a student journalist...
15/ For example, you might find it hard to concentrate because of the constant updates about #coronavirus — so consider ways to reduce those updates by limiting your news and social media consumption to particular timeslots each day...
16/ ...Once you've identified potential pressures on mental health, seek out resources that provide advice on those. Here, for example, is a guide specifically for journalists… ...
17/ ...and here is @firstdraftnews's guide for those reporting on the pandemic itself - some of which applies even if you're not reporting on it directly…
18/ ...of course you don't need journalist-specific guides. Look for general advice on mental health… and mindfulness tips to help find space to think
19/ ...Once again, try to see this in a positive light as part of your work as a journalism student: your research and planning around mental health and safety should be included in uni submissions where possible. It will help you be a better journalist in future too
20/ A final piece of advice to journalism students right now: COMMUNICATION IS KEY
Communicate with your lecturers about the challenges that you face and bring ideas for solving them so you can talk through the pros and cons of each...
21/ ...Share ideas/processes with others on social media. Listen to journalists on social sharing how they are tackling the challenges that you face — and don't be afraid to talk to them.
Communicate with fellow students to share tips & ideas — be constructive & supportive
On that note, what about you?
👏What resources have you found useful for practising journalism (in any field) during #CoronaCrisis?
💡What's the best advice you've been given as a journalism student?
👇Or the best advice you could give to a journalism student right now?
Here's another useful link for this thread — on making your home work space more ergonomic:…
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