It's the beginning of week two for the Winter 17 magazine course. Last week was extremely tough, but I do already feel as though I've learnt so much. I suppose those feelings go hand-in-hand with a course as intensive as this.
It can be very hard to write 'like a journalist', and I think part of the problem is the way English is taught in schools. Remember in GCSE English when you were marked on how well you used punchy adjectives and punctuation to make sentences flow? Writing as a journalist is pretty much the opposite of this. Everything has to be short, succinct, and detail based. This is a shame, as I was very good at GCSE English.
One unexpected positive of the course is how much culture we're exposed to. Last week I went to two exhibitions, one of which was in office hours. It was of course for the purpose of finding news stories, but it's nice to not be stuck behind a computer all day every day.
I've also been weighing up the pros and cons of the summer course vs the winter one. It can be very depressing the way we arrive and leave barely seeing any daylight. Doing vox-pops in the freezing rain is not a jolly affair. Equally though, working so hard in the summer when everyone else is drinking beers in the sunshine would need a Trojan amount of dedication. At least when we finish it will be spring and we can emerge from our press association cocoons as beautiful journalist butterflies. Maybe.