Facing my future head-on

Deep South Media intern Charlotte Quar reflects on her time with the company and her future prospects in the world of journalism

What do you want to be? Where are you going in a year’s time? What is your aim? These are popular questions asked by teachers once you hit the end of your first year at college. My answer is simple. I want to write.

In September 2018 I aim to start my year-long journalism course at Highbury College, Portsmouth. My intention is to come out with the NCTJ Journalism Diploma shortly after I turn 19. Scary but beyond exciting.

But my plan was never to sit around and wait for my exams then head to Highbury. No, I wanted to face my future reality head-on to gain an understanding of what my professional future may look like.

I’m incredibly fortunate to gain a work experience placement at Deep South Media, the UK specialist in virtual press office services and working for 60 companies and organisations.

I began my work experience at a company that not only runs with confidence but is made up of interesting, funny and incredibly friendly staff.

Deep South Media comprises all qualified news journalists from daily regional newspapers. Experts to answer my questions on what my future career will look like, answers telling me the truth about the news gathering process and what makes a story.

You can’t write an article and declare you are a journalist. Journalism takes drive, initiative and trusting your own instinct. Ron Wain, Managing Director at Deep South Media, took me under his wing to show me what it takes to be a news journalist.

Not only have I learnt the importance of truth and accuracy but the dedication needed.

There is no room for fake news, thankfully. Interviews and research are conducted with a framework of questions: ‘Who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘when’, ‘why’ and ‘how’.

Verification and substantiation of facts and figures are important to the Deep South Media team – what they write in news releases can be independently checked out by receiving journalists and their audiences.

An article can make a difference. Change a perspective or help someone gain an understanding.

The media has more power than many of us would like to admit and it is essential it is produced correctly to ensure it is does the intended job.

Deep South Media has helped me see just how important digital content is as well as the team’s help in best ways to approach a news article. I can’t thank my new colleagues enough for their advice and guidance despite them being so busy.

One year left at college. Twelve months until I embark the rest of my life. Fifty-two weeks until the fun and games begin.