Want To Be A Journalist? Read This.

Ed Caesar's article in last weekend's Sunday Times will make fascinating reading for anyone who has ever thought, "that was sloppy journalism". It should be compulsory for those who developed that thought into, "I could do better".

I particularly enjoyed the re-visit to and re-working of Nicholas Tomalin's famous "rat-like cunning" article.

There were three surprises. Firstly, he didn't mention the largest single employer of journalists in the UK, the BBC.

Of course, I understand the article was about "print" journalism as distinct from Broadcasting. But in this multi-media world that is increasingly a distinction without a difference.

Secondly, while I recognised many of the characteristics of the people who succeed in the business, it surprised me to learn that many newsrooms could not function without interns. These are people who work for no pay or expenses, doing jobs which were previously paid roles, trying to survive in London, all to gain the experience they hope will eventually gain them paid employment. That's tough.

The third surprise form this dubiously honourable profession? This article appeared in the very newspaper which recently announced it planned to close almost all it's operation in Scotland. Still want to be a journalist?

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