Reflections on work experience: are some newsrooms failing the next generation of journalists?

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


While undertaking short periods of work experience has been a time-honoured route into the journalism industry, placements have failed to keep pace with the requirements for mutually beneficial training. Yet work experience has the potential to solve many issues relevant to today’s newsrooms, including recruitment of talent and the ability to refresh ideas and communicate news to a younger audience. This study examines student reflection on short work placements offered at UK media organisations by journalism undergraduates between 2009 and 2015, and also by journalists who have been employed in the media for many years. It covers national and regional newspapers, broadcasters, and press and public relations offices. Initial observations were disseminated at the Association of Journalism Education Annual Conference in June 2016. This article unpacks the findings of a follow-up survey which indicates the majority working in news media today believe their work experience cemented their ambition to become a journalist, while others still believe it is an unfair way to get your journalistic foot in the door.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournalism Education: the Journal for the Association of Journalism Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • Work experience
  • work placement
  • work-based learning
  • journalism
  • newspapers
  • reporters


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