I was in Brighton for a couple of days to explore the city that will soon be my home. In September I'll be starting an intensive journalism course at Brighton Journalist Works. The course is based at the Argus and offers plenty of hands on practical experience along with completing the qualifications needed to enter the profession.
For most students on the course the latest chapter in their life story is graduation or even passing A-levels. Mine rambles on for another decade and a bit through various jobs and studies in different parts of the world. I'm looking forward to focusing on the writing which I've been doing and enjoying alongside everything else but I'll have a lot to learn.
I'll be working to tight deadlines, trying to find the latest scoop from friends, shopkeepers, small ads and anyone else who crosses my path. I'll have to get my head round media law and most challenging of all learn shorthand.
This is still an essential skill for journalists and it's not easy to master. The basic characters are fairly straightforward. Each letter of the alphabet is reduced to a simpler form. It quickly becomes more complicated when you start writing words. You remove all unnecessary letters like vowels and double consonants and weld the remaining ones into a single character. The result looks more like Arabic and at the moment any benefit from the streamlining process is lost in the time it takes to read characters and work out how to write them. The goal is to reach 100 words per-minute by the end of the 14 week course. It's going to be hard work for me and the tutor.
The course is going to be a life-changing experience with some great job opportunities at the end. I look forward to doing more of the things I've enjoyed about journalism so far. I like meeting people and hearing about their lives and passions whether they're an international celebrity or someone who lives down the road. I've had the opportunity to do things and go to places that I wouldn't have had otherwise. Also I get to live in Brighton which everyone says is great. During my short trip I discovered a number of things to love about it.
I'll have more to say about all this in the coming months. Wish me luck!