By Christopher Ubsdell
There is always a feeling of loss that enters into the mind when one completes something. I had such a feeling recently when I completed my journalism course with Poached Creative and The Big Issue online journalists.
The course begun six weeks ago and for twice a week I have been going to my old stomping ground in Deptford, to meet my course tutors and fellow students. On leaving the course though, I have had time to reflect on the people I met and the things I learned.
We were given an insight into the world of Journalism and the media. We learned how to write news stories and take photographs to match our words. Features, and case studies were created and we were guided through the course and nurtured to produce work which I thought was of a high standard.
I usually write fiction, much of which has been lost or destroyed through my time on the streets. Recently I started writing again and the course was a challenge because it introduced to me, a completely new mode of writing. You must not write your own opinion when writing news, and you must stick to the facts. This type of factual writing was difficult but I found that with the guidance of the tutors I was able to tone my writing to the required stance. This has without doubt improved the quality of my work and made me more versatile.
The best part of the course was the trip to Thompson Reuters. It was interesting to see the inside of a working media office. We learned about social media and although I thought I knew it all I did pick up one or two little tricks, which goes to show you should always keep an open mind.
For me, the most difficult part of the course was the weeks in which we had to venture out and interview people. This was done for the feature week at first and then for the case study week. Both interviews were terrifying! The reason for this is because I worried that I might make a fool of myself, and lacked confidence recently. Both interviews went well however and I gleaned the information I needed to write the story. I think writing is quite a lonely occupation, sitting at a desk by yourself bleeding onto the keyboard. Journalism is very different and you have to be quite outgoing, a quality that comes and goes with me.
Toward the end, I realised that Journalism is not something I’d like to do full time. Mostly this is because of the type of person I am, and the sort of work I want to produce. But I needed this course to show me that. I needed to see inside, to realise that I had the wrong room. I hope the other people who took the course will find their true paths as well. There were some talented writers and photographers and I wish them all the best.
As for me, I will continue to write and have my own little campaign about homeless issues. In the future I hope to achieve something that will elevate my writing to a new plateau. I’ll think about the course I done in Deptford, remember the people I met there and will apply what I learned there not just about journalism but about myself. I’ll think back and remember how the course changed me and the way I create what it is I want to write.