Career guide on how to become a BBC journalist

Planning to take up a career in broadcasting journalism? Eager to know how to get a job with BBC? This article provides an insight into the skills you need to launch your career as a BBC journalist. Details of their BBC journalist trainee apprentice scheme have been provided too.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is one of the most reputed and recognized names in the broadcasting industry. Their ability to break news as it is happening, their interviews with ordinary folk as well as with well-known personalities and their on-air discussions & debates on current topics are legendary.

No surprises, then, that those interested in the field of journalism covet a job with BBC. The most obvious way to apply for a job with BBC is to check out their current career opportunities and see if you fulfil the eligibility requirements. Another avenue that many are unaware of: sign up for their journalism trainee scheme at the BBC Academy. The trainee scheme is announced annually, generally in the first quarter of the year, with an interview session mid-year and the training beginning in the latter half of the year. This article focuses on the trainee scheme, but first let's get a brief overview about journalism in general.

What journalism is about

Journalism, to put it simply, is writing about events, places and people and reporting news, giving informative write-ups in print form or broadcasting it on air or posting it on an online platform. In whatever form, journalism is no way a job with fixed times. As such, neither is there any office schedule catering to Father Time nor any specific location for a fixed number of days. You may have to work extra hours to meet major deadlines or suddenly be assigned to a different office to work on a project or, if assigned to field work, need to go to a location to report something. Hence be prepared to have flexibility in both work time and in work location.

What skills are required to become a good journalist

It is essential to have in-depth knowledge and understanding in current affairs. You should also have some instinctive knack to be able to present news creatively.

Meeting deadlines and staying ahead of the competition is a pressure-cooker environment. Hence, the ability to deal with stressful situations with good mental strength is definitely a necessity. You need to be able to deal with quick challenges head-on and not buckle under pressure.

Don't forget the basic requisite to be able to work with different types of people!

Now, coming to the BBC trainee scheme, here's some information -

Who can apply

While age is not a barrier to apply for the BBC trainee scheme, with no upper age limit, the minimum age is 18 years. Nor is your academic qualification such as a graduate degree in journalism or a Diploma really relevant. The first and primary requirement to apply for the BBC trainee scheme is to have the right to live and work in the UK at the time of submission of your application. The BBC won't be supporting any application for a visa.

All that is required is that you have some understanding of the functions that social media plays in journalism, a sense of knowing how to reach out to an audience through your news and the ability to work across different platforms, namely television and radio, print media, digital platforms, etc.

What you also need to keep in mind is that the trainee scheme is not for novices. You need to provide some kind of indication / solid proof to support your budding journalism skills. Those who are already having work in the field of journalism are requested to do a re-think on applying for the scheme, since it makes no sense to go through a process of training of skills with which you are already familiar with.

People with disabilities are welcome to apply. They need to contact the resource team for any assistance required during the online application process and for the later assessment and interview procedures.

General features of the trainee scheme

Once you are accepted into the trainee scheme, you will be having a fixed term contract for the duration of 11 months. You will be paid £20,800 per annum. In case you are based in London, you will additionally receive an allowance of £4,560. Travel and accommodation expenses during the training sessions will also be provided.

The training faculty include specialists in the field along with senior BBC journalists. The best part – you get a superb opportunity to work hands-on with BBC News on radio, television, digital and online platforms. You have the option to mention in your application a specialist placement if you so wish, such as sports journalism or work on political news or photo journalism.

During the first four weeks you will be trained at the BBC Academy's headquarters in Birmingham and at other places. After that you will be assigned to a news team. Your place of work will be at one of BBC's national or regional news centres across Great Britain, including London, Birmingham, Bristol, Salford, Glasgow or Cardiff. You could get subsequent placements with online, radio and TV.

Job scope

Once your training is completed, you have the opportunity to launch your journalism career with a job at BBC itself. You could get a short-term contract of a few months or even for a whole year to help you on your way to become a reputed BBC journalist!

So do you have the zeal and potential to become a journalist with BBC? Then follow BBC for news of future schemes and regularly check the official BBC Academy website to know when the next application schedule for the trainee scheme is opened.

You may just get the opportunity to study abroad in UK at the BBC Academy and work too with BBC. Best of luck!

Article by Vandana
Vandana is based in India with over 15 years experience as a freelance writer. Writing, no doubt, is her primary passion! Having learned the art of blogging from ISC, Vandana is enjoying the thrills of blogging, taking pleasure in sharing information & getting good pageviews at her various blogs.

Follow Vandana or read 1337 articles authored by Vandana

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Author: K Mohan11 May 2017 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 3

Great article shared by the author which gives lots of information as to how to become a Journalist with the famous BBC media. Though the author gave elaborate details what I feel that those who aspiring to be journalist must have the zeal to work for 24 hours and ready to travel to places which were supposed to be dangerous and even be risky. The aspiring journo must have communication skills, understand the happenings there and report in a most clear manner so that the viewers should understand. Journalism is not that easy. Sometimes journos have to risk their life at the war front, they have to report from the mortuary, they have to be at the disaster site, etc. All these things need courage. There are chances when the competitor channel may flash the news first and all the hard work goes waste. So reporting in time and uploading the visuals matter the most. Education and eligibility alone does not guarantee this job, but courage and commitment to the job gives more respect and thus success is assured for ever.

Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao15 May 2017 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 2

A good article by Ms Vandana. She has given all required information to become a journalist in BBC. For a good journalist, patience is very important. He should posses lot of investigative qualities. Sometimes travelling will also be involved in this profession. Reporting in time is another quality one should possess to become a good journalist.

Being a journalist in BBC is prestigious and who are really interested in this profession should make an attempt.

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