Journalism apprenticeships & side hustles

journo tips, podcasts, supporting regional voices & local journalism

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From Katie B…

From government scandals to Love Island reveals, the news has been too much this week. Big congrats to those who are shortlisted in the UK Writing Awards - as Katie W says below you don’t need that blue tick or award to make you a journalist. Whether you go down the degree route or build up your career as a freelancer, you are no more or less valid as a journalist.

This is a topic Shahed and Emma discuss in S1 of Northern Natter:

We are waiting on emails back from guests for some episodes of S3 and are due to get those dates in the diary to start recording episodes. Over on our Instagram we have been recording ‘little snacks’ of Northern Natter content, with another to be recorded next week so make sure to follow us over on Insta!

From Katie W…

Social media is such a bubble that sometimes it can feel like it is EVERYTHING - like it is the only way employers will find you, the only way to share your work and show your ‘worth’. But I promise you, it is not. Yes Twitter and TikTok are great tools to use and they are great to help you network but it is not the be-all and end-all.

You don’t need that blue tick or award to make you a journalist. There is a life outside Twitter and I came to the realisation this week that this bird app won’t be around forever and what if one day it just crashes? Then what? At the end of it, you won’t be remembered for how many followers or verification stickers you have - you’ll be remembered for that ground-breaking investigation or lifestyle piece that went viral. That first-person essay that made someone feel less alone. You’ll be remembered for absolutely grafting and powering despite the rejection emails and the competitive nature of this industry.

That resilience speaks a thousand words. More than any blue tick will.

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Journo tip of the week

Let’s chat how to balance your 9-5 job with a creative side hustle…

Katie B: Balancing a 9-5 job with a creative side hustle can be a challenge but also a massive learning curve. Finding routines that work for you can really help to increase your productivity.

Set realistic expectations that work for you: We tend to compare ourselves to others especially in the digital world. Set yourself goals of 200 words a day or an illustration every week to set yourself into a routine of productivity.

Use management tools online for productivity: List-making & productivity apps like Trello and Forest can help you to concentrate when getting work done.

Optimise your time: Focus on one task at once and work on a project for a decent amount of time to get yourself into a ‘workflow’ that is productive for you.

Who to follow

Jen Thomas - radio presenter & music journalist

Neve Gordon-Farleigh - freelance journalist and Tiktok queen

Moya Lothian-Mclean - politics editor at Gal-dem

Joseph Cawthorn - news editor at DC Thomson Media

Follow us on Instagram

NN reacts

Katie W: If you’re looking for a new programme to watch - I need to recommend We Are Lady Parts on All4 to you. This witty comedy follows Amina as she joins a rock band and leads a double life between her guitar solos and bridesmaid duties.

Katie B: So happy that we’re getting a Series 3 of Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK!

Song of the week

Katie W:

Katie B: Two words, YAS QUEEN.

Jobs and opportunities

FREELANCE: Aurelia Magazine (in partnership with the Manchester International Festival) are looking for journalists who live in Manchester for pieces that explore past experiences in the city and hopes for the future. Deadline is 2nd July, commissioned writers will be paid £200.

FREELANCE: JournoResources are looking for a senior journalist who will write original features and investigations, working on a freelance basis. They’re looking for someone with at least two years’ experience working as a journalist, who can bring fresh and original ideas for features for their editorial advice section. £500 a month for three stories. Applications close at midnight on June 30th so get applying!

FREELANCE: Amy Abrahams is editing the Stylist Magazine food section and is looking for pitches for their print and digital issue for the next few months. Pitch to

FREELANCE: Paranting Magazine are accepting pitches for their August issue on travel, fashion, beauty, health, relationships, home and garden, music and culture. 25p per word, payment terms are discussed openly by email. Email with your pitch.

FREELANCE: The Manchester Evening News are looking for experienced journalists for paid freelance shifts. Email for more information.

FREELANCE: Emily Baker, the TV editor at INews wants your pitches - send your opinion pieces on all thing tele to

FREELANCE: SoftPunkMag are on the hunt for submissions of poetry, fiction and non-fiction pitches. Send to

FREELANCE: Jess Commons is looking for writers to pitch stories about dating experiences post-lockdown. Pitch to

FREELANCE: Miranda Larbi is calling for fitness pitches, looking for ‘fun first person pieces, interviews, technical tips, useful info that will help women to get stronger’. £150 a piece. Pitch to

REMOTE: Reach PLC are hiring a number of sports journalists on 6 month fixed term contracts covering tennis, golf, MMA & boxing, rugby and cricket.

SHEFFIELD APPRENTICESHIP: Sheffield Star is offering 3 journalists a rare chance to learn as you earn as apprentice journalists. Successful candidates will complete an NCTJ news diploma in journalism, have their college fees paid and professional training and support on the job.

NORTHUMBERLAND APPRENTICESHIP: JPI Media are recruiting a journalist apprentice. They are looking for two individuals aged between 18 and 24 to join their team to provide a daily supply of news, sport, video and pictures for their newspapers, websites and social media across Northumberland. This is an 18-month contract, you will gain an NCTJ diploma while working. Closing date is 2nd July.

SUNDERLAND: The University of Sunderland’s career and employability service is recruiting a digital content coordinator. Part time role, 18.5 hrs a week, £25,910 to £31,784 per annum pro rata. The role has been created to drive and improve Sunderland Futures’ web-based and digital delivery through the creation and management of online content and the optimisation of existing online tools and resources. Closing date is 18th July.

SUNDERLAND: The University of Sunderland’s mediaHUB has several internships open for applications at the moment. All 9 month contracts, £18k per annum; mediaHUB graduate intern, Spark (radio) graduate intern and TV studio graduate intern.

SUNDERLAND: LocalTV are hiring a multimedia journalist. As part of their bold expansion plans, LocalTV are looking to take on a new multimedia journalist to work primarily on their digital platforms. There will be occasional TV work as part of this role so you must be comfortable with presenting on camera. £18k salary. Closing date is 4th July.

NEWCASTLE: National Energy Action are looking for a press and media officer. £28,296 - £32,879 a year, full-time permanent role. Reporting into NEA’s Head of communications and campaigns, you will promote NEA and their campaign for warm homes across general and specialist media, raising the issue of fuel poverty up the news agenda. Closing date is 9th July.

NEWCASTLE: Social media savvy? Tarka Web Design are hiring a social media executive. £18k-21k salary, full time permanent role.

NEWCASTLE: ITAE Studios are hiring a videographer & editor to join their team. £24-28k a year, full time permanent role. You will be managing a state of the art TV Studio based in Newcastle. You will ensure programmes are produced to a high technical standard and manage all aspects of the operations and production end-to-end.

DURHAM: Aston Workshop are seeking an experienced and creative digital marketing executive with great creative writing skills to be part of a team responsible for the implementation of digital marketing strategies. This role is offered initially as a 6 month fixed term contract with the future potential for retention; salary of £19,760 -£23,920.

EDINBURGH: Heehaw Films are hiring a production assistant on a permanent basis. Working closely with their team of producers, you’ll be fully involved in helping a project go from concept to delivery. Send your CV to

GLASGOW: Film City Futures are looking for an Administration & Communications Officer to provide project, administrative and communications support across their two flagship programmes Focus and Short Circuit. Fixed term contract until 31st March 2022, £22-24k, full time role. Closing date is 27th June at midnight.

GLASGOW: BBC are hiring a senior journalist for the Nine. Six month full time contract, Band D salary. You will contribute original story and guest ideas and develop creative story treatments; prepare and produce items for the Nine and its related programmes; oversee guest booking for filmed packages and live interviews; work closely with reporters and correspondents to produce journalism to the highest standard, making key editorial decisions along the way. Closing date is 28th June.

GLASGOW: LocalTV are hiring a multimedia journalist. You will be passionate about local storytelling and be able to bring the biggest stories to life through video, text and pictures. You will be a multi-skilled journalist with a passion to tell stories through editing, writing, researching, shooting and reporting skills. £18k a year. To apply submit a cover letter outlining how you’ll be the perfect fit for the role, your CV and links to past work plus a 60 second scripted piece to camera on the biggest local story in your region with a headline and 300 word article to go with your story. Closing date is 4th July at 8pm.

GLASGOW: A Play, A Pie and A Pint are hiring a producer to work alongside their artistic director, producing more than 30 new plays a year. Fixed term contract for two years, 35 hours a week, £27k salary. Send your application to Closing date is 1st July at 10.30am.

Good luck if you are applying!

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