I can say I’m a fairly experienced journalist: I was graduated 10 years ago (wow, time flies!), after a four-year course in (what is told as) one of the best universities in the field in Brazil. I started to work in a big newsroom before my graduation and held different positions there for 10 years. Now, I’m most of the type to be classified as versatile than an expert in one field (my longest experience in one sector was as a editor and city reporter for three years, what is a very diverse area), and that’s quite useful to work as a correspondent, for example.
So why would I enrol to a one-day introduction lesson?
- I wrote a single sport story in my life (until now!);
- Olympics are going to be host first by this country and then by my country in 2016 (with a World Cup there before it!);
- Let’s say 99% of my experience within the media industry was based on and even now is still related to Brazil;
- I wanted to test and challenge myself;
- As I’m starting a new chapter in my career, I have a lot to learn.
(Indeed, English first of all, and I’m already working on it – so, please, give me some time and bear with me for now!)
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*** Attention: there’re more courses over next months (oh, and it’s FREE, another reason I joined it, he). So if you’d like to take part in it and like to be surprised, don’t read this part ***
The lesson started with some comparisons among newspapers and their sports stories of the day. I was lucky to have Cynthia Vanzella by my side (we were colleagues in my hometown), so I was not the only alien there! We formed a trio with a lovely classmate of whom I forgot the name (shame!), but can’t forget her story: she’s a midwife who always wanted to be a sports journalist. The paper on our hands was The Guardian (so far, so good).
Next step was a quiz: a very good resource to point out one important detail journalists should know (can’t say more, sorry). Then Jack Travers, our instructor, talked about how to write: accuracy, 6Ws, structure etc, the basic rules for all journalist, plus a sporty touch in it.
In the afternoon, the challenge: we have to write a match report, while watching the game, as it happens in real life. I knew my colleagues at Zero Hora wrote their articles during the games, no time to finish after that, but I’ve never done this in Portuguese. And then, there I was, trying to do in English… The good news is that I got good tips about how to do it (something nobody explained to me before), and now I can do it (in Portuguese). Next was a press conference, again another story we should write in a short deadline. I got the feedback about my articles some days later.
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For me, the lesson was not only an introduction to Sport Journalism, but also an introduction to journalism in the UK and its training. For example, I learnt that short writing is essential for a journalist in the UK. In Brazil, it’s not. That’s reaffirmed I should go back to basics in England. Wish me luck!