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Yet more redundancies… June 19, 2009

Posted by Matt Domm in journalism.
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P45

Exciting news today from The Guardian. Exciting for a neutral, non-journalist wannabe, that is. Ten percent of the GNM staff is being laid off. Voluntary redundancies they say but, to me, losing your job is losing your job. Something which – in terms of journalism at least – I haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing.

This weekend – as I returned to my quaint home town from the quaint town I was in for three years at university- one of my friends said, bluntly: “so I see journos are being made redundant all over the place then?” Yes, yes, it’s harder than ever to get in to the industry; I mean, who would want to employ me when I’m up against journalists with CVs longer than my life? His next question I had to laugh at: “Have you got a job yet then?”…

If I had the choice, I would already be working on magazines – preferably as a feature writer, as that is what I enjoy and am best at – but right now I’d be lucky to find anything remotely in the realm of writing, or reading, even. Entry-level positions are rare – though I have applied for one on my local paper, meaning I would have to stay in my quaint home town for longer than I’d wish – and my overdraft limit is edging closer; so it still looks as though unpaid placements, with weekend work to pay for them, is the most likely option until people want journalists again.

This week I have applied for a couple of (loosely related) jobs, a few placements and am now researching feature ideas to attempt a pitch or two… Freelancing is looking more and more appealing, I just unfortunately haven’t got a strong specialty. But I guess at least I have ( a couple of) options and I most certainly won’t give up hope.

In fact, in future, I am just going to ignore reading tweets that mention anything about job cuts and instead reads blogs and articles about how to actually make it as a journalist. Like this forum post. Or else I’ll end up in PR… shudder.