Case study

MA Multimedia Journalism — Kishan Koria

Philosophy, politics and economics graduate Kishan studied MA Multimedia Journalism at the University of Kent's Centre for Journalism

Why did you decide to pursue postgraduate study?

While working as an economics teacher, I decided that I wanted to change career and become a political journalist.

However, I learned that the media is a notoriously tricky industry to break into without some guidance. It soon became apparent that I'd need some form of journalism training.

I could've completed a National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) course, but the prospect of more thorough training and reflection on best practice in journalism made Masters study the more rounded option.

Why did you choose this institution and course?

Many Masters degrees in journalism dictate which field of journalism you go into: print, radio, TV or online. However, these lines are becoming increasingly blurred; the best correspondents produce content for all mediums.

The University of Kent offered a multimedia course that would prepare me for any political journalism role. I was also very impressed by the fact that this particular programme provided the NCTJ accreditation required for many print journalism jobs, as not all Masters degrees offer this.

In addition, I felt confident that I'd receive true mentorship from experienced and enthusiastic Centre for Journalism staff, plus great insight into the industry.

What's more, the Centre is aligned to a local media outlet (KMTV) which broadcasts live from the campus. It has great links with the local media, as well as national broadcasters such as Sky News.

What did the course teach you that your first degree did not?

The programme was highly practical and focused on producing employment-ready journalists. This made it hugely different to my highly academic undergraduate degree; all of the theory in my Masters degree was placed within the context of modern journalistic practice.

Technology is fundamental to modern journalism. I was given a one-year boot camp in filming, recording and editing content suitable for TV, radio, print and online - something very different to the essay writing that dominated my first degree.

What did the course involve?

Firstly, it included an academic Masters degree that investigated the purpose and practice of journalism. This included the study of British public affairs, as much journalism is produced through the scrutiny of these powerful institutions.

Secondly, there was the NCTJ-accredited course. This included all of the exams needed to be an industry-standard journalist, including 100 words-per-minute shorthand - an invaluable tool when in a press conference trying to get killer quotes.

Overall, the course provided rigorous training in how to source stories and turn them into engaging pieces of journalism. I had to work hard to keep up, but I graduated with a thorough foundation in journalism and the confidence that I had the skills to thrive.

What areas of work could you go into as a result of your further study?

A broad and detailed journalism Masters degree such as this can push you in numerous directions. However, if you're anything like me, you become a journalist.

During the course I secured work experience at a local newspaper, worked on a television programme being produced by the local TV station, spent days shadowing at BBC South East and BBC Radio Kent, and visited the filming of The Andrew Marr Show. I also secured a two-week internship at Sky News and ended up working for them during the local and devolved elections.

Before I sat my final exams, I managed to get a job working for ITV on their new Sunday morning politics show Peston on Sunday. I'm still working there now.

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