Saturday, 18 October 2014

Business Proposal for my Enterprise module: A firm that finds media internships for aspiring journalists

It was with some trepidation that I began to consider a Business Proposal for my Enterprise module, and like with all this creative, my idea came to me when I least expected it: five minutes before I'd decided to go to bed.

My Business Proposal for my MA Enterprise module involves the creation of an agency that provides internships and work experience for aspiring journalists at other media companies.

While those who choose to make a career for themselves in other fields find it easy to obtain internships, that is not always the case in journalism, as the industry is still very much a word-of-mouth business.

The creation and nurturing of journalistic contacts is very important in this industry as it is these contacts who will have your name in mind and recommend you when they hear of a new job opening that suits you.

Work Experience

Work experience is often vital if people need to start a successful career in journalism, but in order to secure a stint at a company, it is important to have the right contacts. This is where my organisation comes in.

Through contacts that I have established, I can offer aspiring journalism students internships at companies that require interns.

The demand for those who pursue work experience shifts is likely to be there for a long time in the field of journalism as it is currently one of the world's fastest-growing fields.

For example, in Australia, as of November 2012, 29,800 journalists were employed. That number is expected to rise between 5,000 and 10,000 in the next five years, with the Australian media market growing at about the rate of 3% per annum.

Rate of growth of journalism jobs in Australia. Image courtesy: Open Colleges Australia.
Sources: Job Outlook Government website. ABS Labour Force Survey, DEEWR trend data to November 2012 and DEEWR projections to 2017. Estimates have been rounded.
Reproduced for academic purposes only

With the journalism market growing the way it is at present and with companies requiring more people to work, there will always be room for interns.

In addition to picking up valuable skills at these companies, should those on work experience impress their employers sufficiently, they may also be offered a job at that company, or be referred to another company where they may find gainful work that best suits their strengths, thereby putting them on the path to a long and successful career and securing their long-term future.

Journalism in Practice

Learning about the office environment at media organisations aside, those on work experience can also put into practice first hand the laws that they've learned so much about during their time at university.

Scores for Freedom of the Press in the Sultanate of
Oman as issued by Freedom House. Oman has some of
the most restrictive press laws in the Arab world, a
region itself known for strict controls on Freedom of
Expression. Image courtesy: Freedom House.
Reproduced for academic purposes only
In addition, these trainee journalists will also gain practical knowledge on how to construct their stories while following the ethical considerations set out for them and the laws of the country that they're working in.

Just like I have, the lessons they learn from practising journalism while following the guidelines of that particular country will be permanently ingrained in them.

Also, the manner in which they shape their pieces in order to work according to/around the laws in their respective nations will make them better journalists.

I, for example, work for publications in the Sultanate of Oman, where the press laws are extremely strict.

In order to ensure that my articles are well received but still follow the guidelines of the Sultanate, I have had to work around the laws, which has helped me become a better journalist.

Costs and Educational Agreements

Not only is the hiring of interns beneficial to them, it also helps companies keep costs down, which is important in the current economic climate, making this a win-win situation for both parties.

In addition to working one-on-one with prospective interns, I also plan on coordinating with universities and colleges, wherein my company signs a contract with them to provide their students with work experience at media organisations.

The company could also arrange for them to take competitive exams such as the TOEFL, TOEIC and IELTS if they wish, to help further their career.

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