Category Archives: Misc

18 Sep

And so it begins > hunting for a job (CV added)

Having put my MA Online Journalism to bed on Friday with the submission of my final assignment cbviz (plus support blog here) I now have the task of getting out there and finding a job.

There is certainly no shortage of jobs in the digital field, but the trick will be finding one that suits my editorial background.

Please find my latest CV here

Having worked as a broadcast journalist (most recently on bulletins and documentaries for Kerrang Radio) for 10 years I can certainly tick “communication” as a skill. Thanks to my studies I can now also add a dizzying number of technical skills including:

  • CMS – WordPress, Blogger
  • Online Content  – writing for the web, SEO, layout and design
  • Data Journalism – Tableau, Outwithub
  • Social Media – to discover and share news content
  • Social Reporting – audio, video, Storify, audio slideshows

So the hunt begins. I’ve seen a very interesting digital editor role going (local too)… I’ll most certainly be throwing my hat into the ring for that one.

In the meantime I’ll be boosting my CV by teaching myself some more key skills:

– I’d definitely like to get to grips with Scraperwiki
– adding to my experience with Adobe Illustrator would be great
– design: with no formal art background, but a good eye, I would like to firm up my knowledge of design basics

Any more suggestions of good CV additions feel free to comment below.

If you are in the market for a digital content person with a fetish for visualisations, data and general social media goodness, feel free to drop me a line via Twitter @carolinebeavon or carolinebeavon@gmail.com

Over and out

06 Jan

Text speek – innit

Yes, I’m old. Actually, no – I’m not old. I still have all my own teeth, wear converse, own, and know how to use, an iPhone, and have a vague idea of new music.

I am, however, at that stage when certain phrases, terms and vocabulary are completely alien to me. It’s perfectly understandable as the younger generations strive to create their own identity and language. It creates a sense of membership and, at times, exclusivity for the cool brigade.

Unfortunately, it means the rest of us are clammering around trying to work out exactly WHAT that message from your niece means, or whether that person on Facebook is insulting you or not …

He’s a short list of some of the most useful, interesting and strange abbreviations (as provided by the listeners to Kerrang! Radio)

AFAIK – As Far As I Know
IDK – I Don’t Know
Lmao – Laugh my arse off
Btw – By the way
Tbh – To be honest
Atm – At the moment
Brb – Be right back
PMSL – Pi$ my self laughing
Wuu2 – what you up to
wua – what you at
SNM – Say No More
IMO – in my opinion
lyam – love you as a mate
RTFQ= read the fucking question
Smdh….. Shake my dizzy head
TB – Text back
15 Nov

INTERNSHIPS: slave labour or opportunity?

This post was written in November 2010. I am now no longer a member of the NUJ. However, my feelings on internships have not changed.

There has always been some discomfort about the idea of unpaid internships, work experience etc. However, in the media they are considered something of a necessary evil.

National Union of Journalists
Image via Wikipedia

The NUJ have launched a campaign highlighting the fact that anyone who’s worked as an unpaid intern over the past six years COULD be entitled to minimum wage back pay – irrespective of the terms of the internship at the time. (They make a clear distinction,however, between internships and work experience. Internships tend to be longer and you make a contribution to the company. Unfortunately individuals on work experience often slip into an internship role, if they have anything about them they will do all they can to make a contribution to the company)

I am a fully paid up member of the NUJ but this concerns me.

Yes, companies DO take advantage of unpaid workers but don’t believe that this is entirely a one way street. With so many teenagers heading to university nowadays, and coming out with a range of weird and wonderful degrees, anyone serious about getting into the media can’t rely on a Desmond in Media Studies any more. I actively encourage students to get as much work experience as possible. Not only are they, as I did, putting themselves in a prime position for any vacancies that DO come up, but they are making contacts, learning about the industry and picking up new skills that their university may omit to teach them.

You simply cannot put a price on that.

This added pressure on media companies concerns me because it could …

1. put those  who have used interns in the past in a dire financial situation if they had to dig deep and find back pay

2. discourage others from offering internships in the future

Don’t think that companies will immediately start finding money to pay interns in the future, they won’t. It simply means the opportunities will close up and there will be fewer chances to get a foot in the door for the media workers of the future. On the other hand, as I explained above, there is a distinction between Intern and Work Experience. Maybe we’ll see a drop off in internships and a shift to work experience. Maybe this wouldn’t be such a bad thing?

I also have concerns when young people complain they do not have time to intern. Yes, they find time to go to football on a Saturday, see their friends a few nights a week and still have time to watch TV, play computer games and sleep.

It comes down to how badly you want it. I understand that not everyone has the luxury of supportive parents. But I do wonder how desperate you are for a role in this industry, if you are not prepared to give up some of your spare time getting experience

Your thoughts?

Related articles

25 Feb

CSI Experience comes to Birmingham

As a fan of the TV show I jumped at the chance to have a sneak preview around a new CSI Experience exhibition at Bullring Birmingham.

It’s taken over the old space left vacant by the departure of Borders Books, so there is certainly a lot of space!

To be honest, I was expecting a museum style tour of the show, the science behind it and the characters. In fact, it’s way way better than that. The exhibition lets YOU become a CSI investigator. There are 3 crime scenes, which you study, take notes and then go into various labs to try to solve the crime … and there are things you might miss to be meticulous!

Oh, and if you solve the crime you get a certificate to prove you are genuine geek! (which, it appears I am)

This is a really interesting exhibition, and a lot of fun … check out the pictures and a video interview below!

Slideshow

Created with flickr slideshow.

Video Intevew

29 Jan

Grafitti + Twitter = Tweefiti

As part of a new Birmingham arts project, this weekend that will see one of the city’s grafitti artists spraypaint inspirational messages send in on Twitter.

The theme is “life feels better”, and Aerosol Arabic will be outside Bullring shopping centre on Saturday and Sunday creating a unique piece of art from tweets sent into the @lifefeelsbetter account, which will also appear on a Twitterfall.

It’s a nice idea, and a nice push for Twitter. However, do enough people use Twitter yet? We all know Facebook is the behemoth of the social networking world (350 million users and counting), but have enough people adopted its more minimalist rival? It’s big news in the media/tech world, but every one else? A lot of my friends join Twitter, then leave again saying “I don’t understand it” or the classic “it’s not as much fun as Facebook”.

It’s a great idea, however, and it will be interesting to see the response it gets

The Bullring Arts Project launched on 25th January 2010 and Brummies are being encouraged to send in their pictures, artwork, writing or music to http://www.lifefeelsbetter.co.uk

[mappress]

26 Jan

A Good Girls Guide to … co-working UPDATED

Open office (or co-working) is hot news nowadays. The press has been full of it this week, with magazines (Company) and radio (4) running features about this very 21st century way of getting stuff done.

So how does it work? Well, either by membership or a one off entry fee, you gain access to an open plan environment, normally with wi-fi and hot and cold running drinks where you can plug in, log in and work. It has become a refuge for home workers desperate to get away from Jeremy Kyle and the washing up.

In theory it’s a great idea: away from the distractions of home life, you can focus and increase productivity. If you want to chat, the people around you are vibrant, trendy media or programmer types who want to share their ideas and collaborate on some wonderful magical project that will cure cancer or make Twitter fail-whale proof.

In reality, its a bit like being in a library. However, at least in a library you know the rules as they have been drummed into you since an early age. No talking, no mobile phones, no eating and generally don’t be a pain to everyone else or face the wrath of the chief librarian.

In a co-working space, do these rules apply?

If your phone rings, do you answer it? Should it be on silent?

Should you have a spontaneous little creative chat with your co-workers if everyone else is sitting there in silence?

Are they all wishing you would just SIT STILL and stop fidgeting?

If you work in an office you KNOW the person sitting next to you. You may not like them but at least you know their name. In a co-working space you are sitting next to a total stranger. So when you go to the toilet, should you take your bag with you? Or is that seen as a lack of trust? You wouldn’t take your laptop, but what about your mobile phone?

And that nice person that you exchanged a few pleasantries with an hour ago: do you offer them a drink when you get yourself one?

It’s a minefield. But at least it’s better than Jeremy Kyle.

MORE ON CO-WORKING

http://www.moseleyexchange.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coworking

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE51G49R20090217

________________________________________________________________

Recently I began renting a desk at the Substrakt offices.  It’s a great location based at Fazeley Studios in Digbeth in Birmingham and is 50% populated by this very cool creative communications company and 50% by other people, like myself, who just need somewhere to go.

It’s early days and I need to decide if it’s value for money, but for now it’s proving to be incredibly good for me. Without my stuff to distract me I am getting a LOT done. I also feel obliged to actually get up and go into the office as I am paying for it. It’s nice to have people around, and you never know, I may get some work out of it.

Who knows?

18 Jan

#BodiesRevealed The Beginnings of Life

THE EXHIBITION

The Bodies Revealed exhibition is currently running at the Custard Factory in Birmingham. It focuses on how the body works, major illnesses and development. Hashbrum headed along to get the full guided tour from Medical Director Dr Roy Glover

The Beginnings of Life

Stillborn and Neonatal Deaths Charity

18 Jan

#BodiesRevealed: the lungs

THE EXHIBITION

The Bodies Revealed exhibition has been running at the Custard Factory in Birmingham. It focuses on how the body works, major illnesses and development. I headed along to get the full guided tour from Medical Director Dr Roy Glover

Lungs and Smoking

Smokefree – quit smoking

Cancer Research UK

British Lung Foundation

16 May

Saturday challenge …

What are your top songs right now … old new, classic, cool, cheezy … whatever .. whats rocking your boat today?

—————————-

1. Green Day – The Static Age

2. White Lies – Death

3. Manic Street Preachers – Umbrella

4. Kings of Leon – Red Morning Light

5. Future of the Left – The Hope That House Built

6. Aiden – Scavengers of the Damned

7. The Ting Tings – Thats Not My Name

All content (c) Caroline Beavon 2020