The industry access organisation PressPad has launched a new service to support aspiring journalists during the pandemic.
PressPad Remote will offer mentoring services, masterclasses and Q&As to those wishing to gain an insight of the industry at a time when many media internships have been suspended.
The organisation is looking for industry experts to host such sessions and is encouraging those who are able to give their time for mentoring and support to get in touch.
“We are looking for senior journalists to volunteer their time to take part in speed mentoring, masterclasses on Zoom and more informal Q&As on Instagram live”, Nicola Slawson, head of communications for PressPad, told the SoE.
“We launched PressPad Remote last week. It’s a free programme of activities that students and young journalists can take part in from the comfort of their homes.
“We are also very welcome to ideas on how we can best support young people who should be starting their journalism careers. Please fill out this form if you are interested and you can also sign up to be a mentor at our first speed-mentoring event next week.”
As a social enterprise, PressPad usually acts to link young people with work experience in London with experienced journalists who can offer a spare room and advice.
Slawson added, “This is obviously a really worrying time for everyone and we know that many journalists are being furloughed or laid off as advertising revenue dries up. But it’s also an anxious time for the young people due to enter our industry this summer.
“As soon as social distancing started in the UK, we started receiving messages from concerned aspiring journalists about how the pandemic and lockdown would impact the start of their careers. As work experience and internships began to be cancelled, many were worried they would have missed the boat when they start up again and that they were missing out on crucial chances to network and build their portfolios. At PressPad, we have obviously had to pause all hosting but we still wanted to find a way to support aspiring journalists, particularly those from non-traditional backgrounds.”
The scheme was co-founded by Olivia Crellin and Laura Garcia, who won the Women in Journalism award at the SoE Press Awards in 2019.
Planned sessions for PressPad Remote include: The Art of Networking (even during a pandemic); How to pitch like a pro; Make the most of your journalism course now it’s remote.