Twitter is like Marmite; you either love it, or hate it. Whilst J.K Rowling / Robert Galbraith may hate the social networking site after her crime writing alter ego was revealed, I’m a big fan.
Being in Bangalore, I have been tweeting about anything of interest. Following a tweet, Mark Austin, a journalist from Scotland who’s worked all over the world and is currently teaching journalism at an independent college Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media, in Bangalore tweeted me back.
After a few 160 character snippets of conversation, we arranged to meet up for a chat on everything from journalism, the job market and even fortune telling! It was really good to talk to someone who didn’t take the most traditional route to journalism and get clued up on Bangalore too. Our conversation really prompted me to consider moving abroad to work and perhaps learn Mandarin. The East seems to be where it’s at at the moment.
He was reallly open with advice, and didn’t try to paint a rosy picture of what life in journalism would be like. He was upfront and told us of the dificulties even he encountered- even though he’d got his foot in the door.
Although you hear it all the time, Mark stressed the importance of digital press as opposed to solely print. People consume what they read now a lot differently to how they used to but this is creating problems as well as making news easily and readily accessible.
People are often unwilling to pay for content, something Mark has come across personally. What does this mean for aspiring journalists then? How are we meant to make a living?
Well, for MArk, he overcame this by becoming a digital press autodicact. He taught himself everything he knew abhout digital journalism and now teaches others.
It seems in a business under threat, the only thing to do is try and move with the times. With established newspapers going under, or being bought out all the time, and the space of the internet the first port of call for many when it comes to getting their news fix- the only way is digital.
Mark’s best advice would probably be to build up your contacts and be open to what you want to do.
Dinner was lovely. We ate at On The Edge, a Greek restaurant on the top floor of the Barton Centre. The food was delicious, especially the feta and spinach filo parcels, and the views of the city were incredible.
Twitter is a really useful tool in a business when sometimes it’s who you know that can get you your break.
For more information on the independent college Mark Austin teaches at, or to read the paper he runs with his students, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter name @augustlightning.
Needless to say, Mark Austin also had a business card. I’m starting to feel like I should get some made!
Today, I’m off to Mysore.
Namaste for now!
Follow me on Twitter @yasminjay53
To follow two other interns at the New Indian Express, follow @bedford_claire & @ciarace