Young journalists share their experiences of the Storyful Traineeship

During a recent college placement review, I was asked how prepared I thought I was before joining the Storyful team.

For the first time, in one of the most humbling and liberating moments in my life, I was happy to say, ‘not at all’.

I’d learned the basics at the University of Limerick, acquired a lot of skills — but in a controlled, untested environment.

In truth I didn’t think I had what it took to be a journalist.

Joining Storyful at a point where I was questioning myself was the kick I needed.

What I had learned in college — though useful — was left outside the door as I was brought into the world of real-time, investigative journalism.

I was not just shadowing, but working alongside the pioneers of social media journalism. As they imparted their skills to me, I learned that success is not just about working hard but working smart: to never be afraid to make mistakes, but to learn from them and not make them again.

In the space of eight weeks I had been rebuilt from a doubting student to a sceptical social media journalist, with an array of new skills to verify and discover news from around the world.

From the chemical attacks of Syria, to the riots of Cairo, to the company’s biggest viral video, Emotional Baby, the Storyful family took me to places I never thought I’d go.

In the time I’ve been here, I’ve seen great advances in all areas of the company. Great minds collaborate on projects that are changing the face of journalism; projects of which I am a part.

The team is always receptive to new ideas and this environment encourages us all to be vocal with our creativity, allowing us the freedom to use our natural skills.

One of these projects was the recent Storyful viral wrap of the year, which received 2.2 million views on Yahoo. It was not just a win for the three of us directly involved with this project, but a win for the entire team.

Storyful has taught me so much — not just about journalism but about myself. That it is good to be different, to think different, to maximize what skills you have, and to work on the ones you don’t. To never stop learning. To chase the story, not the byline.

The time I’ve been here has been a rollercoaster that’s shown me I was always ready to be a journalist, I just had to believe.

Originally published at blog.storyful.com on January 9, 2014.

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