Disclaimer: Please be advised that I’ve only had about 10 hours of sleep for the past 3 days. If this post sounds like incoherent babble, it’s probably because it is. Bear with my first post. I pray for your souls when you read this. May your retinas not be burned completely off your eyes and its sockets for this piece’s sheer unreadability and its completely off-the-wall metaphors. It is also 3am. My bad.

straight from the cold into a warzone (photo courtesty of google.com)

Today was a long hard day. So hard, in fact, that it felt like the eventual end of a war. All right, I suppose I’m embellishing in just the slightest.

Although it might not have been perceived as one to the outside world, it was still rather warlike in terms of the length of the lectures and the amount of information being shot at us like bullets from a rogue AK-47. Albeit the speakers were interesting and insightful, and the information shared was more helpful than harmful by all intentions—

Well, yes. Perhaps not a war. But let us call it a battle just for kicks.

Nevertheless, warlike or not, for those on the inside, it was just an amazingly long day.

For the majority of you reading this and obviously confused of what might have transpired on what will surely be marked as a historic day for us all – today was the Media Alliance’s Student Pass Day. A day in which JSchool, among other educational establishments, was gifted with the opportunity to be on the inside; to hear about the life lessons of a number of accomplished journalists; to learn from some of the best in the industry.

We were anything but disappointed.

I shall go ahead and liken today’s audience (myself, included) to a group of new recruits – green with naivety, despite our overflowing enthusiasm – whilst the various speakers on the panel will be akin to veterans, the experienced oldies, showing us the ropes of the journalism world.

What we heard today, instead of cold hard facts, were genuine words of encouragement and thought; like seeds of knowledge being passed down from one generation to the next in the hope of growth and maturity. Matters discussed, rather, taught, were of those relating to the ethics of journalism. “The Code,” some call it.

The advice given was like gold. I shall now proceed to sum it all up to a point. Please do remember to take what is written with a grain of salt. As, of course, this is me. And me, being me, am paraphrasing in my own “special” (see: retarded) way:

12 Easy Ways on How to Survive the Journalism World War:

1. Write, write, write.

2. Start from the bottom, and work your way up. Even the most menial jobs can turn into the most amazing opportunities. How do you think privates become promoted to sergeants?

3. Write.

4. Don’t be fussy. Experience is experience. You can’t afford to be fickle with who you work for, so why bother? In other words: Never piss off your commanding officer.

5. Write more.

6. Social media can be your best friend and worst enemy.

7. Internships aren’t necessarily monetarily beneficial in the beginning, but they can pay off in the long run. Nobody’s really in the army for the money, after all.

8. Write some more.

9. Protect your sources (to a degree?). This is debatable. However, speaking on my own behalf, I would say protect them.

10. Are you writing yet?

11. Make connections with the right attitude and the right amount of talent. Nobody really likes the talented rebel who can’t conform to rules and regulations, no matter how skilled they are. Skills can be learned. Talent can be moulded. Attitudes? Not so much. If you can’t cut it, you’ll be booted from the corps.

12. No, seriously, are you writing yet?

Despite it all, complete exhaustion not withstanding, it was a very productive day. Completely worth it. It also didn’t hurt in the slightest that the Walkley Media Forum that followed was very enjoyable (inclusive of a rather interesting panel, and an all the more interesting discussion on the ramifications of social media and one’s responsibility towards it). I think I might’ve enjoyed tonight’s free canapés and lemon, lime and bitters a bit much as well.

I’d say today was a win for all the young journos of the future. But you know what they say – the battle might be won, but the war isn’t over. It just means we have to get to it. I’m rather looking forward to my future as a journalist. I’m going to be one, or die trying.

But let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. I’m enthusiastic, but geez.