Sector skills: Media and journalism

In the video below, Gina Stainer, Editor of The West Sussex County Times, tells us about working in journalism


I’m Gina Stainer, editor of the West Sussex County Times.

Our newspaper has been at the heart of the Horsham district for more than 150 years, keeping our community up to date with all the latest news, and sharing our readers’ battles and celebrations.

These stories are brought to you by our team of highly qualified reporters. All of us have completed qualifications from the National Council for the Training of Journalists, studying writing skills, shorthand, learning how government works at local and national level, as well as media law.

Many, like myself, started with work experience at the paper and then after initial NCTJ training, worked for 18 months in the newsroom before taking further exams to become a senior reporter.

As part of JPIMedia, our trainees have the support of our central training team to help them prepare for these exams, in addition to the day-to-day guidance and wealth of experience in our Sussex team, which covers 14 newspapers and 16 websites.

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We’re also in touch with the network of other JPIMedia newsrooms up and down the country, with more than a hundred titles in England, Scotland and Ireland. We talk regularly to share successful ideas and good practice.

In recent years our company has also taken on apprentices, who can combine their college studies with experience in the newsroom. Our teams vary hugely in age and background. As an industry we are seeking as diverse a workforce as possible.

We all continue to train throughout our careers, learning new skills to cope with the evolving demands of today’s media platforms. As well as print we are now digital journalists, sharing our stories and videos on the web. We complete regular online courses to update us as new skills are required.

Our reporters cover hard news stories like court and crime, but we also have feature writers, data journalists and engagement experts. We all work closely with our colleagues in the advertising department -  they bring in the ad revenue which helps keep our operation running.

We all have in common a passion for connecting with our audience across our platforms, for highlighting the issues that matter to our readers, and supporting and celebrating the areas where we live and work.