Carving out your journalism career: online advice session

Are you an aspiring journalist? Confused about what you need to do to get your break? Join our online careers advice clinic from 1pm to 3pm on Thursday 25 April

Aspiring journalists could be forgiven for feeling pessimistic about their careers: most newspapers are seeing a falling readership and the phone hacking scandal has led many to question the ethics of the industry.

There's no doubt that journalism is facing huge challenges and competition for jobs is fierce. But it's not all doom and gloom – the industry is still very much alive and kicking. For instance, the Guardian saw a total of nearly nine million monthly readers over the 12 months to March 2012, while the i newspaper has seen its sales rise above 300,000.

And journalism isn't just about news reporting – the internet has opened up a huge wealth of opportunities for aspiring tech-savvy journalists. So, from blogging and digital media to traditional newspapers, magazines, radio and TV, careers in journalism encompass a huge range of media.

But routes into journalism vary and, not only is there no set career path, there's even disagreement over the best path to take. Although university journalism courses and interning are common routes, some suggest skipping training and starting your career at a local paper.

And with such a large range of jobs on offer, it can be hard to decide what type of journalism would suit you best, what skills you'll need to succeed and how to get your break.

So, if you're an aspiring journalist and want to discuss your options, join our live chat from 1pm to 3pm on Thursday 25 April. We will be talking about:

• The types of jobs available

• The skills and experience you'll need

• What sort of training is best

• What employers are looking for in an ideal candidate

The Q&A takes place in the comments section below this article. Taking part is easier than ever: you can create a free Guardian account, or log in using your Twitter or Facebook profiles and comment. Alternatively, you can tweet us @GuardianCareers or email your questions to Martin Williams who can post them on the Q&A.

You can also follow the Q&A using the hashtag #careersqa.

Our panel

Jonathan Hewett runs the Interactive Journalism MA and the Newspaper Journalism MA at City University London. He has extensive experience both as a journalist and as a journalism educator, having led and taught on courses since 1997.

Josh Halliday is the Guardian's media and technology reporter. He joined the Guardian after graduating from the University of Sunderland in June 2010 and has been involved in the paper's coverage of phone hacking, the Leveson inquiry, and the Jimmy Savile scandal.

Hally Dervish is an in-house recruitment consultant at the Guardian, where she has worked for six years. Her main responsibility is sourcing talent, and she also helps run assessment centres, editorial experience, the Scott Trust Bursary and the Positive Action schemes.

James Porter joined the BBC as a trainee local radio reporter and then spent 18 years in BBC Sport. He moved into his current role at the BBC College of Journalism where he is responsible for all journalism training for English regions, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and BBC Sport.

Jessica Abrahams is the production editor at political magazine Prospect. She was previously a researcher at The Telegraph and also writes on religion and gender.

Sue Heseltine is a senior lecturer in journalism and deputy head of the School of Media at Birmingham City University, where she specialises in broadcast journalism and media law. She spent more than 20 years working for a number of media organisations including Sky News, the Yorkshire Post, BBC Radio Sheffield, Yorkshire Television.

Liam Corcoran is the co-editor of Wannabe Hacks, an online resource for aspiring journalists. He is currently on his third year of a BA in journalism with media and cultural studies and is also the online editor of WesternEye.

This content is brought to you by Guardian Professional. To get more content and advice like this direct to your inbox, sign up for our weekly Careers update.


Martin Williams

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