How to get a job at... the Evening Standard or Independent: 'You must have an absolute commitment and hunger for journalism and writing'

The London Evening Standard and Independent titles regularly take on new graduate recruits and, from this year, will be looking to employ teenage, school-leaver apprentices. Doug Wills, the managing editor across both titles, explains what the titles look for in young journalists.

What qualities do the Evening Standard and Independent titles look for in young recruits?

Clearly we’d be looking for those who can show evidence of absolute commitment and a hunger for journalism and for writing.

We would hope that they may also have an interest in a specialist subject but we would be looking for broad interests as well.

How much experience would you expect 18 or 19-year-olds to have?

Not a lot. If you mean newspaper or editorial experience, they probably won’t have had much.

They may have been involved in their school or college magazines or they may have written project work. We’d be looking for evidence of writing skills.

You now have a specialised scheme for school leavers, but how often do you take on university graduates?

It is very much a case of when a vacancy is available.

At the Standard, we have previously taken on those with broad interests and a commitment to journalism on one-year training contracts.

One of last year’s has this year been taken on for beyond a year and he is now a features writer for the Evening Standard.

And another has been taken on and is working for business and online.

Both of these have shown themselves to be very proficient with a good news judgement and an interest in specialist areas – but also a broad interest in being able to turn around good features, good writing, blogs, live blogs and columns for the paper.

It’s nothing new here. It’s people who can demonstrate they can write, have a good writing skill and have that thirst for breaking news or being able to tell a story.



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