Want To Break Into The Media Industry? There’s a TV Show You Need To Know About
It's tough out there, but there is hope!
So if you live in London you’ll know that the job sitch is tricky AF right now. Even those who emerge from university degree courses with respectable 2:1s are finding it difficult to pursue their dream careers, and many young people end up applying for work experience and internships again and again to try and get the experience that companies say they need more of.
And in the world of TV production it’s no different - it's hard to get your foot in the door, especially if you don’t know anyone within the industry.
Enter: London360. It’s a Community Channel TV and online magazine show that tells untold stories from around London, but here’s the thing - it’s made entirely by 18-25-year-olds from diverse backgrounds.
How does it work?
Young people who are struggling to get their foot in the media industry door can apply for London360 and, if they get a place, they get FULLY trained up in order to produce the show. They’re trained in everything from camera work and presenting to editing and researching before getting the opportunity to produce their very own series of London360. They even get lunch and travel money.
London360 alumni all come away with production skills to put on their CV and their own show reel to show potential employers, and around 80% of the alumni get media employment afterwards.
We went to the sixth year anniversary of London360 to meet some of its alumni. Here’s what some of them had to say:
Usman, BBC Panorama
“Like a lot of people here I came out of university with a degree and couldn’t find anything, so I went back into university because the employment market was just terrible and when I got out I couldn’t find anything.
That goes on for a couple of years, as I go in between different internships. And then I saw London360 advertised.
London360 gave me confidence. I’ve come out and I can film, I can edit, I can produce stories, I can do all kinds of things. Now I’m sitting across from all these guys who have 20/30 years of experience and they have to take me seriously. That’s what 360 did, forced them to take me seriously.”
Fayida, London Live
“Before London360 I had done a lot of internships in the media but nothing had really stuck. I was feeling kind of lost and wasn’t really sure of where to go. I was working as a waitress and saved up some money and went to Colombia for a few months because I’m interested in Latin American current affairs… I started writing for a couple of newspapers there. It was really interesting but I came away still feeling like I didn’t quite have the skills and the contacts that I needed to really get stuck in in the way that I wanted to.
London360 gives you skills and confidence, confidence being the key word… I definitely had [the Imposter Syndrome] being in media environments and so to be able to stand on my own two feet and say I am a journalist and I have this body of work that’s impressive and relevant was really liberating for me.”
“A lot of the jobs that I’ve been able to get since [leaving London360], people have seen that I can self-shoot and hired me for that reason.
In this day and age I feel like you have to be able to do everything – you can’t get a job as a researcher on a TV production if you can’t edit. They’re asking you to be able to edit, they’re asking you to be able to shoot, they’re asking you to be able to cast… I think that skill set is key.”
Mike, Sunset & Vine, BT Sport, Archant
“What I learnt [was] how to carry yourself and coming from a working class background… I’d email Jasmine [London360’s Executive Producer] sometimes and ask how much should I be charging for this job or that job because you just don’t know these things if your family members haven’t worked in that sort of industry.
Before London360, I knew what I wanted to do but I wouldn’t have had the first idea of how to go about it – I wouldn’t have had the contacts, I wouldn’t have known who to ask for work experience, things like that.”
Ranel, Sister Pictures
“Coming from a working class background or minority background you tell your mum that you wanna be a news reporter but they hear you want to be a ballerina or something. It was really great just to see the opportunities that are out there, it was a great introduction to the media.
I got a job at Sister Pictures… it made a little show called Broadchurch… I’m a script reader and I help in running around and keeping everything under control, reading new writers… It’s a great place to be.
If it wasn’t for London360 I definitely wouldn’t be where I am right now.”
Funmi, ITV, London Live
“I went to a Grammar school and I had a very false sense of security. In a grammar school they tell you you’re the best, you’re gonna do everything, you’re gonna be Prime Minister… and then you finish your degree, you get your 2:1 and you’re like, ‘where’s my job?’
When I came to London360 I was at a very low point, I thought, ‘this is my last chance. If I don’t get into journalism, I don’t know’.
I applied for London360 and it absolutely changed everything for me.
By the time I got to ITV, they were teaching me things I already knew. London 360 had sort of taught me everything.”
In today’s competitive job market, it’s really difficult to be able to stand out as a candidate and get your foot in the door by having the right experience, skills and contacts.
BUT the Media Trust, who is the parent charity of London360, have several training programmes to help 16-25-year-olds break into the media. So if you’re struggling to get your first job in the industry, the Media Trust is a great resource to consider – check it out here!