We’re now inviting applications for paid work experience placements at CommonSpace


Four spots up for grabs as CommonSpace launches two-month training opportunity

COMMONSPACE has been building a strong reputation for our training opportunities recently, and so we're delighted to be creating some new temporary roles to allow people to come into the organisation for training and work experience supported by a grant.

When we launched CommonSpace, we were very aware of the strong demand from our funders for a quality news service in Scotland and better media standards. What we didn't expect was the demand for training – not only do people want better journalism, they want to do it themselves.

We've had a steady stream of people from various walks of life coming to us over the last year and a half: this year we had a number of students from the University of the West of Scotland come to CommonSpace to complete the work experience requirement of their journalism course; we've had three pupils from three different secondary schools – and all outside of Glasgow, where we’re based – here with us in the office for a week each; last year we had an Eritrean refugee with us for a while doing some film making; and on top of all of that we've had several individuals who just have an interest in journalism coming in to us to develop their skills and contemplate their suitability for the trade.

Read more: The next generation: How you're creating better journalism in Scotland right now

I'm so proud of the feedback we've had from people. This element of what we do here at CommonSpace was unexpected, but it's quickly become one of the most important things we offer.

Not only are we meeting our commitments in terms of our output – our small team of in-house journalists work immensely hard to keep up the quality of our core news reporting – but we're now actively helping train the people who could be the next big names in Scottish journalism. All of this is a direct result of your support. You've trusted us with your donations, and I think we're making the best possible use of them. Not only are we powering on with the content side of things, we're having a very real impact on people's lives through training. That's an amazing thing.

That's why I'm delighted that this summer we're creating four spaces for work experience at CommonSpace that will be supported by a grant.

One of our journalists, Jen Stout, is leaving us at the end of this month, and another, Michael Gray, is taking a two-month break over the summer to do some travelling. That's given us the opportunity to use the summer to offer work experience roles with some financial assistance.

All of this is down to you who support us by reading CommonSpace and making us a respected news outlet through that support – but particularly to those of you who give a small donation, without which none of this would be possible (if you're not one of our funders but would like to become one, you can do it here).

I've outlined some pretty basic role descriptions below. If you'd like to apply to come on board with us this summer, drop me an email at angela@common.scot with a letter about why you're applying and outlining some of your previous experience.

Reporter (three placements available, each with a monthly £500 grant)

Approx. 30 hours per week, Monday-Friday

Candidates for this role should have a good nose for a news story. CommonSpace's core function is producing news, so reporters in our newsroom are constantly looking for stories to break, for news that hasn't yet been reported.

Our focus is on Scottish/UK politics and current affairs, so reporters should primarily be looking for news covering the kinds of issues our audience is interested in.

CommonSpace is a rolling news service, too, so reporters have to be sharp and able to write up news stories for the website as and when required.

People often come into reporting roles thinking it's a writing job, but that's only a small part of it. As a reporter, you'll be expected to make contacts across a wide spectrum, and nurture those contacts. You'll be on the phone a lot, you'll spend a lot of time talking and listening, you'll be interviewing people regularly and we'll be sending you out to events and conferences to cover the latest developments.

Social media manager/content creator (one placement available with a monthly £500 grant)

Approx. 30 hours per week, Monday-Friday

This role will involve updating our social media channels, identifying opportunities to maximise the impact of our content and developing a conversational tone on our platforms with our audience.

This position involves keeping our social media feeds up to date with the latest breaking news in Scottish politics; liaising with our team of journalists and writers to identify ways to promote aspects of our work more effectively on social media; live-tweeting relevant events; and creating quick-turnaround content based on trending topics for the website.

Social media is a huge part of the online media landscape, and it's essential these days for reporters to have a good understanding of the online relationship with the audience.

This is a very creative role and we want people to have fun with it. When it comes to social media it's all about ideas, so anyone who thinks this role might be for them should come in with bundles of them.

The deadline for applications is Sunday 19 June, and the work experience programme will begin on 1 July.

Picture courtesy of stanjourdan

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