Career Profile – Journalist

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Name: Fergus O’Shea

Job: Reporter

I became involved with the college newspaper in my first year in UCD. In my third year I took a year’s sabbatical to edit the newspaper, which cemented my interest in the profession. I have a 2nd-class honours BA degree from UCD; I studied politics and German. Following completion of my undergrad, I moved to Spain where I worked as a freelance football journalist gaining valuable experience. After returning, I decided to enhance my chosen craft and did a Masters in Journalism in DIT. The course did little to help me, but did assist in getting me the job I currently have. I received a 2nd-class honours degree from DIT.

To succeed you must be curious and have a nose for news. Writing skills can be learned, but an appetite for uncovering good stories and chasing leads should come naturally. An ability to deal with pressure and deadlines is also a must. Most days I work on something new and different. I learn about diverse subjects on a continuous basis. In other jobs things can become quite repetitive. But being on the edge of breaking news, in a bustling newsroom, brings a definite buzz to work.

My work offers me access to the government and various institutions that others could never have. I am constantly under pressure to produce. If you file a good story you are clapped on the back, but then the boss wants to know what you will do next. There is also a definite lack of job security. You are only as good as your last story and that pressure can be draining. Probably the biggest con is having to knock on the doors of people who have suffered a family tragedy and ask them to pay tribute to their lost loved one. And ask them for pictures. As you can imagine, you get all sorts of different responses. is a national database of universities, colleges, institutes and providers of third level and PLC courses in Ireland. We operate a national search database of courses at certificate, diploma and degree level as well as providing information about career paths and directions.
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