Come Saturday morning Wannabe Hacks will have been running one year to the day – it has given me opportunities I simply could not foresee as I walked out of my last exam about 15 months ago. It has seen me start a new job at the Guardian and move to a position at the Telegraph. There is no doubt you really have to want to be a hack (and a Wannabe) but the rewards of the job and the project are immense.
This project needs careful attention and a little protection, but there is no reason it can’t be something bigger and better for the next set of hacks (those that run it and all others that contribute and read it.)
As a freelancer, Wannabe Hacks has been the most amazing distraction. Taking the odd hour or two everyday to catch up on the world of wannabe journalism has been great, and making the contacts (whether they’re old school or just-out-of-school journalists) has left we with some great friends, good advice and countless valuable contacts. More than anything, Wannabe Hacks has been a springboard for better things – it’s allowed me to showcase what I love to do – write, edit, produce and design!
Wannabe Hacks is like a baby to us, and in that sense, the site needs to be nurtured and loved by its new contributors and owners. Those who come next do need to push Hacks’ boundaries but keep the site delivering advice, insight and encouraging community and debate!
We started the site in the hope of sharing our experiences and helping wannabes learn the best ways to make it into journalism and the irony is that I think it is the five of us who have been taught the most. I have learnt so much about my writing, editing and ability to work as part of a group of passionate and committed people.
Being a Wannabe Hack will not only improve all those skills you will need to be a journalist but you will meet and interact with lots of interesting and inspired future faces of journalism. Wannabe Hacks has the foundations in place to be something great, five new hacks are needed now to make sure our start is built on. Get applying!
Hacks has been great for allowing me to meet people I never would have met otherwise. Our two meetups have allowed me chat and have a laugh (on one occasion I got into a funny conversation about epilating, don’t ask how) with a whole group of young journalists. You find out you have a lot in common (not just journalism either), often stay in touch and hopefully we’ll see a few of them at our third hack on the 19th August
When I first came across The Hacks, I thought, “that’s a bloody good idea.” It was therefore an honour to be taken on board a few months later. My time with Wannabe Hacks has seen me through the dull days of unemployment and out the other side, giving me an insight into cutting-edge journalism I never would have had access to otherwise, as well as access to the wisdom of those who have been in the business for decades.
For aspiring journalists, writing is a drug – and there’s nothing like the pressure of keeping a startup going to fuel that addiction. While some posts may have been cobbled together in the wee hours of the morning, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. For some, Hacks means better job prospects, others, a great bond with a community of young journalists. For me, it was a confirmation that I really did want to be doing this as my career. I can’t imagine my life as a journalist without it.
Wannabe a Wannabe? You can apply to be part of Hacks 2.0 or simply find out more here.
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