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Top Tips from an Expert with Niamh O'Donoghue

This week we're chatting with journalist at IMAGE and content creator extraordinaire, Niamh O'Donoghue all about how she got started in the media world and her top tips for aspiring journalists.

What inspired you to work in this field?

What really inspired me in the past five years has been my friends and the people I look up to; Dublin is packed with so much talent. I originally wanted to study medicine but I've always been far too inquisitive/nosey for my own good, so journalism seemed like a more appropriate option!

How did you get started in journalism?

I started writing when I was 13 after I was diagnosed with Scoliosis and it became my way of managing pain and expressing my feelings. My first proper article was published in KISS Magazine when I was 15 and the editor at the time emailed me to say that I had a natural flair for writing which gave me the confidence I needed to keep at it! I started blogging soon after, and I interned - a lot!

What was the first big project you worked on?

I'm lucky to have had the opportunity to work with some really cool brands in the last while. I worked with Boohoo on their #MoreThanJustAGirl campaign which was all about breaking the stigma around what girls can do. It was a really empowering project to be part of (and my face sat next to Selena Gomez' on their Instagram...). Flying over Dublin in a helicopter with Canon was also pretty cool.

What has been your proudest career moment to date?

The radio documentary I made with my brother Matthew before he passed away last year will probably always be my proudest moment as a journalist. My brother struggled with drug addiction his whole life and sadly lost his battle last June, but the interview helped me and my family - and the wider community - to better understand drug addiction. It's a call-to-action to change how we treat addiction in this country.

What advice would you have for aspiring journalists?

Get familiar with blogging/WordPress. Be tech efficient. Don't rely on your college course to teach you everything: a lot of courses don't place emphasis on video or radio but journalism is so multifaceted that it's almost a requirement now to be efficient in video shooting/editing and radio/podcast production. YouTube is your friend: it's free to use and has millions of tutorials. Be social media savvy. Never underestimate the power of old-school journalism: don't be afraid to pick up the phone because Google can't tell you everything! Interning is important in the beginning but equally, so is knowing your worth and value.

Be sure to follow Niamh to keep up with her latest projects or read her latest articles over on IMAGE, additionally if you haven't listened to her very personal piece with her brother Matthew, you need to...NOW.


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