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Journalism in Ghana by Cassandra Zoro

Local street

Looking back now it’s hard to believe how much my decision to do a Journalism placement in Ghana with Projects Abroad changed my life. When I decided to do voluntary journalism work experience abroad I had just graduated from University with an English Literature degree and was passionate about making documentaries about the Third World. I’d always wanted to go to Africa, so combining my passion for travel with gaining valuable work experience seemed like the best thing for me to do at the time, and in hindsight it really was! I can’t emphasise enough how much an experience like this can help you get a foot in the door in such a competitive industry like the media.

Me reporting

During my time in Ghana I worked on a number of different documentaries at TV3 and combined this with a work placement at the National Newspaper ‘The Daily Guide’. One of the best things for me about doing work experience in Africa, was that from the moment I stepped off the plane I was a working journalist, not just shadowing somebody else at their job, I was doing it for real. Living and working in Accra was an amazing experience, from figuring out the hand signals for the buses I needed to take to work, to jostling for a place at a busy press conference in the sweltering heat, everything was new and different and I loved it!

Relaxing at the pool

Another fantastic part of my Ghanaian experience was the travelling I did in my spare time. Some of the other journalism volunteers and I had so much in common that we formed strong friendships quickly and remain good friends today. On the weekends we would explore along the coast of Ghana, visiting ancient slave castles and learning about the complex past of this beautiful country. And at the end of our work placements we travelled together around the whole of Ghana, visiting Mole National Park where we saw elephants, monkeys and more. We even went on an adventure to the far North of the country where we were lucky enough to see hippos in the wild and visit the ancient crocodiles of Paga!

Teaching

I returned to England with so much more going for me than when I had left. I had some real hands on journalism experience which really made me stand out from the crowd, and I had much more confidence in my abilities as a journalist, as well as a totally new outlook on life! That year I got accepted onto a Postgraduate Diploma Course in Broadcast Journalism and I’ve never looked back. When I was offered a place on the course, the course tutor said that one of the things on my CV that made me stand out from the hundreds of other applicants was the experience I had gained in Africa.

After I graduated from my course I went on to work for ITV as an investigative reporter and I now work around the world as both a Freelance Journalist writing travel stories, and also as a Media Consultant for NATO, combining my two great passions - people and places. So to anyone who is thinking of doing a journalism placement abroad, I would say don’t hesitate for a second, take this opportunity and really make the most of it, because it will be one of the best things you do in your life.

Cassandra Zoro

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