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Journalist; Rhalou Allerhand gave us crucial industry advice

Rhalou Allerhand; Journalist and one of the main digital editors for NetDoctor. She oversees and writes articles on a variety of different subjects, including mental health, sexual health/sexuality, pregnancy, family and conception, along with guides for tumour examinations.

On the 16th December 2019 we had the pleasure of meeting
Rhalou when she visited us Broadcast and Journalism students at West Suffolk
College and we discovered that the beginning of her career was very different.
She told us of the joy and fun she had working on one of her favourite
magazines, she was involved in photoshoots, received many free gifts and was
writing for Penthouse Magazine!

Rhalou explained how so much has changed in the past fifteen
years. She began her career in print journalism for magazines. But things have
changed, print is now outdated and her skills have had to develop with the
reporting and editorial world being pre-dominantly digital.

She discussed how the digital world is quickly conquering
the world of print press, explaining that the world is changing and the way
people read information has evolved. She mentioned her worries towards future
generations, as their attention spans are becoming a lot shorter – hence the
rise of digital. She expressed that people would rather scroll through
Instagram than turn a page of The Sun. She suggested that if your interest is
primarily towards print press, you should expect to be disappointed.

Rhalou also offered insightful advice about our upcoming
careers in the industry. She discussed the difference between freelance
journalism and a contracted salary, which entails the pros and cons of each.
For example, freelance journalism can be more sustaining regarding money, as
pay is easily negotiated and flexible. However, it can create a lot of stress
as you must constantly be vigilant towards finding your next client. Whereas
with a contract, you are paid a set amount, unaffected by sickness and work
ethic, and have the security of a monthly income which may be preferred for
some; however you can find yourself in a job you don’t find enjoy for a vast
amount of time. Rhalou advised us to research each position carefully before
making any decisions.

Rhalou stressed the importance of Networking within the
industry and gaining knowledge through hands-on work experience. Without
networking, she believes that progressing in your career will be met with
extreme difficulty, as people need to know your name and how you work,
especially when working as a freelancer. She explained that it is easy to
network through work experience, especially as the people you are working with
learn about your work ethic and personality, making it easy for them to
recommend you to possible employers.

Hosting Rhalou was a genuine pleasure for us students. Her advice was extremely helpful and inspiring. Rhalou’s insight on networking and work experience has spurred us on and we all look forward to having dynamic careers in the industry.



By Poppy Lee and Grace Brophy

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