Former TikTok Producer

February 7, 2022 (Updated )

Monika Plaha never planned to get big on TikTok. She assumed people were only there for “dancing, singing, or something really silly.” But after joining the platform in the middle of the 2020 lockdown, the BBC Look North presenter discovered people were fascinated about her job and how she got there. Now, more than 200 videos later, she has over 81,000 followers and more than two million likes. 

“The audience just built,” she tells Journo Resources. “And there were questions, and there were interactions and people wanted to know how I got into this profession.” While she hadn’t thought of it before, she realised that if she were younger, she too might have found the videos of her day-to-day as a journalist fascinating. What’s more, there is a growing appetite for news on TikTok. “It’s been quite special and quite unique, really. I didn’t realise that [I’d be] helping people with the videos I’m posting.”

Monika uses her TikTok account to give insights into working as a journalists.

But, helping inspire the next generation isn’t the only reason you should be on TikTok. As Laura Garcia told us in a previous Journo Resources event, while platforms might “come and go very quickly, other ones like TikTok are going to start triggering changes in other spaces.” Just look for example, at the introduction of Instagram Reels, seen by many as a direct response to TikTok. “If you don’t follow the progression of how people create these communities, how people talk to each other in these communities, how we can use them to news gather and also to story tell, then it’s going to be harder and harder to catch up.”

For ITV journalist Mojo Abidi, using the platform has been a “learning curve” which has allowed her to improve her presenting and editing skills – all things she uses day to day in her job working on ITV’s The Rundown. Mojo posts bite-sized updates on all kinds of stories, from a woman who married the colour pink to people spending a quarter of a million on virtual clothes. Mojo also believes the app is helping her reach new audiences: “By doing news on TikTok we’re challenging ourselves to give news to young people in a way that meets their style of media consumption.”

Journo Resources
"It’s like everyone’s stood around the edge of the pool. And you know, the pool is like, amazing, and the water looks beautiful, but people are scared to sort of jump in."
Mojo Abidi

Monika agrees: “As a journalist it’s our responsibility to be in touch with our audiences, learn about our audiences, know what they’re talking about, know what’s trending, and to also understand what they’re into almost, because our news comes from people.” For Mojo, she feels the platform has helped her “build a personal relationship with her followers,” unlike on other networks. “You start to notice the same names and usernames, popping up and asking you questions and engaging with your content”

By extension, this also means the app is a great place to find stories, trends, and case studies. Monika tells me that even by just looking through various hashtags you see people “openly on screen” sharing their experiences. “It’s just become for us a great way of finding case studies, finding real stories, finding people that are building a platform from talking about their certain experiences.”

The main thing for journalists though, is to not be scared to take the plunge. “I think one of the problems is, is that people are quite scared to make that jump in,” says Mojo. “It’s like everyone’s stood around the edge of the pool. And you know, the pool is like, amazing, and the water looks beautiful, but people are scared to sort of jump in.” While the app might have a reputation of silly dances and lip syncs, it’s home to so much more – and is a vital tool for any journalist. Here are a couple of accounts to get you started…

Journo Resources
Advice & Behind The Scenes

From CVs to work experience, if you’re looking for advice on getting into the journalism industry (or getting on up, for that matter), these accounts might be able to help. We’ve also rounded up some who focus on giving you a behind the scenes look at the newsroom, from broadcast to print.

Account Description
Charlotte Gay
A TV reporter with ITV, Charlotte runs through everything you might encounter in broadcast journalism from awkward moments to what a right to reply is.
Laura Garcia
Laura is a pioneer in multimedia journalism (so expect plenty of hacks) and her videos on disinformation and fake news in journalism are essential viewing.
Monika Plaha
Monika Plaha is a BBC journalist and presenter. On her page, you’ll discover everything from how to reverse the autocue to the many types of newsreader. Plus, she also regularly gives out journalism advice.
Journo Resources
Oh hey, it’s us! Run by our staff team, we put together weekly videos packed with advice, insights and the latest job opportunities.
So You Want To Be A Journalist?
Chandi Sembhi, an award-winning producer at PinkNews, runs So You Want To Be A Journalist on both Insta and TikTok. If you’re an entry level journalist trying to get into the industry, it covers  literally everything you might need to know.
The Fairy Job Mother
Okay, so this isn’t strictly journalism-specific but, if you’re looking for some oomph to get your career moving, this account is packed with videos covering everything from interview tips to how to get a promotion.
TikTok Teeline
Ignore the debate still raging over on Twitter about this, if you want a bit of help cracking journalism’s secret code this account will show you a different word or slogan every day.
Neve Gordon-Farleigh
For clarity, the editor of this piece added this one, as I didn’t feel it would be fair to miss Neve out! Neve is now an apprentice at the BBC where she’s sharing insights and tips.
Marcella Whittingdale
Freelance broadcast journalist Marcella Whittingdale not only shows you what a studio looks like, but has plenty of videos on the benefits of work experience, how to secure it, and how to hone some of the skills helpful to becoming a journalist. 

Account Description
Karli Barnett
If you ever wanted to see inside an American newsroom, Karli Barnett is a Miami-based journalist using the platform to share an insight into her life as a journalist. Expect everything from hard-hitting reporting to breakfast hacks for a busy morning.
Megan Healy
Based in San Diego, Megan’s account has a whole host of behind-the-scenes videos – if you’ve ever wanted to try and read an autocue machine, there’s a chance to have a go at home. 
Ana Guerra Moore @anaontheradio Ana is a BBC journalist based in Tyne and Wear sharing her news reports, covering everything from the Great North Run to sheep. She also covers practical journalism advice, from how stories are reported at home to filming with an iPhone.
Newsreader Lady @newsreader_lady We’ve done a lot of Googling and we still can’t find the name behind this account, so if it’s you making the A* teleprompter challenges and showing us all how to WFH, please say hi!
Jonelle Awomoyi
Jonelle is a BBC News Producer working in New Broadcasting House. Her videos with her colleagues are a fun insight into what it’s like to work in a BBC newsroom. Sign us up please.
Georgia Coan
Georgia Coan’s TikTok will absolutely brighten your day – there’s a mix of comedy videos and ones showing what her job looks like as a BBC News podcast producer. 
Emma Bentley @justemmawithacamera After joining the BBC as an apprentice, Emma now works as a camera woman, using TikTok to show the bits that never quite make it to TV. It’s excellent fun and has loads of tips.
Jack Surfleet
Have you ever wondered how a news programme is put together? Jack Surfleet is a producer at BBC News, and is here to show you what’s actually going on in the gallery.
Leanna Byrne @lbizjournotok Leanna is a BBC Radio 5 Live Producer and focuses on radio behind the scenes. Her videos include showing what a producer shift looks like, interview techniques, and answering viewers’ questions.
Ellie Colton
Ellie works at BBC Sheffield as a presenter and when we say you get her perspective, we really mean it – all the shots are live from the studio.
Eleanor is an ITV News London camera operator and has a handful of videos showing what a day in her life at work really looks like. They haven’t been active for a while, but there are some great lockdown videos.
Lydia Flavell
Lydia also hasn’t posted for a little while, but there’s a lot to get stuck in with here. She’s got some great candid videos about how she built up her experience and what her day-to-day looks like.
Our Top Tips For Starting Your Own TikTok

• First things first, make sure your videos fit the platform’s format. “Keep them short and snappy, simplify complicated stories into simple sentences,” Monika says.

• “Don’t let the numbers discourage you,” advises Mojo. As with any social media, it will take time to figure out what works. “Experiment until you sort of find a niche that works for you and works for your followers.”

• It’s not just about posting videos – remember you’re part of a conversation. Mojo adds: “TikTok is really great for interactivity and engagement between sort of the follower and the followers. So take advantage of that.”

• And, finally, make sure you find the time to use the app yourself, so you begin to understand what works. That will also help you to get your head around current trends and various features.

Journo Resources
Keeping Up With The News

If you’re hoping to get your news fix from the app or want to dig beyond the headlines, these journalists will break it down for you.

Account Description
Mojo Abidi
You may recognise Mojo Abidi from ITV’s ‘The Rundown’. She also uses TikTok to take a more in-depth look at issues going on within the news from food shortages to fighting sexism at the Tokyo Olympics.
Max Foster
Don’t expect any dances here. Max Foster is all about just giving you the lowdown on the news. And, he really is absolutely nailing it. In short, an essential follow for UK news.
Victoria Derbyshire @vicderbyshire One of the latest broadcasters to join the app, Victoria posts regular videos on the biggest headlines, all filmed specifically for the app.
Matilda Head
Freelance journalist Matilda Head is the perfect follow if you want to keep up to date. She brings you commentary and explainers on the headlines, as well as quizzes and more.
Mark Remillard
From Afghanistan to vaccines and hospitality, Mark Remillard shares videos on big news topics going on in the US – as well as the stories he’s been working on. He’ll also answer your questions too.
Sophia Smith Galer
One of the first journalists on TikTok, no one made the story of the Suez Canal more engaging than Sophia Smith Galer. She has so many videos showcasing about her own stories, the wider headlines, her knowledge of languages and Italian heritage.
Clodagh Griffin
A journalist at The News Movement, Clodagh breaks down the latest from both Ireland and the UK. Expect everything from Love Island to Irish becoming an official EU language.

Account Description
Under The Desk News
Brought to you from V Spehar, the host of the LA Times TikTok, Under The Desk News, you’ll find multiple videos a day breaking down the biggest stories across the US.
Jennifer Bartram
From, “what’s the line on the weather forecast?” to “why is snow hard to forecast?” Jennifer creates a variety of videos on her job as a BBC Look North weather presenter that will help you feel way more informed. Plus, there are bonus cat videos.
Abbie Dewhurst
Also weather presenter at BBC Look North, Abbie answers the many questions surrounding the weather, environmental issues, and gives advice to young journalists. 
Gully Burrows
Gully is a former Mirror journalist who is now working in Dubai. He picks an eclectic range of stories to present as explainers.
Journo Resources
Actual Newsrooms

More and more publishers have started to join the app, ready to give you your daily news fix in a perfectly bitesized format.

Account Description
The Washington Post
One of the earliest adopters of TikTok, the team at The Washington Post jumped in hard. You can expect slick, well produced videos multiple times a day.
Sky News
Sky News are bringing you the best person for the story, with loads of their correspondents sitting down to explain the biggest stories of the day, as well as clips from the programme.
The News Movement
Focused on the stories that matter to younger audiences, The News Movement shares presenter-led videos that break down the biggest stories of the day – and common questions. Plus, you might recognise one of them from earlier in our list…
VICE’s videos are more produced than some of the others on this list – but you can still tell they’ve been specifically cut for TikTok, which makes a huge difference. Plus, they’ve also got regular features that pop up, like how to treat certain groups of people, such as your bartender.
Chandni, off of further up this list, is one of the producers behind this account which puts together fun and relatable lifestyle content for the LGBTQ+ community.
The Telegraph
As well as classic presenter-led explainers, the team at The Telegraph also pull in specific correspondents for specialist stories, and find new angles just for the TikTok account.
Channel 4 News
More presenter-led videos for you here, with a focus on stories for younger audiences. For example, they’ve recently asked what their viewers think about longer school hours and boosters for 16-17-year-olds.
Guardian Australia
While there is a @guardian account here in the UK, you’ll find way more regular content over on their US account. Lead by reporter Matilda Boseley, you’ll find a range of Aussie and global stories.
i-D Magazine
And, finally, we round up with i_D, who give a behind-the-scenes look at some of their cover shoots, past archives and special cuts from interviews.
Journo Resources
Best Of The Rest

And, finally, here a final few accounts to leave you with, just to brighten your day.

Account Description
Grace Marner
Grace is a journalist from Manchester, and alongside videos about journalism (sometimes from underneath her duvet as all the best podcasts are made) you’ll also find her updates on chronic illness.
Jem Collins
Our founder, Jem Collins, uses her TikTok to share adventures across the country, as well as practical journalism advice.
Jeremy Burge
Former editor and founder of Emojipedia, Jeremy Burge now has a truly fantastic life touring the waterways of Great Britain in his canal boat, and is keen to answer all of your questions.
Just Journo Things
Run by Evianne Suen, a content creator at PinkNews, and former student at City, you can find loads of great videos about how they put together their documentary and some fun sketches about MA life.
Neve Gordon-Farleigh
Neve Gordon-Farleigh

Neve was the TikTok Producer from October 2020 until January 2022, when she took up a place as a BBC Journalism Apprentice.

Neve was responsible for launching the Journo Resources TikTok account, producing dozens of advice videos and growing the account to almost 1,000 followers.