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How to be a journalist.. :P March 3, 2007

Posted by Bolshevik in Random Crap.
6 comments

This post is especially for Ali, but can be used to scare away all other aspiring journalists as well. 😛

 Journo

Okay, not that I’m qualified to write this or anything, given as how I’ve been a journalist for just a little over six months (seven months on March 17) — I’m just putting up stuff that I figured out of my own experience.

1) Be willing to work your ass of.
And I’m being very VERY serious when I say that. There’s no substitute for leg-work ( no, not that, you pervert! 😛 ) — especially when you’re just starting off.

2) The ability to pick stuff up really, REALLY quickly.
No one has the time to sit down and train other people — not in the conventional sense. You have to be able to pick up on pieces of data and piece them together to form valid bits of information — yourself.

3) Keep your eyes and your ears open at all times.
Everything is a potential story. Learn to recognize “newsworthiness.” For this, you have to learn to not be shy. You should be able to talk to anyone at all — on any topic that’s required.

4) Do not get (personally) involved in a story.
This I most definitely quote from personal experience. 😛 Stay detached and neutral at all times. Activism is not part of your job responsibilities, lest dragons swoop down on you and take you away to Narnia. 😛

5) Look up all possible angles and make your story as airtight as possible.
Your job is to present a balanced picture, and to “let the facts speak for themselves” (that’s what Mahim, our City Editor, taught me). Look at all nooks-and-crannies, and work out all kinks in the chain (of information). Try to stay away from second- and third-hand information as much as possible, and always double- and triple-check your sources.

6) Learn to filter out bullshit.
A lot of what politicians (and others) say is bullcrap. Learn to sift through mounds of bullshit to pull out information that you need.

7) I’ll add more points here later.