The field of journalism has experienced dramatic changes over the last decade, but one thing remains constant: the need for talented writers to bring their stories to life in print, on TV, and on the web. Becoming a journalist is a great way to get out of the house every day and have some structured goals.
However, being a journalist can be difficult for people who have not had any experience in the field before. Journalism can be a fun and exciting field if you’re just starting your career. If you’re just starting out in the field or looking to make your next career move,
Here are 10 tips for new journalists from Lucia Loffredo-
Always Check Your Sources
As a journalist, it’s crucial to always double-check your sources and make sure they are reputable. This will help you maintain your credibility, because it shows that you have taken all possible steps to prevent any inaccuracies from showing up in your work.
However, there is such a thing as being too thorough—if you find yourself spending more time fact-checking than writing, perhaps it’s time to get some help.
Build Relationships With Reporters
As a new journalist, you’ll need to get your name out there. Reporters will respond better to you if they know who you are. So, be friendly, introduce yourself when they come into work and connect with them on social media if possible.
Before pitching them a story idea, make sure that it fits their beat and that they write about it often. Also, ask if there’s anything else you can do for them in exchange for writing about your business or company.
Set Up A Schedule And Stick To It
Creating a consistent writing schedule is vital if you want to be a good journalist. It’s okay to take some time off occasionally, but you should set specific days and times when you write.
If you want to be a journalist, you’re going to have to learn how to report things on a deadline. To do that, your best bet is learning how to set up and stick to a schedule—your own schedule, not one dictated by someone else.
When you’re reporting a story, it’s easy to get caught up in interviewing sources and taking notes. The best way to stay organized is to keep a list of your tasks—phone calls, emails, interviews—and check them off as you complete them. This will give you a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment (which you can bask in) and help keep your focus.
Treat Every Assignment Like An Opportunity For Self-Education
Self-education is a powerful tool—it can give you a deeper understanding of your subject, or it can make you better at your job. But sometimes, it’s hard to justify spending time self-educating when there are tasks that need to be completed.
However, if you treat every assignment as an opportunity to become a better writer and journalist, then you won’t feel any guilt over learning during your working hours.
Write Persuasive And Insightful Headlines
Headlines are a journalist’s most powerful tool. They can help sell your story, boost clicks, and influence public opinion. In fact, compelling headlines that capture your audience’s attention may be one of journalism’s best kept secrets to success.
Stay Positive And Pat Yourself On The Back When You Achieve Something
When you’re learning how to be a journalist, there are going to be good days and bad days. But, it’s important to stay positive and congratulate yourself on your accomplishments.
The media industry is full of competition, but that doesn’t mean you can’t set yourself apart by remaining upbeat. If you’re looking to succeed as a new journalist, it’s important to recognize that success takes time.
Be honest with yourself and others
Part of being a good journalist is knowing when and how to work with an editor. You should be honest with yourself and others about your capabilities as well as your willingness to tackle a task.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand something, but also be aware that many experienced journalists may still find it difficult to clearly explain what they do all day.
Be active on social media
The more active you are on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest), the better your chances of being discovered by a potential employer. If a news outlet sees your content and likes what they see, you could be hired as an intern or even an employee. It’s also important to stay active when it comes to searching out opportunities. It doesn’t hurt to leave notes at local newspapers saying you’re looking for an internship or even just feedback on one of your articles.
Listen to the experts
It’s always a good idea to listen to those who’ve been doing what you want to do for years. It might be old advice, but nothing beats firsthand experience when it comes to learning. Be sure to ask questions and take in as much information as possible during your first few months in journalism.
Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in this business for a while, it’s always good to find ways to improve your work—and the workflow. These ten tips will hopefully give you some insight into how a pro gets things done, and can help you develop your own process for doing something better, whether you want to become an everyday journalist or just want to get your thoughts on paper more efficiently.