David Sides — journalist, editor and professional business writer from the United States giving instruction in his SlideShare journalists who only started to master a new profession. He shares not only the skills of a professional journalist, but also habits that writing any person should learn, having come into the profession. Us these tips seem so simple and sensible that we decided that they will be good to remind and have been working in journalism colleagues.
I know you probably think that there are no secrets in journalism is not and cannot be. And all you need is to come into the workplace and start working. Perhaps that is why so many people today think that they can become journalists overnight. The fact that the final results of journalistic work are obvious to all. But the efforts that have been spent on developing this or that journalistic material is not known to all.
Therefore, before you rashly decide to go to the journalists, I would advise you to first acquire the habits that make a good journalist good.
- The ability to write well
And it’s not so much the ability to simply Express their thoughts, but the ability to tell stories. I will disappoint you — in order to be a good writer, you need to read a lot. Why? Because the only way to know how words work, is to see them in action in books, magazines and Newspapers. Anywhere write professionally.
So if you want to acquire the credibility of being a good writer, become a patient reader. Right now.
Show interest in everything that surrounds you.
Recommend special attention be given to:
- the classic journalistic questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? And my favorite: “Who cares?” and “so what?”;
- color, size, shape, arrangement, sound, flavor, texture, mood and behavior;
- potential to surprise the audience.
Of course, talent to pay attention requires the development of habits and second: the ability to listen. Keep your eyes open, attention is focused and your mouth shut. Sometimes it is really difficult: people love to talk, and mostly about myself. It is their favorite subject. But you still look, direct the conversation, ask interesting questions. Somewhere in the wilds of stories about yourself, you will find the very item you are looking for.
- Fearless ability to research parts
Honest and comprehensive research work have always been the Foundation of great journalism. For many this is the hardest part of the job is to search through and view tons of information. It requires great perseverance and patience. And much more than just the ability to Google.
- Respect for deadlines
Respect deadlines and never miss. The deadlines are much more functions than it might seem:
- Planning. A short time allow to create a basis for systematic and progressive coverage of events and phenomena.
- Budgeting. Thanks to a well-distributed editorial work knows how much they will spend this month on a particular journalist.
- Management. Deadlines are the most obvious marker of the fact, whether you’re good enough for journalistic work. Mainly in the eyes of your leadership.
Miss a few deadlines, and, most likely, will happen one of two things: you will be fired or branded unreliable and will only give a boring job, ignoring your contribution to the editorial work.
Never expect that everything would work out. First find out what you need to do from beginning to end, and then start the task.
The ability to plan includes thousands of different things. Among them:
- To keep ready and at hand all the necessary equipment: a computer, a notebook and pen, recorder, camera, etc.;
- Keep control of your work time — up to hours;
- To take notes;
- To have their own system of sorting and quick search of necessary documents;
- To have a “support group” — people from different fields that can help you gather or clarify any information;
- To have your own network of contacts and sources.
And, speaking about the sources of information, it is impossible not to mention…
- Advanced use of social networking
Because social media today is almost the most important workhorse of the modern journalist.
When I started my career, all I had to work a typewriter, a Notepad with pen and camera. And place in the wording, of course.
Today smartphones have replaced absolutely everything that you need to work on the material.
In 2008, the call function was the most underutilized feature for mobile phone. In 2010, social networking applications have become the most used function of a smartphone. The ability of social networking to report the news proved himself in 2011, during the Arab spring. In 2012 social networks have become the main channel for communication of sensation during the presidential election. Today social networks may be the only channel through which you can gather information and publish news. Therefore, advanced knowledge of the capabilities of social networking will be, at least not too much.
So bring order to your relationship with social networks:
- write regularly;
- create a plan of publications on his personal page;
- answer questions and comments;
- share interesting links, so that people can see what you are reading;
- participate in discussions with other journalists;
- create unique content;
- ask for help when appropriate.
When you use social networking to work, follow these rules:
- Always introduce yourself as a journalist, when you write to a potential source.
- Remember that social media is not a toy.
- Everything you write becomes public information.
- Be ethical. Have the courage to admit that you were wrong.
- Remember that some people pay for something that you never got to the truth.
- Prove all things: information, sources, and even whether the right of a particular person social media to be an expert or speak on behalf of the organization.