After Part I, I took a step back and evaluated myself a bit more and just looked at some of the good journos out there. Today I present you three more essentials I think you absolutely need to have if you’re gonna do well in journalism. So just think about it before you jump in:
1. Progressive and Willing to Learn New Skills
This semester I’m doing Teeline Shorthand, a subject that scared me away last year (sometimes reading my own posts make me cringe a whole lot. I sound so arrogant, jump to conclusions so quickly, haha). Thanks to the Canadian journo who told me off by commenting on that post, I’m back for shorthand. New uncomfortable skill I must learn.
Here’s what The Sydney Morning Herald editor-in-chief Peter Fray said in the latest Walkley Magazine:
“We’re looking for journalists that can ‘catch, kill and render’ their own stories. It’s no longer enough to be ‘just’ a strong writer or good at finding things out or clever at the way you can present news on a page. Ideally, we want our journalists to be good at all of that. We’d also like our journalists to be equally at home with a video camera and editing software as well as a digital camera and tape recorder.”
Not all of us are wired that way, but if you can’t learn quickly, you won’t catch up…media is just moving too quickly. Find something that moves a bit slower otherwise, like…teaching? Doesn’t mean you’re not good enough, it’s just smarter to do what you’re best at.
2. Adventurous Multitasker
News is not for the lazy. The ability to work fast is extremely important in a newsroom. Some people, like myself, I think, are gifted at multitasking. If you thrive on adrenalin rushes and close shaves, if you’re excited about pushing boundaries and always just going that bit further, I think journalism will be very rewarding for you. 🙂
3. Desire to Influence
“I don’t know whether I want to devote my life to an industry that’s…I don’t even know the word to describe it. I feel the media has in some ways gotten to a point where it can tell everyone mercury is good for health, and everyone will buy it and go about their activities based on that core belief. Businesses will lure customers, elections will be won, countries will be run, policies will shape society and planet earth as we know it based on that one belief churned out by a stupid, overweight hamster running on a printing machine wheel, thinking it’s doing the best and most important thing in the world.”
This is, I think, why I want to be a journalist. Because so few other jobs provide such a great deal of power – and I believe that power can be harnessed to do great good in society.
Liam’s found his reason. That’s why he’s passionate about what he does, I think.
I don’t know about myself yet — not sure journalism is the best fit for my skillset, but I hope these posts give you something to think about!