At that point I knew what was coming.
I had done two assignments that morning and even though I was told to come find my editor when I returned, I went to my "photo cave" to file my assignments. It wasn't the fault of the subjects I just talked with and photographed that I was getting laid off.
So I finished my work, arranged my desk, even burned a disc or two of work I wanted to archive before going to see the editor.
Yep, I was right. laid off!
As I sat in the office I had already decided I would start
Eight & 322.
Two days later I published my first story even though I hadn't really created a website yet.
Now we're in 2022 at the end of October and I'm still here
The thought process must have been a writer can take a picture, but a photographer can't write?
The results are the photos in the paper are not very good and I'm writing better and better everyday.
The point I'm making in this is - the only limitations you have are from within.
There are road blocks a plenty in your future. How do you over come them?
So let's talk about a few ways to get yourself prepared for those roadblocks or even better - the opportunities when they present themselves.
- Can you define what is hard news vs soft news? And how does writing vary between them?
- What is the difference between a newspaper and a newsletter?
- What is the importance of community journalism? - watch dog?
- How to be objective when you know the subject, what to do if you can't be objective?
- What role can school journalism students play in local journalism?
- AP style books
- Learn to right in pyramid order of importance. Or write, everyone needs an editor.
- Study journalism ethics
- Know the difference between opinion and observational story telling.
- Be curious
- Learn to listen
- learn what follow up questions are
- question everything
- only quote when you have the quote
- What are the journalism tools in your toolbox? Camera/phone, recorder, video, note pad, pens, computer, internet platforms?
- Is TikTok a journalism tool? What will they be in 5-10-20 years.
This is where you come in.
You, as young people who are going to school have a great opportunity to cut your teeth, learn some skills and be a productive set of eyes and ears for your community.
You can tell the stories of your communty and get them out there, Newspapers and news agencies are hungry for well written and documented content. You can provide that for your community even if your community is your school
Write about your school and send your stories to the local outlets.
if there’s a story that you don’t know how to approach - ask a professional - most writers, photographers and editors that I know will have time for you.
Don't be discouraged by the curmudgeons.
Seek out those that have a true hard love for journalism and ask for their advice.
We need young people in this profession to revolutionize how news will be delivered in the future.
We need you to get out there with strong ethical standards and utilize the platforms that old guys can’t even wrap their brain around We don’t even know how to spell TicToc correctly.
There’s never been a more important time for young people to get involved in journalism than right now.
But we need you to learn how to do it ethically so when you revolutionize the way journalism and storytelling is going to be presented in the future, it will be done for the right reasons.
So, what do you need to do to be those revolutionaries?
- Learn ethics of journalism and photojournalism.
- Learn writing ledes
- Learn pyramid storytelling
- Learn AP style (get an AP stylebook look things up when you have questions).
- Have questions
- Assume nothing
- Be curious - ask why
- Ask questions
- Know that nothing is impossible to learn
- Understand that almost every question you have has been asked by dozens, hundreds, thousands of journalists before you.
- Know that not knowing something is a strength, but only if you ask questions.
- Know that at one time a guy named Bob Woodward also did not know how to do something and he grew up to become one of the most important investigative journalists of our time
- Look up Bob Woodward
- Everyone needs an editor
- Know that every Pulitzer Prize winner at one time was as clueless as you are now about how to be a journalist
- Be eager
- Wear sunscreen
We need young people to come into this profession and revolutionize how storytelling is going to be done in the future. But we need you to also maintain the integrity of journalism.