1. Be credible!
In today’s day in age, social media is beginning to rule our communication waves. While it can be a fast way to get news, it’s not always credible. That isn’t to say you can’t get news from social media, just be conscious of your source. For example, the story about Blake Griffin hitting Justin Bieber at a Hollywood Starbucks is all over social media but the article isn’t true. The Ruckus Bucket, a WordPress blog, is satirical site. Look at accounts like ABC instead.
2. Be ahead of the game.
Keep up to date on what’s going on around you. As reporters, we have to work at being able to find a story anywhere at any time. Work on looking at all angles of a situation
3. Remember that you won’t start out as the best journalist on the planet.
It would be hard to find a journalist that knew everything right when they started. Practice your skills-whether it be re-writing ledes, practicing your note taking, or studying the AP Style book, you’re going to have to work at reporting skills.
4. Learn how to take criticism.
Sometimes you’ll be able to self-edit your work but sometimes you will need somebody who has more experience than you to evaluate your work. Even though it’s scary to get your hard work picked apart, in the end it will only help you progress as a writer. Eventually you can edit other people’s stuff too!
5. Make connections!
Even though nobody likes being the kid that people call a “suck up”, college only lasts around 4 years for most students. While you may be embarrassed in class, in the end if you can make a good connection with your professor, then it really doesn’t matter what your classmates think. Professors can help us make job connections, be references, or just calm our nerves. They made it through classes similar to the ones we’re taking so utilize their knowledge.
Nobody said journalism was easy, but if you work hard at it you can be a successful reporter.