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Hello there - New Journalism student (1 Viewer)

RiderOnTheStorm

Senior Member
Well I recently enrolled for a course in Journalism and I am pretty excited about it. It's my biggest challenge yet, I have never written anywhere nor attempted to. And to top things off I am not a native english speaker, so it is going to be quite a journey for me.

Are there any members here currently working in that field? I would really like to get an inside scoop on how it is like to work as a journalist. What should I expect.. some advice wouldn't hurt either ;)

I really look forward to learn a lot here; and if I could be of any help, to anyone, I would be more than happy to do so.

I'm a Sound Engineer/Photographer.
 
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mammamaia

Senior Member
welcome, rider!...

'journalism' is a broad term, covering many different types of work in the media... i've been an editor and a columnist, among other things, so if you want some general info, or advice on something specific, just drop me a line any time...

love and hugs, maia
[email protected]
 
B

Baron

welcome, rider!...

'journalism' is a broad term, covering many different types of work in the media... i've been an editor and a columnist, among other things, so if you want some general info, or advice on something specific, just drop me a line any time...

love and hugs, maia
[email protected]

I don't know how you find the time. There just aren't enough hours in the day for me at the moment.
 

mammamaia

Senior Member
I don't know how you find the time. There just aren't enough hours in the day for me at the moment.

it's easy, baron... it's what i do... every single day of the year, from 6-ish am to 8-ish pm... when you get to be pushing 70, on ss and living in a way that you can manage to not do anything for money, you'll have time for it, too!

hugs, m
 

WordWeaver

Senior Member
Journalism is tough. You've got to get all the facts straight and report the news fairly to the public. It's important to listen to all sides of the issue and report in an unbiased manner.
 

Linton Robinson

Senior Member
I don't know how you find the time.

It's easy when you don't have a job, don't have anybody around, and don't mind making up a lot of crap about your experience.

Rider, be very careful of sending your email to people who could easily use the personal message function of the forum...or just discuss on the forum the way it's intended. There are plenty of actual writers here who don't mind their comments being visible to all and don't want you email address.

Baron and I both have journalism backgrounds. You get the best results by specifying your questions, narrowing the field.

Mostly what you have on this board are writers. Sound engineering is a bit far afield

Good luck
 

RiderOnTheStorm

Senior Member
Thanks for your replies.

I would really like to become a columnist, but I will be trying to learn a bit of everything to increase my chances of getting a decent job. I'm also hoping that my photography experience comes in handy.
 

Linton Robinson

Senior Member
Columnist is about the hardest thing to get, actually. That's what everybody wants...a paid blog where you just sit there and write cool stuff for money. There are PLENTY of people who would do it for free...or pay to do it.

Unless you can come up with something really cool and sell or syndicate it to free urban weeklies or some such. That's what I did.

It's also what the guys from Savage Love and Ask A Mexican and such did.

Secret super tip: every paper needs a "Trouble Shooter" and not all have them. You run around and solve problems people write in about. Harder than reporting, actually, but a major service and you learn a LOT about the way things work.

Another popular doohickey is the photo interveiw poll. You've got the camera. Each week you pick some dorky question like "Where to you buy those stupid pants" or "Where is Iraq anyway?".... well, maybe better questions than that. You go the street and grab 4-5 people...hopefully cute people with cool answers... shoot a closeup, get their data. Name, age, job. And run their pic with their answer and who they are. Ta daaa.
Believe it or not, very popular feature. Pays peanuts. But it can be a quick in. Try to run it by your college paper, or in a local weekly while you're still in school. Boom you've got feature credits.

I had a thing called "Freeze Frame" for awhile. A picture each week with a gripping story of yuppie noir with it...around 900 words. You can't sell these on pictures, though. It has to be exceptional writing of exactly the kind they want.

I think there's a big market for "Dude and Chick Of the Issue" sort of thing. You shoot and do thumbnail interview with movers and shakers of the community, or the focus area of the publication. People are dying to be in these things so after you do a few with some well-thought-out major local players, it's easy to get people. Let local PR firms know what you're doing, also email to company flacks, publicity for local theaters, schools, etc. Hit em with a mix of politicos, arts community, business whizes, some young comers now and then, athletes with something interesting to say (team PR guys another source). and cleavage.

I did this for awhile for a singles publication, Bachelor and Bachelorette of the month thing. Very popular, overwhelmed with people wanting in, got laid a LOT.

None of this adds up to a decent living, of course. But it's a start. Which you can either play into something or not. Meanwhile, you're making a few bucks, meeting a lot of people. penetrating the community, building a base to weild corruption and evil.

Actually, a trouble shooter or advocate or ombudsman column CAN make a living. I know two people who sold urban daily papers on this concept and were on staff jolly quick. One of them did the same thing at a college paper and just went pro with it when he graduated...I think it took him about a week to get hired by the biggest paper in town. The other guy had to hustle to show he could pull it off. He prepared a presentation and backlog using made-up questions and responses to show his writing style. Then he took three things people were bitching about in editorial letters and went out and got the answers and in two cases got the thing restituted. That did the trick.

Good luck
 
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B

Baron

It's easy when you don't have a job, don't have anybody around, and don't mind making up a lot of crap about your experience.

Rider, be very careful of sending your email to people who could easily use the personal message function of the forum...or just discuss on the forum the way it's intended. There are plenty of actual writers here who don't mind their comments being visible to all and don't want you email address.

Baron and I both have journalism backgrounds. You get the best results by specifying your questions, narrowing the field.

Mostly what you have on this board are writers. Sound engineering is a bit far afield

Good luck

When I saw the title of this thread and your name, I have to confess that there was a sense of deja vu...
 

RiderOnTheStorm

Senior Member
Columnist is about the hardest thing to get, actually. That's what everybody wants...a paid blog where you just sit there and write cool stuff for money. There are PLENTY of people who would do it for free...or pay to do it.

Unless you can come up with something really cool and sell or syndicate it to free urban weeklies or some such. That's what I did.

It's also what the guys from Savage Love and Ask A Mexican and such did.

Secret super tip: every paper needs a "Trouble Shooter" and not all have them. You run around and solve problems people write in about. Harder than reporting, actually, but a major service and you learn a LOT about the way things work.

Another popular doohickey is the photo interveiw poll. You've got the camera. Each week you pick some dorky question like "Where to you buy those stupid pants" or "Where is Iraq anyway?".... well, maybe better questions than that. You go the street and grab 4-5 people...hopefully cute people with cool answers... shoot a closeup, get their data. Name, age, job. And run their pic with their answer and who they are. Ta daaa.
Believe it or not, very popular feature. Pays peanuts. But it can be a quick in. Try to run it by your college paper, or in a local weekly while you're still in school. Boom you've got feature credits.

I had a thing called "Freeze Frame" for awhile. A picture each week with a gripping story of yuppie noir with it...around 900 words. You can't sell these on pictures, though. It has to be exceptional writing of exactly the kind they want.

I think there's a big market for "Dude and Chick Of the Issue" sort of thing. You shoot and do thumbnail interview with movers and shakers of the community, or the focus area of the publication. People are dying to be in these things so after you do a few with some well-thought-out major local players, it's easy to get people. Let local PR firms know what you're doing, also email to company flacks, publicity for local theaters, schools, etc. Hit em with a mix of politicos, arts community, business whizes, some young comers now and then, athletes with something interesting to say (team PR guys another source). and cleavage.

I did this for awhile for a singles publication, Bachelor and Bachelorette of the month thing. Very popular, overwhelmed with people wanting in, got laid a LOT.

None of this adds up to a decent living, of course. But it's a start. Which you can either play into something or not. Meanwhile, you're making a few bucks, meeting a lot of people. penetrating the community, building a base to weild corruption and evil.

Actually, a trouble shooter or advocate or ombudsman column CAN make a living. I know two people who sold urban daily papers on this concept and were on staff jolly quick. One of them did the same thing at a college paper and just went pro with it when he graduated...I think it took him about a week to get hired by the biggest paper in town. The other guy had to hustle to show he could pull it off. He prepared a presentation and backlog using made-up questions and responses to show his writing style. Then he took three things people were bitching about in editorial letters and went out and got the answers and in two cases got the thing restituted. That did the trick.

Good luck

Yeah, I was afraid of that. The urban weeklies idea is awesome, I imagine that you never run out of topics, and as you pointed out, people usually dig it.

So basically all you need to do is to come up with the articles and then figure how to sell them? What is your take on blogging? Do you think that creating some sort of zine would be helpful in anyway, maybe ultimately serving as a portfolio?
 

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