Posted on September 25, 2007
Advice for journalism students
Paul Bradshaw offers 10 succinct nuggets of advice on how to be a journalism student. These are wonderful, and I’m going to require my students to read them.
Be open to new experiences. So you’re interested in music. That’s nice, but if you think you’re going to land your first job on NME, you’re deluded. A journalist should be prepared to write about anything, and a good journalist should be able to do it with creativity and curiosity. One former colleague had jobs writing about technology, education, and cars before she landed her dream job on a women’s magazine — it’s par for the course. But it’s not a bad thing: it’s one of the best things about journalism! Don’t say you want to see the world but then complain when you have to go to Djibouti.
Curiosity is the real key to becoming a good journalist. Too many students approach every assignment as a chore and a burden, because it’s not what they “really want to write about.”
It’s a great privilege to be paid for telling stories to the world. To earn that privilege, you’ve got to approach every opportunity to learn a new story with an open mind and a desire to find out something new. You’ll never tell a great story if your strategy is to fill in blanks on a form and then simply write it up.