The craft of journalism can be demanding and technical, but writing a good story and being an in-the-know, young journalist is most definitely fulfilling. Here are 7 useful tips for a journalism major.
1. Follow news sites.
Journalists always need to know what’s going on in the world. Whether it is entertainment, economic, political, social news and more, you need to be up to speed with what’s happening. One of the best ways to do this is to follow news outlets on social media. As you’re scrolling your way through Twitter or Facebook, at the same time you can get the latest news.
2. Never turn down an opportunity to write.
Writing is like any other skill, the more practice you get and time you put into it the better at it you’ll become. If given the opportunity to cover a story, always go for it. Even if it’s on a subject you aren’t that well aware of, do research and learn as much as you can, because a well-rounded journalist is one of the best journalists.
3. Get comfortable talking to people.
Interviews can be terrifying, for you and the interviewee, but they are inevitable in this industry. Try and get a feel for the different types of interviewees there are, like the shy ones, outspoken ones, etc. Speak to people everywhere you go and ask questions professionally and naturally, but of course prepare a bit beforehand.
4. Read as much as you can.
It is essential for a journalism major to have a grasp on many of the major publications, and understand their tone and main areas of focus. The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, TIME, The New Yorker and more. SJU distributes The New York Times daily in DAC and St. Augustine Hall so why not go and grab a free copy?
5. Make connections.
Connections are always a plus in any industry, and especially journalism. By talking to people casually, or in interviews, always keep mental notes about key aspects of their life because one day they might come in handy for a story or other opportunities. Remember faces and keep phone numbers and emails.
6. Do not procrastinate.
Procrastination is deadly. It happens to the best of us, but, as we all know, it’s best to do things, whether that be write, interview or transcribe, ahead of time. Your best work is always done when there is time to edit and revise. Finishing articles at the last minute can, the majority of the time, leave your work not as great as it can be.
7. Be nosy!
We are told growing up to pretty much mind our own business, but in the journalism world you should do the total opposite. Stories and leads don’t come out of thin air, so be that journalist that knows all of the juicy information and not just the mere basics. The more you know, the better.
Are you a journalism major at SJU? What’s your advice for fellow students? Comment below and be sure to like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!
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Isabella Bruni is a journalism major from Norwalk, Connecticut. She also writes for the student-run school newspaper, The Torch, and is a member of ReVolution Dance Team. She loves exploring New York City and has a slightly unhealthy obsession with The Office.