Helpful Tips for Journalists

A career in journalism is a rewarding one offering meaningful work. As a journalist you have opportunities to inform, enlighten, entertain, and—sometimes—change lives. The job offers variety; each day is different. You have the chance to connect with different people, learn new things every day and possess an understanding of what is happening in your community.

Here are a few random tips to get started. This is the first in a series of advice posts.

1. Keep these things in your car at all times: a notebook, pens, business cards, sturdy shoes, a rain coat and a map (MapQuest and GPS will get it wrong)
2. Never be shy about saying, “I don’t understand”
3. Never lie for your job
4. Don’t ask, “Do you have any comments…” Instead say, “I’d like to know what you think about…”
5. If someone asks you for a favor or a question you are uncomfortable with, just say, “I’ll check with my editor”
6. Listen more than you talk

Megan Ward (mward@hpe.com) is editor of the High Point Enterprise in High Point, North Carolina. This piece was originally published in the Institute for Humane Studies Journalism Career Guide.

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