I believe that the most challenging thing about being a journalist is getting the facts and reporting on information that people may not want to be known.
I believe that interviewing people about news is intimidating but necessary.
I believe that writing for the general public is difficult because readers have so many differing viewpoints and so writing must be as clear and concise as possible.
I believe the best journalism is well-researched and well-credited, and brings forth new, thought-provoking information.
I believe that the biggest problem with journalism today is the huge media outlets that are paid off by corporations, which makes it difficult to know how credible our news really is.
I believe that everyone can be a journalist if they are curious and persistent.
I believe that the future of news is much less organization based (as in, less about a huge newspaper or TV station) and more personal–coming from private on-the-ground sources (such as twitter, etc. in terms of breaking news specifically).
My greatest strength as a journalist is that I am curious and I like to write.
My greatest weakness as a journalist is that I’m not sure how easy it will be for me to ask the hard questions and put people in an uncomfortable position in order to get a story.
I believe the role professional news organizations play in my life will continue to grow; as I get older and am on my own more, I will begin to receive news more from big news outlets rather than from my friends and parents.
After going through this class, I think I was pretty spot on with most of my original thoughts. Specifically, I did a good job reading my own skills and what I thought would be most difficult in becoming a journalist. As I like to write, describing the scene for my news feature has been the most fun part, as well as the easiest. When it came to interviews, I definitely found myself having a hard time coming up with questions in the first place, not to mention having a hard time challenging people or asking the difficult questions. Interviews were extremely intimidating to me, especially after I talked to a Vice President who kind of ripped me apart for not having a set story. I felt like the reason I was interviewing him (and others) was to figure out what the story was and how exactly the specific people I talked to played into this story, but it made it difficult when he started grilling me about what everyone I had interviewed before him had said, and basically made all my prepared questions irrelevant. I definitely learned that you really have to be prepared for anything, and that thinking on your feet and keeping your composure is really important, but also really difficult. I think maintaining a sense of curiosity and open-mindedness is essential when interviewing someone, as well as trying to make a personal connection, which think helps with making the interviewee at ease.
As for news stories themselves, I think my “I believe” statement that talks about the best journalism as ‘well-researched’ and ‘well-credited’ is really important, especially when it comes to sensitive issues, as we saw with the UVA rape scandal story that Rolling Stone ran. The fact that the reputation of one magazine can almost hinge on a single, badly researched and credited story is super interesting and makes for a really good takeaway, even for less high-profile writers such as ourselves. Being clear and concise, as well as taking the time to really make sure every fact is correct are to me some of the most important things I’ve learned about journalism.