Inspiring to Be a Journalist? Click Here For Tips

When we read stories about someone writing a story, we are unsure if they are journalists or citizen journalists (bloggers) unless we end up on a major news networking website where tons of stories about political and current events are located for viewing, commenting and sharing across the social media platforms. If you have an inspiration for journalism, here are some tips you can consider before making the final call:

  • Look at all different forms of journalism and pick the one you have the closest ties with. In other words, if enjoy writing about sports, become a sportscaster or sports writer.
  • After you select which section of journalism you would like to work as, do your research and find other journalists in that particular area. If some of them are alive and active on social media, send them a message and ask for their advice.
  • Step three, create a blog and write about those events you’ve attended with a particular writing style. Sports has one way of reporting which team won/lost while investigative news pertains to crime.
  • As this cannot be stressed enough, participate in internships and extracurricular activities that relate to your particular field of interest.

Live and learn from these opportunities. Don’t let them come by and slip away. Experience from these events will help open the doors for you in ways that yet you cannot imagine.

To Middle School Journalists: Starting a Blog on WordPress As Extracurricular Activity

Dear Middle School Journalism Students,

If you enjoy writing and snapping photographs but have no interest partaking in extracurricular activities at school, create a blog on WordPress.com because it involves sharing your experience with the world, regarding what you have learned in school thus far and the events you have attended for the first time.

Here are some directions in order to get started on WordPress as a blogger:

#1: To get started, click on “Get Started”–>Start with a blog–>Option to select website theme or skip for now–>Give your website a name address–>Create a free or premium account and create account by typing in your email address and creating a password for WordPress.com

#2: After you create your account, explore your “blog theme” for your website by clicking on: My Site and hit “themes.” You can select one that is either free or do it premium. Afterwards, hit “activate” and see what happens on your website.

#3: In order to create a blog post, scroll your mouse to the top right hand corner and click “Write.” As you will notice at the bottom right hand side of the screen, there are “categories” and “tags.” Categories refer to your post topic. In other words, if you plan to write about your first experience as a blogger, you can create a category and label it as “Blogger Experience” whereas tags are used for essential keywords you use to highlight the post of the day. For example, “blogger” or “getting started.”

High School Journalists: Choosing A Particular Journalism Field

Journalism isn’t always about writing and reporting repetitive stories five days a week. In fact, you choose a particular topic in the journalism field you are experienced at and go from there. When I mean “particular journalism field,” this can be defined as what stories do you have experience in? What are your strengths and weaknesses for writing these types of stories? How can you improve?

Here are some examples down below to help you identify what journalism field hits you close to home:

  • Investigative Reporting
  • Local News Reporting
  • Weather Reporting
  • Sports Reporting
  • Photojournalism
  • World Events
  • Pop Culture

Attend Events To Blog About:

Previously, I wrote a post about blogging events and finding new material. However, I never dived into the subject of events I plan to attend for blogging and experience purposes. In April, I will be attending a Matthew Morrison concert in Nashville and write about going to a concert all by myself. The second event is to the Walker Stalker Convention in June. I’ve never been there, but am a fan of the Walking Dead show. Being a college student who’s able to experience a lot of opportunities to meet people on campus but went to very little events makes me regret it because it will help me expand my horizons and connect with people.

Today, I will be attending an event on campus regarding the “Not My President” protest against Trump. Protests are not always a good idea to go to because it can become violent in a heartbeat, but in order to be a journalist, it’s best to stay professional and focus on the message this rally is spreading and sending to the younger generations. And how will voting privileges affect the nation from years to come & go.

End of Semester To-Do List:

Even though it will be one more semester until I graduate, it is essential to start looking for a job in journalism and apply to many jobs before May 2017 arrives. It’s important to read through the skills and abilities section which will match my criteria. Otherwise, applying for that particular job where I have no skill set they are asking for, is a waste of time.

This is one of my biggest “to-do” lists because not only I will be graduating soon, but getting a job earlier would be one less thing to not worry about by the time I receive my Bachelor’s Degree. It’s best to get the job early rather than six months later which is when I will have to start paying off my student loan debt.

Even though I will begin applying for jobs in January, but I need to realize that I will not always get the job guaranteed.

Why Consider the Yearbook Staff?

There are many reasons to join an extracurricular activity, especially the yearbook staff. Here are some reasons why you might consider joining:

1.) Creating Unforgettable Memories-Creating a yearbook is not just about jumping in and writing up interviews and posting pictures in the layout, it’s about creating memories that will last a lifetime as well as building many friendships with the adviser and staff.

2.) Gaining a Journalism Perspective-It’s not just about one perspective of how the yearbook staff should run its course and how to lay out the theme. It’s about teamwork and digging under the microscope until you understand both sides of a story and work your hardest to beat the deadline, edit your work until you receive the green light, which represents that your work is ready for publishing.

3.) Advertising Experience-Each member on the staff will have to run to different places in town and ask businesses if they are willing to put an ad in the yearbook. Sometimes people will tell you “yes,” and there are those who tell you “no.” Don’t feel discouraged because you are receiving a taste of how the real world functions. Advertising experience will help you become a people person and learn how to prepare you for a job in retail.

 

Considering to Learn More Through Internships:

Hopefully, I can get an internship for next semester because I do need more experience learning how the field of journalism works. In other words, what to expect from my bosses and editors.

Thus far, I’ve been on the yearbook staff for two years in high school, intern at a local newspaper station in my hometown, worked as a photographer for my college digital online newspaper (still considering to do more work for them) and blogged for the past three years.

Some experience is better than none, but it’s important to have the drive and dedication to work hard to get the story right and published. Deadline driven, as I should become. I have considered that I need to learn more by going from one internship to the next until I graduate in the spring.

Being positive and always communicating with the editors will help open the doors. It’s never too late to connect with them while still in college, working on my Bachelor’s degree.

Back to School Today:

It’s my first day back to school as a senior in college. I look forward to meeting my classmates and professors for this semester. Sure, it might be difficult by taking a marketing and an accounting course, but determination will help you get through it. As long as I don’t procrastinate and always do my homework ahead of time. Not to mention, purchasing textbooks before attending class for the second time which can be quite expensive at the school’s bookstore. Luckily, there is a website that you can rent at a lower price. When I have plenty of time on my hands, it’s good to walk to my two favorite places on campus: 1.) Recreation Center-where I can exercise for one hour and 2.) The library-where my homework can be completed and not have to worry about doing it at home. Since my classes are already showing online where I turn in my assignments, I have written down the majority of my assignments and quizzes that have deadlines stretching from August until the end of November, in my calendar. It’s nice to look at the syllabus before attending class and visualize what the professor will be assigning to the class.

However, to those who are going to college for the first time, have a great day and I wish you the best of luck out there. Remember though, have fun and take some free time to enjoy what your university offers. In other words, join some extracurricular activities. If you are a writer, write for your local university newspaper. Life is too short to focus on one thing at a time. Go out there and reach your goal to your highest potential. Never let opportunities slide by.

Traffic Light Method for Journalism Students:

After writing my previous blog post relating to the differences and similarities between blogging and yearbook, there was a method I thought of pertaining to those who are deadline driven.

Of course, you know it can be difficult to finish your work and meet a deadline on time unless you work very hard to make sure you have no errors, misspellings and improper punctuation usage. Here is a method for students who are interested in journalism to think about:

Green Light:

  • When you have corrected your mistakes that were circled or underlined, print off a new copy of your corrected page and hand it in to the editor-in-chief. If no errors were found, you receive the “green light” and are ready to move onto your next assignment.

Yellow Light:

  • The yellow light means that there were some errors that have been spotted, but will be corrected by the staff to make sure that your page will be published on time.

Red Light:

  • Your deadline will have to be missed at least a few days because there were lots of mistakes noticed by the staff. For example, kicker titles. They may not match the theme to your yearbook. Or, the division page story has one too many grammatical errors and name misspellings.

Yearbook And Blogging:Differences and Similarities: Part 1

Yearbook and blogging might be two different projects you are doing as an extracurricular activity and hobby, but there are some similarities and differences between the two:

Differences:

  •  Deadlines: The adviser and editor-in-chief create deadlines for the staff because it takes one whole year to make a yearbook from front to back. As for blogging, you can choose when to publish your own work without being rushed by staff members and not follow through with a theme. In other words, you can post random ideas and subjects on your website without being hounded by your adviser and editor-in-chief unless you are working for a certain company that chooses different themes on a weekly basis. 
  • After you fill out a yearbook position application, you have to wait a little while before hearing back from the adviser. Unlike being on a yearbook staff, you can simply create your own website and create mini-projects, instantly. 

Neutral:

  • Deadlines: You create deadlines to post certain topics pertaining to real world experience. And you also have deadlines to meet your goal by getting the work done, edited and published for certain companies.

Similarities: 

  • Selecting Subjects to Discuss: Whether if you are interviewing students for a certain page in the yearbook or asking a relative about something from their past, you are publishing topics for the world to read and comment. In other words, your work can be influenced negatively nor positively, depending on what you published, how you interviewed someone and the words you have carefully selected. 
  • Creativity-You are free to be as creative as long as you know what to do and remembering your purpose of doing that certain project. For example, photojournalism: interviewing and photographing your subject for a specific blog post that you think is the most important for others to read for a certain reason. In other words, how does this subject affect my daily life? Or, how is this person a positive role model for everyone? Dig down to the creativity ditch and start on the most significant idea you have that relates to your theme. Visualize your plan and follow through.