How does one get published in today’s society? With digital era changing the playing field, how does one become a journalist? As USA Today put it, “college graduates too often find themselves settling for administrative jobs they have no passion for. They replace their dreams with the practicality that an unappealing desk job serves their bank accounts…” My older sister graduated from the University of Connecticut as a journalist and at first she took a job with another company, that had absolutely nothing to do with journalism. She gave me some tips, that aligned with an article I found on USA Today.
1) Never Stop Writing- “Write for the school paper, create a blog, look for internships where you can write.” She even told me she wanted to work for a Spanish Newspaper in New York so she offered to freelance for them, for free, until a position became available. A year later a position opened up and she started working there.
2) It’s all about who you know- While she was freelancing, she had the opportunity to meet a lot of people in the industry. Her persistence and networking opened the doors to where she wanted to be.
3) Get out there – “Whether it’s blogging or writing for a paper, be where the news is. Write about topics that you are passionate about.” On September 11, 2001 my family and I still lived in Connecticut and I remember her dropping off her son, as the schools were being evacuated and she drove, took the train, then walked to the middle of the chaos so she could get pictures and information of what happened that day. She didn’t want to just write about news, but she wanted to experience it so she could share that story.
4) Timing – Jason Deans, a Media Guardian journalists, emphasizes the importance of timing. A story needs to be told quickly if it is to be told at all. If it happened today, it’s news. If the same thing happened last week, it’s no longer interesting.
I think a great way to break into the field of Journalism is by Freelancing. Today’s society has made it easier to be published, whether it’s an online self publication, or publication through a news outlet. All it takes is some dedication.