Career Magazine

Aspiring Journalist Take Note: 24 Tips from Rising Stars

Posted on the 08 February 2011 by Fcarletti
Aspiring journalist take note: 24 tips from rising stars

Photo by baatarscc on Flickr.

The site I just created — So, you want to be a journalist — is like an advice column combined with the “most likely to succeed” section of a high school year. I designed it for a group of first-year undergrads at UBC.

(Note: I can’t take credit for the good taste: I generated the list by asking my peers for their recommendations.)

The site is self-explanatory, but I simply have to highlight how much street cred the advice-givers have earned in their relatively short careers.

For instance:

Bethany Horne beat mainstream media giants on a major G20 story. She was among the very first to report that the police had been granted more powers to search, detain and arrest people in and around Toronto’s downtown security zone.

Jesse McLean was entrepreneurial enough to get to Haiti with an NGO while interning at the Toronto Star. At the age of 22, he was one of the first Star reporters to get there after the earthquake, then turned in assignments that showed skill past his years.

Allison Cross, Leslie Young, and Kate Allen were all part of a documentary team that won an Emmy for their film on e-waste. While still in J-school, they earned one of the highest honours you can earn for investigative journalism, beating out established heavyweights like 60 minutes and Nightline.

Bottom line: If you want to get into journalism, you want to read what these fresh minds have to say:

All the following posts are available here.

  1. Filter everything for yourself, including this advice. Advice from William Wolfe-Wylie
  2. To write interesting work, you have to be interested. Advice from Leslie Young
  3. You have to love it. Advice from Lauren Pelley
  4. Come to grips with the worst case scenario. Advice from Arden Zwelling
  5. When you think you’ve worked hard enough, work harder. Advice from Lucas Timmons
  6. J-school isn’t the only option. Advice from Tamara Baluja
  7. Get inspired. Respect your audience. Think ahead. Advice from Bethany Horne
  8. Live an interesting life. Advice from Jessica Linzey
  9. Don’t do it for fame or fortune. Advice from Liem Vu
  10. Ten things you can do right away. Advice from Dylan C. Robertson
  11. On student papers, digital footprints, and the art of networking. Advice from Sarah Millar
  12. Focus on your own journey. Advice from Evan Duggan
  13. Constantly update your skills, and never stop writing. Advice from Nick Taylor-Vaisey
  14. Cross-platform ‘clippings’ are key! Advice from Erin Millar
  15. Take every opportunity (even those that aren’t paid!) Advice from Devon Wong
  16. Be relentless and build yourself a name and a niche. Advice from Amanda Ash
  17. Pay close attention to your world. Advice from Chloé Fedio
  18. Don’t wait until you’ve graduated. Advice from Jesse McLean
  19. See if you enjoy writing for an audience. Advice from Beth Hong
  20. Be part of the student press, and get on twitter. Advice from Stuart Thompson
  21. Just do it. Advice from Rebecca Lindell
  22. Get outside the classroom. Advice from Adrian Morrow
  23. Learn by doing and learn to pitch. Advice from Kate Allen
  24. Be flexible. Advice from Allison Cross


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