I’m sure some of you were aware of the recent hashtag #AdviceForYoungJournalists on Twitter which started last week after financial writer Felix Salmon tweeted a piece he wrote for Fusion entitled ‘To all the young journalists asking for advice…’ His advice in a nutshell was “don’t do it”. Ouch. I like Vox editor-in-chief Ezra Klein’s response to Salmon which is, thankfully, less pessimistic and assures me I’m not doomed. Slate’s Will Oremus simply he advised young journalists not to take career advice from older ones. Some of the advice offered on Twitter was funny, some of it quite pompous, some of it was filled with enormous shade from those who presumably hate the industry they work in. But there was also tons of genuine and super helpful advice too. I’ve rounded up some of my favourite tweets below. https://twitter.com/paulbradshaw/status/565526207215984641 https://twitter.com/jasminedotiwala/status/565231659038302209 https://twitter.com/jasminedotiwala/status/565237818646331393 https://twitter.com/kingsthings/status/565246514755567619 https://twitter.com/jameswest2010/status/564990845733339136 https://twitter.com/JamilahLemieux/status/565310283602984961 https://twitter.com/NickKristof/status/565002487149907968 https://twitter.com/annikaallen/status/565219949598498816 https://twitter.com/KayBurley/status/565110419959054336 https://twitter.com/RyanSheales/status/565064007539646464 https://twitter.com/AlixFox/status/564953021537599488 https://twitter.com/albertocairo/status/565138217109045248 https://twitter.com/BuzzFeed/status/565202306149654528 Please read and bookmark this if you’re a non-white wannabe journalist because it’s brilliant. https://twitter.com/AfricasaCountry/status/564957400407740416 https://twitter.com/andrewmseaman/status/564988382728552448 https://twitter.com/AlanFisher/status/565126482469879808 https://twitter.com/hendopolis/status/565417392311136256 https://twitter.com/misstenelle/status/566298889729638400 Me throwing my own advice out there. Writer Laurie Penny offered lots of useful advice, check out this Storify to see all her tweets. Here are some of my own pieces of advice, as a fellow young journalist:
- Always be nice.
- Be proactive. Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you. Become a go-getter if you’re not already one.
- Say “yes” to everything (or as much as you can) because you never will know what an opportunity may lead to.
- Network. This might not be the easiest thing to do if you’re shy or don’t consider yourself the networking type but it’s good to get into the habit of it and build relationships. Maybe start by asking yourself why you want to network and come up with a plan and decide what your goals are.
- Get off Twitter/Facebook/Instagram sometimes and go out and do/make stuff. Start practising journalism now. What’s stopping you?
I’m sure Salmon meant well with his piece but if you really want to be a journalist, you can. Believe in yourself, work very hard and don’t give up because now is honestly the most exciting time to be a journalist, regardless of what others might tell you.