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John DeDakis

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· Ode to a Mentor (or Letter from the Grave)

· Hope Can Spring From Tragedy

· Whittling it Down


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So, You Want to be a Journalist?
By John DeDakis
Last edited: Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2008



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Recent articles by
John DeDakis

• Healing from Grief
• A Son Remembers His WWII Dad
• Remembering Dad on Veterans Day
• I'm Afraid to Write!
• Wow
• Behind the Scenes in a Troubled Newsroom
• Who Should Direct the Movie of my Novel?
           >> View all 28
Some advice for a wannabe reporter.

Not too long ago, I got an e-mail from a person thinking of making a career change into journalism.  Here's what I suggested -- perhaps it will be helpful to you, too:



  • Keep your day job and go to a weekly or small daily newspaper near where you live
  • Introduce yourself to the managing editor and tell him (or her) you would like help engineering a career change
  • Offer to work as a freelancer as a way to get experience.  You’re basically suggesting an apprenticeship that could eventually turn into a full-time, part-time, or freelance job.  You would work, initially, for free.  All they would need to invest is time to teach you.  But agree upon a time in the future when your status is reconsidered so that you can transition to something that begins to pay off.  Since you still have a day job, you would need to agree on a schedule that works…. Maybe you could cover some night meetings, or shadow a reporter.   
  • During this time, get regular feedback and critiques on your stories and reporting skills. 
  • After a mutually agreed upon amount of time, arrange another meeting to see if you can either be hired full time, part time, or as a freelancer. 

My point is, ANYone can be a journalist, even without going to school.  The BEST training is on-the-job.  (But if you can get some formal training -- college, online, the AP Stylebook -- take advantage of the opportunity.)

Here are the skills you need:


  • Curiosity – LOTS of it – and the courage to ask questions.  Lots of them.
  • Skepticism (which is not the same as cynicism) – it just means the willingness to check things out and not just take someone’s word for it.  The journalist's credo is, "If your mother tells you she loves you, check it out." 
  • The ability to write clearly and succinctly
  • Objectivity.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t have opinions; you just have to be able to set them aside and give people you disagree with the opportunity to present their case.  You need to be fair-minded.  Your purpose as a journalist is to inform NOT persuade. 

Now go out there and get a job! 

John DeDakis

CNN Senior Copy Editor ("The Situation Room" with Wolf Blitzer)

Author, FAST TRACK (a mystery which deals with journalistic integrity, anonymous sources, and mentoring relationships)

www.johndedakis.com

 

 

Web Site CNN's "The Situation Room"
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Reviewed by Angel Worship
John12:49 For I have not spoken of Myself but of My Father who has sent Me. He gave Me a Commandment of what I should say and what I should speak.
2Corithians4:18 Look not at the things which are seen but at the things which are not seen for the things which are seen are temporal but the things which are not seen are eternal, walk by faith not by sight.
1Corithians14:33 For God is not the author of confusion.
Hosea11:9 God says,"I am God and not human."
Numbers23:19 God is not human, He does not lie nor is He Son of human beings that He should change His mind.
John1:18 No one has seen God at anytime the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of His Father has declared Him.
John8:54-55 Jesus answered, If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing it is My Father's honor of whom you say that He is God yet you have not known Him but I know Him. If I should say I know Him not I shall be a liar like you but I know Him and keep His Commandments.
John7:16-18 And He said, My doctrine is not Mine but His that sent Me. If any person will do His Will they shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God or whether I speak of Myself. Whosoever that speaks of themselves seeks their own glory but they that seek His glory that sent them no unrighteousness is in them.
Acts4:18-19 But those things which God before had showed by the mouth of all His prophets that Christ should suffer He has fulfilled. Repent you therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out when the time of refreshing shall come.
Note: In order for conversion to take place you must pray to God Almighty, name your sins in the Name of His Son, Jesus Christ and then be baptized so that your sins are washed away and you receive God's gift which ensures you that you are of God.
John4:23 But the hour comes and now is when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth for the Father seeks such to worship Him
http://worshipwiththetruth.ning.com
Reviewed by Frances Seymour
Great tips John! I've been toying with this idea. Thanks!
Frances

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