There is more than one way to interview someone for a news story.
Some journalists take the role of an unfriendly, disbelieving inquirer who
wants to catch the interviewee in some moment of confusion or expose him/her
as a hypocrite, ignoramus or buffoon. I refer to this as “gotcha”
Some journalists take the role of a supportive, affable colleague so they
don’t ask any tough questions that might embarrass the interviewee. This
often called throwing softballs, but I call it “brownnose” journalism.
The really good journalists take the role of an objective, neutral
interviewer with no agenda except to get the interviewee’s side of the
story. This is called unbiased journalism.
The role you take as a journalist interviewing someone for a story is
important, but there are other aspects of the journalist’s interview that
will also help or hinder your quest for... (more)
Most aspiring citizen journalists I meet have a favorite topic that interests
them and they want to write almost exclusively about that subject. For
instance, a good friend of mine writes solely about hunting and fishing in
Iowa and Nebraska. Another submits articles to his local newspaper about the
activities of his Rotary Club. Another citizen journalist I know submits
articles about green issues and the climate change debate.
All newsrooms at one time structured things that way; they would assign
reporters a certain beat to cover. One would write on business issues,
another s... (more)
Citizen Journalism on Ulitzer
If you’re seeking wealth and fame, journalism might not be your best
choice. No one enters the field to get rich, and only a few ever become
An entry-level journalist will barely earn enough to survive if a job is even
available in today’s shrinking journalism job market. Even experienced beat
reporters don’t live in the rich part of town. The only people receiving
truly handsome wages in the news media today are celebrity journalists seen
on network and cable television news stations.
Fame is also elusive for most journalists. Only a few becom... (more)
Lots of folks ask us, "What makes a good citizen journalist?"
The short answer is passion. But a good a good citizen journalist needs more
than just passion. Six proficiencies that a good citizen journalist needs to
Curiosity. Situational awareness. If you have this quality, it means that at
all times you are aware of what is happening around you. Lots of people
don’t pay any attention to anything other than what is going on in their
tiny world; they can sit through a train wreck or sleep through an earthquake
and not know it ever happened. On the other hand, good... (more)
Barbra Streisand sang in her portrayal of Fanny Bryce in Funny Girl?
“People who like people are the luckiest people in the world.” Notice she
did not sing, “People who are liked by other people are the luckiest people
in the world.” Yet that is what many lonely people think. Barbra’s lesson
is: You must like people first then they will like you. Turn your credit be
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instantly. Loan amounts and people love having more debt that
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