Hunger for writing, curiosity and telling meaningful, honest and factual stories make one a good enough journalist? Then in that case my answer in No.
Journalism is more than just telling a story or pursue truth in an absolute sense.
These facts will help you prove if you have characters of being a journalist.
In my 5 years little experience as a young journalist, I’ve learned to report the truth. I’ve heard a lot of rumors about journalist making up stories or reporting stories without any good enough reason to. To build trust with your sources and the public you always need to report truthfully.
Loyalty doesn’t only apply on your personal relationships, as a journalist you nee to be loyal to the citizen, country or world who ever you are reporting to. They must have an interest in stories you are writing to them. Remember is not only about what you want to read/know but what they are interested to read or know.
You need to be disciplined
As a journalist you need to be discipline not only for professional reason but also for being able to get the right facts and verification of information. We can all agree that as journalists we are all different and we have our own different ways of getting information without being objective. It is unethical to only get one side of the story, only rely on one source or perhaps a witness.
Don’t take bribes
I’ve heard and not only heard but read a lot about journalists paying sources to get a story or get paid to write stories in favor. Remember you can’t be objective or take sides or even write in favor for someone. Report truthfully, factual and fairly. Another thing make sure you do research or interview as many people as you can. You will be surprised how many stories you can write, learn and grow from everyday.
Spell check before publish
We sometimes underestimate things but sometimes little things matters. Things like your grammar or spell checks are important to check before you get the story out. Some people are lucky to have editors to rely on but if you really your own author and editor like me then it is very crucial to check. If you can’t pick up mistakes while reading silently try reading out loud and see if it still sounds right. No one one is really perfect and we all make mistakes but it is worth checking.
When I was studying journalism 3 years ago we were taught to follow the 5 W’s and a H the Who, What, Where, When and How to start your piece and on my writing journey I have learned to follow the four C’s, Clear, Concise, Compelling and Credible.
As a writer prepare to have a room to learn, because you will surely learn everyday. Although there is more to this facts, these are my top five priorities. 😁😁😁
By: Fortunate Machaba