Five simple ways to be a better journalist

By: Ryan Broussard

There is the old saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but when is comes to journalism, there are always new tricks to learn.

Whether it comes in the form of different, more creative ways to say something or new tricks in editing audio or video; learning new things never hurts.

Here are five different things you can do to pick up new tricks:

1. Reading/Watching what others are doing: This one should be obvious, but alas, it is not. For print journalists, it is an simple as reading the newspaper and seeing how other journalists you admire write and structure their stories. For broadcast journalists, the same philosophy applies. Watching and listening how others work their stories is very beneficial.

2. Keep up with social media and online tools. I know some people may be tired of hearing about social media, but it does have its uses. My other GenJ colleagues have written past blog posts about social media tools to use, so I won’t go in-depth. Just scroll through past posts and you may get some ideas.

3. Participate in webinars. The Poynter Institute puts on great online training tools for journalists. ‘Nuff said.

4. Talk to friends in the profession to pick their brains about ideas and tips. Those talks are often invaluable.

5. Read books. I know I talked about reading earlier, but reading books written by journalists will help tremendously. Find a good author and enjoy the ride.

Ryan Broussard works as an intern at the Advocate in Baton Rouge where he covers crime and works general assignments on the weekend. He graduated from UL Lafayette with both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He has been an SPJ member 2006. Connect with him on Twitter, @ryanmbroussard.

EmailTwitterGoogle+FacebooktumblrPinterestReddit

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Pingback: Five simple ways to be a better journalist | coppelljournalism

  • http://chabanehajer.wordpress.com/ hajer

    Your words sound good and effective, but living in an Arab where journalism is limited for the elite being a journalist is hard, specking of my self I worked with 2 channels, a Radio but no one accepted to hire me after the training period is over! why?? BECAUSE of bad economy and I didn’t study journalism though I’m very qualified !!

  • http://thethayerreport.wordpress.com/ Lucas

    Good tips at a length a journalist can read. I’m just getting started in journalism. Everyone says, “Go to the internet!” But as a student, I feel like there are a lot of fundamentals that are getting glossed over. Any recommendations for good books?

  • Deb

    Lucas:
    A book I’ve enjoyed recently is “Next Wave: America’s New Generation of Great Literary Journalists.” Edited by Walt Harrington and Mike Sager. Published 2012 by the Sager Group.


Newest Posts

Congratulations! Mark of Excellence Awards list April 16, 2014, 5:21 pm
Mark of Excellence Award duplicate order form April 16, 2014, 5:13 pm
Google Chrome: The Only Browser You’ll Ever Need April 16, 2014, 12:00 pm
Congrats & Annual Reports! April 14, 2014, 4:25 pm
Three Web Design Resources Every New Grad Should Play With April 14, 2014, 12:00 pm
Three Web Design Resources Every New Grad Should Play With April 14, 2014, 12:00 pm
6 Things to Bring to an Interview (and 6 Things to Hide) April 8, 2014, 1:50 am

Copyright © 2007-2014 Society of Professional Journalists. All Rights Reserved. Legal

Society of Professional Journalists
Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center, 3909 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208
317/927-8000 | Fax: 317/920-4789 | Contact SPJ Headquarters | Employment Opportunities | Advertise with SPJ