Five things new reporters should know

By: Ryan Broussard

Being thrust into the fray of becoming a full-time reporter, fresh out of college can be very stressful. The stress of a new job coupled with an already stressful working environment can be overwhelming and it can be easy to forget why you got into this profession in the first place.

Here are 5 tips to make it through:

1. Striving for perfection. In an effort to try to impress your new bosses, you may try to make every article or segment perfect. It’s OK to make it as good as possible, but at a certain point, you just have to understand that not every thing you do will be perfect. While striving for perfection, it is possible to hurt yourself because you focus on the little things too much and lose sight of the larger issue. There is a saying that sums this up: Perfection is the enemy of good.

2. Explore. On your day(s) off, take in the sights and sounds in the community. This will help you learn more about the area you are covering and interacting with people will help you learn about the community. It is also a good way to build sources.

3. Building relationships takes time. Don’t take it personally if some people are reluctant to open up to you since you are the “new person.” It may take some time to build that relationship, so do not get discouraged. Take care of business and do what you know you know how to d0.

4. Get to know your editors and producers. Knowing them gives you an idea of what they like and will make your life easier. Trust me.

5. Just breathe. When it gets overwhelming, just take a few moments and gather your thoughts. Clarity is a beautiful thing.

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.

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