Tips for journalists from journalists

Some recurring themes from IHS’s Journalism & a Free Society seminar, in no particular order:

  • The value of newspaper reporting experience, to teach us the nuts and bolts of journalism, as opposed to simply writing fluffy opinion pieces.
  • To go or not to go to journalism school?
  • Intellectual honesty: recognizing your own biases and looking for contrary evidence
  • The importance of “going to the right parties”
  • The impossibility of objectivity in journalism (This is perhaps material for a later post, but I was surprised by the consensus among rational journalists against objectivity.  My initial thoughts are that objectivity as currently practiced – quoting Mr. Left and Mr. Right – is definitely problematic, but that a redefined objectivity could still be the ideal to strive for.)
  • Do the grunt work (making coffee, scraping ice off freezers, etc.)
  • The advantages and disadvantages of working for an ideological publication (e.g., being able to write the pieces we want to write and express the opinions we want to express, but closing doors to some mainstream publications)

Overall, the seminar was a great experience.  I’m inspired to really go after the job I want, and excited to start doing more writing. – and looking forward to catching up on sleep.

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