What is some professional news writing advice for rookie reporters?

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Answered by: Daniel, An Expert in the Writing News Reports Category
Most students who have just finished their journalism or English degrees and want to be professional journalists are anxious to get started with their news writing career paths. But, as is commonly told to journalism students while in school, it is not easy to find a job in today's news market. With journalism in flux, slowly morphing from traditional print, television and radio media to the more streamlined Internet, many young writers are looking for professional news writing advice and tips on how to navigate the troubled waters of information.

The most important advice one can give to a new journalist is to start right now, whether or not you have a steady position as a journalist. The world of news is not only flooded with rookies looking to get their feet wet, but also old pros who have been laid off as a result of the changing news atmosphere. These veterans have portfolios full of the work they have done over the years, important stories they have covered and maybe even awards that have distinguished them from the riff raff of your everyday reporters. If you, the fresh face of journalism, think you have what it takes to compete with someone like this then you must show your potential employer. It is not enough to just tell them that in a well-written cover letter.

This can be done in several ways. But the most important thing is to just start writing any way you can. Many journalists earned their place in the field by starting off as bloggers or writing for small, online news publications that do not pay. That way they had something to show the publication they wished to work for that they were capable of identifying newsworthy stories, writing informative articles with eye-grabbing headlines and publishing them in a timely fashion.

Though it is painful to have to do so much work for free, or nearly free, even after you have finished school you are actually making an investment in the future. Well-written, free articles can lead to opportunities to write articles for money, which may in turn lead to opportunities to write freelance articles for major news publications, which can then lead to full-time jobs with said major news publications. You have to look at the big picture and see that this professional news writing advice can indeed pay off in the long run.

The bright side is that if you are doing what you truly love (writing news) then this will not seem as bad. After all, if you were willing to pay money to go to school to help you secure the job you want then how much different is it to write

free articles with the same goal in mind. If anything this method is actually cheaper then going back to school. Just keep pressing on. In the words of famous American reporter, Jacob Riis:

“When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it,

but all that had gone before.”

If this is what you love then you will find a way to succeed. Do not be afraid to keep trying without seeing the immediate results of your success.

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