A few weeks back, I was assigned to do an informational interview for school. The interview should be with someone in the field I desired to be in. I had the pleasure to talk with Chad Garrison, Managing Editor of the St. Louis publication Riverfront Times (RFT). Here’s a couple of pieces of advice he gave me:
Journalists, by nature, are a sarcastic and cynical lot, and (the amount of money they make) makes them even more jaded,” Garrison said.
In essence, he warned me that you’re not going to make a lot of money in this profession. You can’t go in to be a journalist for the dollar signs, because they aren’t there.
I compare journalism to sales to some degree,” Garrison said. “You’ve got to sell a story to your editor to make them like it and take your pitch, you’ve got to sell it to your sources so they’ll talk to you.”
This was a piece of advice he gave during our talk. You have to learn how to sell your pitch to various people. The biggest advice for me was to learn convergence and comprehensive storytelling, meaning learn how to use different forms of media to get your story out. Learn to shoot and edit video, take photos, write and use the internet because you really do have to learn it all these days. He also reminded me to understand the landscape of journalism.