Via Ryan Sholin on Twitter, I find a post by journalism student and practitioner Suzanne Yada (what a great name for blogging) with great advice for journalism students. Ryan’s and my favorite bit:

Grow some cojones. Let me level with you. The world doesn’t need more music reviewers or opinion spouters. The world needs more people willing to ask tough questions. The first step to reversing journalism’s tarnished image is to have the guts to dig for information the public can’t easily find themselves, and be an advocate of unbiased, straightforward truth. If you can show depth and research with your reporting clips, if you can show you can ask the tough questions and be more than just a parrot for your interviewee, if you can fact-check the living snot out of your articles, you will rise to the top of the crop.

She has tons more superb advice (including: be prepared to go entrepreneurial), which I recommend to all my students and j-students anywhere.

  • Thanks Jeff! Much appreciated! I bit my nails after I typed the word “cojones” and before I hit publish. Looks like the risk paid off.

    Still composing part II that focuses all on networking. If you have anything to add, please send them my way!

    -Suzanne Yada (and you can thank Ellis Island for my last name.)

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  • Henshaw

    “…. if you can fact-check the living snot out of your articles, you will rise to the top of the crop.”



    You cannot name any journalists now at the top of the MSM crop who got there by fact-checking… if competence, prestige and salary are the measures.

    Katy Couric, anyone ?

  • @Henshaw: how about Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein? And conversely, Dan Rather.

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  • Newspapers were slow and I am beginning to see the wisdom in that. It is just to easy to hit the send button.

    Where did the guts of the media go during the election? They literally “assumed” that the African American vote would, and even more frightening, “should” be Obama’s.

    Why didn’t anyone have the guts to face the issue head-on? Why did Obama get so many passes? Why so many unasked and therefore unanswered concerns that so many had?

    This question would have required guts:” Didn’t you Mr. Obama agree with Senator McCain to cap spending and take government funds, and put an end to corruption in elections? Why did you not keep your word?”

    Where was the journalist who should have asked Obama, “Why haven’t you told the African American community to honor the cry of Martin Luther King and to keep the “Dream” alive and not vote for you because of the color of your skin?” Or how about this one:”Does it concern you that Hillary couldn’t get but a tenth of a percent of the Black population?” “What kind of progress, Mr. Obama have we made on both sides of the fence?”

    Yes, we have come a long way but in the end all we did is shift things around. And the irony is that color helped put a man in the White House. Where did all of the African American support for the Clintons go?

    Imus got asked hard questions because it was the “sensational” thing to do. Today’s world of journalism is about ratings and to not talk about the fact that nearly 100% of a race voted for their own color makes me wonder; who will keep our leaders honest?

    It wasn’t that Obama won that concerns me. I may have voted for him. I’m not telling because it isn’t my point. It isn’t about Obama. It is about the journalist- the media- that is what has me worried. People will follow anything, if the coverage is right, or should I say wrong?

    CNN has turned part of their news into a comedy show now!

    David Copperfield could have pulled this off election with a billion dollar budget and the media never would have asked, “How did you do that?”

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