you won hear a lot of people say this, so listen closely.
if you really want to be a writer. of any sort. professional. unprofessional. a journalist. or someone who can just write gud. you need to start writing every day. for real. life is short. write it down. especially if you want to get paid for it. write. write it down. i doesnt have to be public all the time like the world famous busblog. you can make private blogs. but write. every morning and every night. because it rhymes you know it’s true. write write write and see what happens to you.
see this handsome man? no the other one. the one who looks like hes seen the future of breaking news and it scares him? thats ev. he and his buddies created Twitter. it is probably the first place that many of you heard about the paris attacks. Twitter breaks news faster and easier than any other platform. and it spreads like magic.
Here are the interesting facts about Twitter in the newsroom: most of the veteran journalists either dont know how to use it, refuse to use it, or use it very poorly. that leaves room for young journalists to have a job in the newsroom. that first job is probably going to be doing tweets. the tweets that they will have you write will be boring, lame, and wont get many clicks. it will be your job to learn how to massage those tweets into being successful ones. practice at home. create new twitter handles, anonymous ones, based on something that you love. build an audience. tweet every day. learn tweetdeck, schedule tweets, and bring what you learn into the newsroom.
im sorry your mom is on facebook. thats no excuse for your not to be on facebook. theres a treasure trove of news and ideas on there and the best thing you can do is block her, your high school friends, lunatics and trolls – block everyone who stops you from using it. because just like Twitter, as a young journalist, one of your roles will be to “update the facebook”. you have to learn how to use it as a profession. learn about facebook ads which are the easiest and cheapest way to target your stories to the people who will enjoy them the most. when you become proficient at facebook in targeting stories, you will show value at the paper.
you dont have to be a great photographer to be good at instagram. but it helps if you are consistent, prolific, and you are fearless. instagram is another part of social that beat reporters and editors shy away from. which is insane. they are out there. no one could better capture the moment through photos than reporters yet how many great reporter instagram accounts are there. YOU BE THAT REPORTER.
the most significant change to Snapchat this year was the Discover section and look at that, look how many of those are news organizations. who do you think are behind those buttons? do you think it’s someone who saw the 1984 Olympics on person? no, it’s young journalists and web producers who will get more eyeballs on a freaking Snapchat story in the Discover section than your paper’s #1 columnist on a Sunday. learn what it takes to produce these stories. create them on your own snap chat. show them to the editor during your interview. watch the seas part as they escort you to your new desk and tidy salary. YOU THINK IM LYING?
shit will go down in the streets. people will rightly run from it. journalists will run toward it. and if it’s really going down you need to be Periscoping it. because Periscope runs off the backbone of Twitter, this is an excellent reason why you need to be building your Twitter followers — NOW.
you want your audience to retweet the link to your Periscope when you are in the middle of the action reporting. this is also why you should always have a backup battery charger and cord with you at all times. a dying battery happens. but it is inexcusable for a digital journalist to have one. carry an external battery that can charge your phone 2x.