Four tips for student journalists

Four tips for student journalists

KQED’s Olivia Allen-Price shares four tips for journalists getting started in their careers.

1) Learn some code! Start with HTML and CSS, then build up to JavaScript and jQuery. Even a little knowledge will go a long way. If you don’t learn some, you’ll be completely reliant on others to make your content sing online — and that’s not a good Don’t fret if you don’t learn everything at once. Learning code is a journey!

2) Study good writing. Read good novels AND good journalism. Don’t just pick up the latest best-seller, they often don’t have the best writing. I like to use the social media site Goodreads to find modern literature. Also, read good journalism. The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Virginian-Pilot and Washington Post are some great places to start. For a shortcut, pick up some old “Best Magazine Writing 2012” or look up a list of finalists and winners for ASNE awards.

3) Be confident in what you know, and curious about what you don’t know. Confidence is so important in the workplace, and it took me a few years to figure that out. People will get behind your ideas if you present them with confidence. But, be curious about where you lack skills or experience. Never stop listening and learning.

4) Do things that scare you. In a media career, there are so many times when you’ll be asked to do something scary, like cover something you don’t know much about, or talk to someone really important. When I made the leap from newspapers into public media, I was terrified. But I did it and am so glad I did. Keep chasing and conquering your fears and you’ll find yourself growing rapidly as a professional.