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High School Journalist

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by wannabegonzo, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. wannabegonzo

    wannabegonzo New Member

    Looking to get my toes wet in the field of journalism...curious if there are any other HS journalists that can share some of their motivations and highlights during the first stages of their early career.

    Looking for some navigation tips.


  2. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Right now, I would call/email your local paper and let them know you want to be a part of their high school coverage this fall. Especially football, because that is where people are always needing an extra hand on busy nights. Might be out in the field or in the office. Either way will give you great experience and exposure to the real world... and maybe a few extra bucks.

    But NEVER complain that you're not getting paid enough. Heck, none of us are and that's life in the business. Do it to get experience and because it beats the daylights out of anything else you can do on a Friday night (well, other than you know....)
  3. wannabegonzo

    wannabegonzo New Member

    Thank you for your reply.
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member


    Second that. This is the time of year the local papers may be looking for folks to help take calls from coaches on high school football games.

    Depending on the paper, maybe they will let you cover games. Or maybe you can ask to shadow a reporter and try to latch on from there.

    Good luck.
  5. bjammin180

    bjammin180 New Member

    Third, fourth and fifth on what the others noted. Whether you gain a spot filing box scores or not, I'd also suggest getting comfortable with the many open-source blog platforms and creating your own site. As someone who handles interns, freelancers, etc. that is now the first checkpoint for me. I'd suggest Wordpress. Use the site to work on the craft, promote yourself and show potential employers that you know your way around a website and the written word. Good luck, soldier!
  6. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    If you really want to be gonzo, our advice means little.
  7. baddecision

    baddecision Active Member

    Take mushrooms in the desert. Then do it again.
    Chase a girl halfway across the country despite the fact that you're not completely sure you like her, much less love her.
    Aggressively glom your way into situations in which you meet amazing people, and have something interesting to say when you receive their attention. Then shut the fuck up and listen.
    Know before you're supposed to that most people in the world are simply out to fuck you in one or more ways, but they still can be fun to hang with and learn from.
    Be willing to work hard learning your craft through grunt work -- but only for now, not forever.
    Always ask why things happen. The reason is rarely obvious, but usually discernable.

    (Sorry if this sounds like a high school graduation address, but most of it's germaine if the poor dude isn't going to end up like most of us. Sorry, like me. Don't know most of the rest of you, just making an assumption.)

    Don't ever make assumptions.
  8. jlee

    jlee Well-Known Member

  9. murphyc

    murphyc Well-Known Member

    wannabe, have you taken any journalism classes and/or joined your high school newspaper? If not, do so. I like the idea of contacting a local paper, but if you have no experience or education in the field at all that might be too much of a jump.
    One of my early highlights was seeing my name on a byline for the first time. I thought that was the coolest thing at the time. Now, a bigger motivation is doing a great story and finding the story no one else has.
  10. verbalkint

    verbalkint Member

    Sign up for your high school paper, especially if it's any good. If the teacher/adviser's no good, look for a good high school journalism conference you can attend. You'll learn more in a really good weeklong session at a conference than you would in a whole year with a bad teacher. If you do have a good teacher, do what I did and pester them almost constantly to get advice, feedback, etc.

    Also, always obligatory in these queries: read. Read your local paper to get the news, but don't stop there. Read city newspapers - read the Times until you hit the paywall, then read the Post, the LA Times, Chicago Tribune, etc., etc. - read AP wire stories, read from any of 10 different magazine websites (New Yorker, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Vanity Fair, etc.).

    Next advice: no seriously, read. There are a lot of things you'll need to pick up through someone else's advice, and others you'll need to get through your own experience. But I'd say about 50 percent of the skills for this job come from literary osmosis.

    Good luck.
  11. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    And getting paid for it.
  12. baddecision

    baddecision Active Member

    I stand behind my suggestions.
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