Last Wednesday, we had the pleasure of hearing from two of The Register-Guard’s very own: Sports Columnist, Austin Meek, and Sports Reporter, Chris Hansen. Here are my five takeaways:
- You want to maintain relationships with people. If you rip someone in the paper, there’s a chance you’ll run into them around town. If you play favorites, it will be shown in the column. Put the column first, and the rest second. Think of the question, how will writing this article affect my relationship with this person?
- There’s a lot of jobs out there if you know how to play the “new journalism” game. Be adaptable and flexible. No longer can you go into this game with the mindset, “Once I get my dream job I’ll be set.” Be comfortable with change because your dreams are constantly changing. Don’t stress too hard about what your job should look like. Be versatile, learn as many things as you can while you’re young and that will make you really valuable to potential employers.
- There is some pushback that comes with being a columnist. It is provocative and so, if no one reacts to it then that indicates it is not a very good column. You want to get deep into the issue to get the conversation started. That will push people to read the columns and engage with them, which is active feedback.
- This is a grind. You’re writing stories every day, and sometimes even multiple stories each day. It involves strong mental and planning sides because you always need to keep a list of ideas, “What is that next story going to be?”
- Your voice should be heard in your work so people get a feel of who you are. Sometimes your best work comes from ideas of the community.