Media professionals need to possess more than a pleasant voice and nice smile to succeed in broadcasting, publishing and other media jobs. A majority of the work completed in media jobs is done away from public eyes. The first step that professionals in media jobs need to take is creating a realistic expectation for daily work. Young media professionals may think that investigative reports will yield big breaks but most work involves small steps toward the truth. A knack for organisation is the primary skill needed for media professionals in busy markets. The growth of portable computers and Web-enabled phones allow reporters to co-ordinate notes while away from their desks.
You should carry a notebook and voice recorder everywhere you go to keep a running dialogue on potential stories. These disparate notes and ideas need to be compiled on a nightly basis and kept in a safe place for further review. The stereotype of the rumpled investigative reporter is belied by modern media professionals with clean desks and organised file cabinets. Your desire to make a name in the world of media depends on your ability to find leads unavailable to other professionals. Television stations, newspapers and magazines need exclusive stories to compete against other outlets in competitive markets.
Your success in media jobs relies on developing discrete and confidential relationships with people inside government agencies and businesses with greater information than you possess. Reporters, broadcasters and writers need to develop trustworthy support networks to succeed in media jobs. A good relationship with production staff, editors and interns can ease the pressure of daily deadlines.
Your ability to call up a local official and an expert on a specific issue without setting up an appointment will help you get information quickly without hearing filtered information at press conferences. A reporter needs to smooth out as many paths in the community as possible to get down to the bottom of potential stories. The growth of reportage and broadcasting into new media means that multimedia skills are necessary for any professional. A newspaper writer needs to know how to blog, take photos and use HTML in order to turn print-only documents into multimedia stories. Most media jobs require presentations, pitch meetings and other situations where the use of presentation equipment is necessary. Your ability to break down complex stories into a 15-second pitch means that you can turn a full-page story into a one-column article.
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