In the media, I can be the best at _________________?
The answer to this question is something I’ve now pondered on for quite some time. Brian Stelter figured it before he was 24 years old. He knew he could cover the changes in the media better than anyone else. He started a blog about the changes in television while he was still in college and it caught the eyes of his current employer: The New York Times.
Stelter told the room of students and advisors to find a passion and channel it. Narrow it down and write about it. Become the expert. Own your subject. He asked everyone present to tweet him what he or she could be best at. (I checked his twitter and not a single person did, somewhat discouraging.)
Online matters and be a web journalist first, he said. While glancing over a friend’s resume he said he was disappointed when the words web appeared only twice. You must be a web first person.
When he took questions from students he offered a wide range of advice:
Regardless of the medium, the story matters and good reporting matters
Finding a job means working as hard as if you had a job.
Think of yourself as your own brand.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and fail.
Write and have a sense of curiosity.
Be a news junkie.
Be fair and honest, to your readers and to yourself.
We need more fact in the media world. There is too much opinion as it is.
A correction never gets as far as the mistake.
It is your job to get something new and put it up on the web before anyone else.
Don’t forget to get it right.
You have a lot to learn, we do not have all the answers so continue to learn.
So back to the question. What in the media can I be best at _____________? I’m still deciding. Maybe Ugandan politics. Maybe something even more narrowed down. I’m still sorting it out, but I would love to hear from you. Tell me what can you be the best at in the media?