I always enjoy a talk from Fleet Street Fox aka Susie Boniface.
When I first came along to Journalist Works to hear her speak I was packing for my honeymoon, but was such a fan of her blog I had to hear what she said.
It inspired me to sell myself a better for online journalism sessions.
Rather than “I’ve been on the internet since 1995”, I led with a list of my exciting deeds.
Unlike Fleet Street Fox I have never driven a nuclear submarine but I covered Sir John Mills’ funeral and interviewed Rolf Harris (that’s a different blog post).
She always starts off with the hard truths of journalism.
People do think you’re going to turn every conversation you’ve ever had into a news story.
People will stop trusting you as soon as you say what you do for a living.
People will treat you like scum.
You will see and hear horrific things.
But it also is such great fun.
Here are a ten key lessons for journalists from her talk today (February 19):
- Want to work online? You’ll have a career in 20 years
- Your objectivity is not enough, it is the reader and source who must believe your ethical objectivity
- What you need is a level of enthusiasm bordering on mental illness
- Scotch eggs are a complete meal in a ball when you’re waiting on a doorstep
- You are not the story. Write for readers not for you
- Reporters do not say what they think. If you think someone is a scumbag you can’t tell them
- Understanding your analytics means knowing when people are reading. Target your tweets when your readers are online
- You get a knee-jerk reaction on Twitter from the headline alone. Facebook readers tend to read the article before sharing and commenting.
- Writing online is like writing for the regional press. Readers will tell you when you’ve messed up very quickly
- Don’t be a twat