Saturday, January 15, 2011

Things I've learned as a student reporter

The way you dress has a lot to do with how your source will trust and open up to you. You need to dress professionally. Yet, you need to match the person you are interviewing. For example, if you are interviewing a corporate VP, dress in your nicest suit. If you're interviewing a forest services employee, jeans and a polo might be better. Dont wear your fancy shoes if you'll be out at a construction site. The following article really helped me shape my understanding of how to dress:

I learned by my own experience on my first story, as well as my news reporting instructor, not to procrastinate starting your story. Just because you work well under pressure and with deadlines doesnt mean you should wait till close to the deadline to start working on your story. Don't voluntarily create pressure for yourself by procrastination. My professor said as soon as you get your story, spend at least 15 minutes with making preliminary contacts and research. This can save so much time. Sources may take awhile to get back to you and scheduling interviews may be more complicated than you think. You can't assume you'll be able to contact a source hours before deadline and expect to get an interview that fits your schedule. With my first story, I thought it would be good to "mull it over" for a few hours before I started contacting. I realized if I had started early, I may have been able to set up interviews that weren't as in conflict with my schedule.

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