Easy to be a journalist?

25Oct11

Recently, a post named ”The handbook for new journalist” is popular on the Internet. The author, @mranti Michael Anti, a famous Chinese blogger, gives recommendations to the young people who want to be a journalist and says” Don’t choose to go to School of Journalism to be a new journalist”. He gives 5 lists to be a “new journalist”.

1)       Make sure you have the ability to earn money outside the field if you are fired.

2)       Know English

3)       Know how to use Internet

4)       Know how to find the truth behind the news line

5)       Build your own knowledge system

In the appendix, he gives a long list of website of famous news press and newspaper.

“With this handbook, you do not need to get professional training to be a journalist.” Of course, one of his goal for this handbook is to make critique about the journalism education in mainland of China, where ”Follow the party” is maybe the 1st principle for a journalist. In that context, the news industry is totally twisted and only few journalists are doing their jobs as a real journalist.

 

But what if we examine his 5 principles in the context of United States? Singer talked about the changing role of journalists in Managing Media Work. ”Journalists have sought to define who they are and what makes them distinct.” According to the 5 principles there, I believe most college students in US are qualified to be a “new journalist” as long as you have the curiosity for the truth out there. From Singer’s points, the boundary between journalists and others are less clear than before, because the development of technology these days makes news stories much easier to get and spread. For me, those five principles are not enough to become a journalist. That’s only the standard for a good news audience. But to become a journalist, you need to be a great story teller, know how to gather information, make analysis and interpretation, practice more and take the responsibility to tell people the truth for this world.

 

Hongyuan Jiang

 

Singer, J. B. (2011). Journalism in a Network. In M. Deuze (Ed.), Managing Media Work (pp. 103-109). Thousand Oaks, California, United States of America: SAGE Publications Inc.

Deuze, M. (2007). Media Work. Malden, MA, USA: Polity Press.

http://blog.sina.com.cn/anti

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