Rounding up the Good, the Sarcastic, and the Funny from #AdviceForYoungJournalists

By Gabe Rosenberg February 16th, 2015

Felix Salmon, senior editor at Fusion, took all of 2,000 words last Monday to tell young, aspiring writers his advice for those thinking of entering the field of journalism: Don’t.

It was disheartening at best. Finding success as a journalist, Salmon said, was a matter of pure luck—the economics of the field no longer support the great talent now flocking to it, and the chances that an individual will break out is worse than ever before. Better to not even try.

#AdviceForYoungJournalists was the response from the journalism industry, or at least the vast majority of it. Publishers, editors, and writers chipped in with suggestions, words of encouragement, humor, some negativity, but mostly good faith, encouraging students and up-and-comers to ignore Salmon’s pessimism and not give up the good fight. In the last week, I surfed through Twitter to collect the most practical, the funniest, and the most bitingly true advice.


Vox’s Ezra Klein wrote up a great piece in response to Salmon that actually rang true, including “trade prestige for opportunity” and “learn things about things.”

At BuzzFeed, Tracy Clayton and Heben Nigatu came up with 39 pieces of advice specifically for journalists of color. “Don’t feel like you have to do the ‘racism beat'” and “It is possible to write for two or more communities at once” stuck out in particular.

New York Times great David Carr, who passed away on Thursday, was maybe one of the greatest advocates for young journalists. You’ll find the hashtag filled now with encouragements to read Carr’s work—which is brilliant—and to try and become Carr himself—which is more difficult.

Carr’s own words, though, are the best advice: “Keep typing until it turns into writing.”



I can confirm: Nobody has yet figured out I’m a dog. So don’t be discouraged, fellow young journalists. There’s hope for us yet!

Image by Joshua Rappeneker/Flickr
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