Rounding up the Good, the Sarcastic, and the Funny from #AdviceForYoungJournalistsBy 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.
Advice to young journalists that’s less depressing and than Felix Salmon’s advice to young journalists http://t.co/kd9PHSwKoa
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) February 9, 2015
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.”
— Tracy Clayton (@brokeymcpoverty) February 10, 2015
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.
Objectivity and balance are not the same thing #AdviceForYoungJournalists
— Arianna Huffington (@ariannahuff) February 12, 2015
Journalism isn't just writing. And journalism isn't just what journalists do. It's a way to look into the world #AdviceForYoungJournalists
— Alberto Cairo (@albertocairo) February 10, 2015
You don’t always have to wait for approval. You may get in trouble. That’s okay. #AdviceForYoungJournalists
— Melody Joy Kramer (@mkramer) February 10, 2015
Tell the stories that matter to you. Be clear about your own biases and assumptions. Question them at every turn. #AdviceforYoungJournalists
— Laurie Penny (@PennyRed) February 10, 2015
Read a lot. Write more. And beware of advice from has-been journalists who rose in a different era. #AdviceForYoungJournalists
— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) February 10, 2015
— Elise Hu (@elisewho) February 10, 2015
— David Boardman (@dlboardman) February 13, 2015
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.
#advicetoyoungjournalist: Be the Carr you want to see in the world.
— Matt Haber (@Matthaber) February 13, 2015
Carr’s own words, though, are the best advice: “Keep typing until it turns into writing.”
Trending on Twitter now: #AdviceForYoungJournalists fun, funny & even poignant. Prof Sig Gissler's advice: eat your oatmeal
— Columbia Journalism (@columbiajourn) February 10, 2015
Advice for young journalists: pic.twitter.com/x0vYS8FKFp
— Alex Fitzpatrick (@AlexJamesFitz) February 9, 2015
— Joss Whedon (@josswhedon) February 10, 2015
advice to young journalists: quit your job, disown your family, take your darkest desires for reality, nothing matters, burn everything
— Asawin Suebsaeng (@swin24) February 9, 2015
Your mother loves you? Check it out. #AdviceForYoungJournalists
— Mo Krochmal (@Krochmal) February 10, 2015
Wear glasses and pretend to be clumsy to disguise your true nature as the last son of Krypton. #AdviceForYoungJournalists
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) February 10, 2015
Was gonna ask Brian Williams what his advice to young journalists was but that felt mean
— Leigh Munsil (@leighmunsil) February 9, 2015
Advice to young journalists? Hell, I'm just on here so journalists my age and older can hire me. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
— caitlin greenwood (@mcgreenw) February 9, 2015
#Advicetoyoungjournalists Marry someone with a normal job
— John Reed (@JohninJerusalem) February 9, 2015
Never question or attempt to independently verify anything the police say. They never lie to reporters. Ever. #AdviceForYoungJournalists
— AFRICA IS A COUNTRY (@AfricasaCountry) February 10, 2015
always pay for drinks. never pay for lunch. #AdviceForYoungJournalists
— a. o. scott (@aoscott) February 10, 2015
#AdviceforYoungJournalists When the olds write a piece about how journalism is dead now, don’t hurt yourself rolling your eyes.
— Robert Hernandez (@webjournalist) February 10, 2015
never tweet #AdviceForYoungJournalists
— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) February 10, 2015
My advice for young journalists is not to listen to old people debate your future on Twitter.
— Matt O'Brien (@ObsoleteDogma) February 9, 2015
Advice to young journalists: Major in embedding John Oliver videos.
— J. Freedom du Lac (@jfdulac) February 9, 2015
My advice to young journalists: On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog. Get a dog to write your stories, retire! pic.twitter.com/aWBwfEkCJm
— Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) February 9, 2015
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