Disclaimer: Jobzella is in no way commenting about the recent news regarding an Egyptian Journalist at the Oscars. Jobzella, in fact, is using this opportunity as a teaching moment for aspiring Journalists in the Middle East and Worldwide.
Working in Journalism and News Coverage is hard business. You need to think on your feet, do your research and keep calm, More importantly, you need to ask real questions and work on getting real answers. This business is about getting the scoop no matter what. Here are some common sense tips to follow if you plan to work a career in Journalism.
1- Determine what “News Worthy” is
Let’s say you are covering the opening of the New Suez Canal, the real News here is the fact that Egypt has opened a new canal. Your opinion, what the president wore at the event or the smell of the water isn’t news worthy, what is worthy of coverage is the cost, the implementation and the team leading this project. So, everyone’s “apparent feelings” about it is irrelevant.
In the Oscars’ case, How Leonardo DiCaprio felt about the winning the Oscar isn’t News worthy. What he feels or thinks about Global Warming and Climate Change or his opinion about pushing a political case in a film related event might have been a better more insightful question.
2- The Journalist is never News
You being at a press conference isn’t news. How you worked hard to be a press event isn’t also news. Being the first at an event isn’t news. If you are at a press conference, there is one way to introduce yourself before asking your question. Say your name and the name of the organization you are representing.
In the Oscars’ case, the journalist never said her name or the name of the organization she represents, instead she said “First Egyptian Journalist to cover the Oscars”, that statement wasn’t also correct. Several other Egyptian Journalists have covered the Oscars in the past.
3- Listen Carefully
You are attending a press conference and Leonardo DiCaprio and Alejandro G. Iñárritu are answering questions. Great! Listen carefully though for questions other journalists are asking, because chances are: someone else already asked Leo about how he feels about winning his first Oscar. Your “exclusive” isn’t exclusive anymore.
4- Master your Language
The most important tool for any Journalist and his way for advancing his career is Language Skills. You might be great in Arabic but an additional language such as English or French can help you advance your career especially if you are covering an international event such as the Oscars. Your accent doesn’t really matter, what matters is mastering the language even if your accent is thick or sounds foreign. Want to learn another language? Take an online free course.
5- Know your Audience
If the person you are asking doesn’t seem to understand you. Change the question or rephrase the question. Think on your feet. Know that you have one shot at asking so come prepared with different questions instead of asking the same question in the same way twice and losing the attention of the audience.
6- Do your Research
The internet is a beautiful world. It allows you to gain insights and do research about whatever person or topic you are covering. If you do you research well, you will find unasked questions that you can ask and get an instant coverage and respect of the media community. Take your time headed to any event and use your phone or laptop to do some serious research. Like the scouts, you need to come prepared.
What you do you think are the most suitable skills one must have in to work as a Journalist. Share your opinion with us. You can find us on Jobzella, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,YouTube and Pinterest.
This post is also available in: Arabic