On Wednesday, I traveled with seven other newspaper students to SMU in Dallas where we all attended Dallas Morning News Day. The event consisted of two sessions where we were able to choose different seminars to attend.
The journalists who spoke at the seminars were extremely inspiring. Coming home, I felt like I now had all of the tools to become a successful journalist, even if I haven’t decided whether or not I will always want to pursue it.
Jean-Jacques Taylor, a sports columnist for the Dallas Morning News, and his colleagues from the sports world gave the room of budding journalists, innumerable journalism tips. I learned three very important lessons from him.
Develop relationships with sources, talk to people and deserve respect.
I didn’t realize how much of good reporting is just talking and making connections, something most of us have been doing since our elementary school day. Keeping the source in mind and respecting them when they ask something to be cut from a story is one of the important ways to maintain good relationships and mutual respect.
Dabble in multiple areas
To be a journalist, you have to be knowledgeable about a variety of subjects, but specifically whatever beat, or topic, you cover for the paper. In college, they said said, it is important to branch out and learn about a variety of things that interest you so you can sound credible when you write about an issue.
Taylor said that he once asked a mentor the best way to succeed in reporting. His mentor said, “Work hard.” Taylor said he was already working hard, but the mentor replied, “Work harder.” He credits this advice with his success.
After all of the things I have learned, I hope to be a better, better-rounded journalist, who can deserve respect from sources. Oh, and I’m going to start working a whole lot harder too.
To view Jean-Jacques Taylor’s blogs, visit: http://jacquestaylorblog.dallasnews.com/