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Aug 7 / King Kaufman

David Carr: New York Times media columnist’s advice for young journalists

New York Times media columnist David Carr did an Ask Me Anything at Reddit in January, though I didn’t see it till this week.

One of the first questions he responded to read, “I’m a freshman in college right now & journalism is a career that interests me. Is there any advice you can share on being successful in journalism?”

Here’s Carr’s answer. Listen up:

You have to make stuff. The tools of journalism are in your hands and no one is going to give a damn about what is on your resume, they want to see what you have made with your own little fingies. Can you use Final Cut Pro? Have you created an Instagram that is about something besides a picture of your cat every time she rolls over? Is HTML 5 a foreign language to you? Is your social media presence dominated by a picture of your beer bong, or is it an RSS of interesting stuff that you add insight to? People who are doing hires will have great visibility into what you can actually do, what you care about and how you can express on any number of platforms.

A Reddit user named Newsballs chimed in:

I’d add to David’s advice: Learn a skill that will help you stand out. Coding, infographics, data journalism, UX, photography, videography – just something that will get you noticed.

I also liked Carr’s answer to the question “Your favorite writers block cure?”