By Mary Rae Floresca | Negosentro.com
All careers are not as easy-peasy as one, two, three. I got into broadcast journalism unexpectedly and I learned a lot from my experience. I’m sharing a few things that I realized for being a TV reporter and a digital journalist.
1. You don’t need to have a major in journalism
My course, Bachelor of Arts in Communication, is like a jack-of-all-trades. We didn’t have to major in journalism, however, I wish we have that. But it’s okay, as long as you know the basic rules and flow of how you write the story, you’re good to go.
2. Internships are important
When I was in college, I attended all the seminars and trainings that I could. Here in the Philippines, fresh grads are overlooked, you have to be competitive or else, you won’t land a job that is related to your course. The internships will help you keep your leg up and be ready for the so called “real world”.
3. People think you are living your life under the limelight
Mostly, whatever’s behind the camera is not as pleasant as what people see on TV. The job is difficult, it’s like you’re swallowing all the pressure and stress in the world, you talk to different unlikely people, crazy Pinoy politics and the like. In the end, sometimes I just try to feel grateful that my family and friends are proud of me.
4. You will not get rich-fast
Journalism is triple the passion of what you love doing. When you are still a budding journalist, you won’t receive the salary you expected to have even if you are on TV or your byline is on the paper. Sometimes, good luck is needed when you wanted to get a higher position.
5. Build relationships with your coworkers
Your co-journalists will be your “frenemies”. Even if at times, me and my colleagues fight over a scoop, we support each other in the end of the day. You don’t have to befriend them to much but you will learn from each other. You will work until the wee hours in the morning, you should get along, at least.
6. Your sources should be as legit as possible
You should be your own fact-checker. There was a time that I when I was too tired to verify an information, I just relied on an “officer’s” information. I’ve had mistakes before but I learned from it. As much as possible, I tried to find the best possible source, and not just “Google-ing” the information from the internet.
7. You will learn to be resourceful
The company you land in may not provide you all the equipment you need for interviews or basically doing your story. You will walk under the heat of the sun, commute from the south to north of Metro Manila and try to maintain your poise when you arrive at your destination. You use any gadget or anything on your hand just to take notes. You adjust to whatever you have and don’t have.
8. I wish I had more connections
I was an introvert while studying, I wish I was able to train myself to blend with other people, get to know about this and that, who’s doing this and that. When I didn’t know where to start with my story, I asked a lot of people, even the people I don’t talk to for years. You will be desperate many times, good thing I was able to survive a day with at least one crisp fresh news.
9. Journalism is selfless
I quit my career as a journalist from TV and magazine. Sometimes you go home just to say “hi” to your parents, take a bath and bid “goodbye”. My body pulled me back too, I got weak and had to spend days in the hospital, and it is not just hyperventilation. It depends on the company, but I didn’t get paid when I worked long hours.
Being a journalist is all about public service. You devote your time wholeheartedly to your career. But if you really love what you’re doing in your job, your every sweat and blood shed is all worth it.