Profile Of A Journalist

Sunday, March 21, 2010

For anyone considering a career in journalism, there's a great article in today's New York Times that is a must-read. It's the story of Eric Hippeau, a fifth generation journalist and current CEO of The Huffington Post.

Inspired to become a journalist by the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Hippeau talks about his early life in France, Switzerland, London and Brazil. His father ran the photo business for United Press International.

He began his career as photojournalist and sports editor, then became an editor in chief of a local English language newspaper in Brazil at the age of 20, where he learned all the details of putting a paper to bed each day.

Hippeau talks about paying his dues in the news business and marvels at how the industry has changed. Today, news is available around the clock. Just a few years ago, people depended on daily newspapers and the evening news for information. Current technology allows people to actually engage with the news by writing comments, blogging, sharing information on social websites.

Hippeau sums up his journalism career like this: "My career taught me that you have to go through life with your eyes wide open and be curious. If you do this, you'll find incredible opportunities. Just jump on them and follow your instincts."

Wise words for all of us, don't you think?


Local Newspapers are Dying

Newsflash: The newspaper industry is dying. I know this isn't exactly a new development, but the fact is that to most people, newspapers are already dead.

In his latest post for the Online Journalism Review, Robert Hernandez said that white males are the ones that don't realize that newspapers are dead. This is because newspapers tell stories that relate to this demographic. Hernandez said for African American, Native American, Asian, Latinos, gays, females and those under 25 feel that newspapers are already dead. These groups believe this because they are continuously left out of their local newspaper.

Hernandez said that if local newspapers don't reflect the diversity of their community then why would they bother to read it, or even buy it?

As a journalist, it is very important to cater to your audience. If you choose not to, readers will lack confidence in your reporting. They like to read stories in which they can relate to, and if your writing doesn't reflect your audience, they will lose interest in the paper. In addition, more readers are turning to the Internet to find stories that relate to them or they have become journalists themselves.


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