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New Year’s resolutions

Late night rambling – I can’t sleep.

Hours ago, I participated in my first #journchat on Twitter, where journalists, PR folks and bloggers all start hashtagging like crazy to talk about everything from the public’s view of journalism to how PR people can change journalists’ views of them. I never had a chance to do it when it started a few months ago, because it was on Monday nights, the same night the Sagebrush would go to print.

Had an interesting time talking with people about various questions.

In the midst of the craziness (have you ever tried TweetChat? When it’s updating every few seconds, it’s insane), a fellow Twitterer, Miss Kelsey Proud, made a good point.

The convo went as follows:

@KelseyProud: Resolution: Be a PREPARED and RESEARCHED intern, so that I can help most, and INNOVATE! and the ever present – new bus. model!

@jmestepa: Mind if I steal that resolution? 🙂

@KelseyProud: Not at all 🙂 If we all did, think things would get better? I think so!

@jmestepa:New goal – get other young journalists to make that same resolution

@KelseyProud: Let’s do it. Why do interns think they can just whiz on in? WE CAN’T. Do your job! Be the best! Work for it!!!

I started thinking about it. What do young journalists have to do to prepare themselves nowadays for internships? How do you stand out?

And then it got a little deeper. Why do young journalists have to wait for internship opportunities to do better?

If this is a time to innovate (and it is), then yes, we should learn how to write and report and shoot photos and video and record audio and blog…and on and on and on. Not only for internships, but for ourselves.

I thus came up with the following New Year’s journalism resolution:

Be the best journalist I can be.

It sounds so simple. What does that actually mean?

– Generally be a better writer and reporter. Constantly strive to improve these aspects, even though I consider them to be my strengths.
– Get better at Web, photos and video. I know basics, but I’m no expert at any of these.
– Learn Flash.
– Learn CAR (computer-assisted reporting).
– Like my job and know why I’m doing my job.

If I do all these things, or if I at least strive to do these things, then I’ll actually accomplish a resolution.

It’s funny, because it sounds like it conflicts with another resolution I’m making – don’t let journalism rule my life. I love journalism. I can’t imagine my life without journalism. But there is so much more to me than journalism that I want to explore and get to know.

But I figure the best journalists have lives, ones that they enrich with things besides journalism stories and social media and press passes.

So in the end, it all comes full circle. I guess I’ll see how it goes.

Happy New Year, everyone.

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One thought on “New Year’s resolutions

  1. Brilliant. I found this new blog of yours when I was doing a Google Blog Search. It looks nice. I also like your goals. We should have plenty of time to do all that in the Online Reporting Class. I’m excited. This last semester (for me) will be brilliant. It will be where we can separate ourselves from the journalism students who have no future prospects.

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