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No matter which area of journalism you’re interested in, there’s something you should take note of from the off. This career path isn’t easy. In fact, it’s so strewn with thorns, you’ll struggle to escape in one piece.

Why oh why did you have to choose something which relied on your ability to create a clever story? Rather than just getting the qualification, you’ll need to prove yourself time and again. And, sorry to say it, but a degree on your CV is not an automatic pass here.

So, you may be wondering how exactly one does get into this field? In truth, creative success is often down the numbers in your phone book. So, we’re going to look at which numbers a budding reporter might need.

The little black book

The little black book is one of those essential Hollywood ideas. And, it’ll serve you well in this industry. Of course, you won’t fill yours with hookups. Well, not in a personal sense, anyway. Instead, you should take that book everywhere, and jot down numbers of contacts you meet. They don’t lie when they say connections are everything. If you pitch the right things to the right people, you’re as good as in. Of course, that’s easier said than done. But, once you have a phone number, you can research that individual and tailor your pitch to their taste. And, the more success you see, the more full that black book will become.

The emergency services

Everyone knows the number of the emergency services. But, when it comes to journalism, we aren’t talking about the Police. Your emergency needs will take on whole new dimensions. When you’re starting out, missing a deadline is career suicide. People don’t forget, and you’ll struggle to bag a deal with that publication again. So, your emergency services should make sure that never happens. That means keeping a computer repair company on speed dial just in case. It’s also worth holding onto contact details for a company who offer tv aerial repairs. After all, the news will be your primary source for ideas. If you don’t have that, your ideas will dry up before you know. And, of course, your local pizza takeout could make an appearance on the list too. Because, you know; us journalists don’t have time to cook anything…

pursuing a career in journalism

The personal listing

When in pursuit of your goals here, it’s only natural to expect the odd piece of criticism. And, no matter how nicely worded, you’ll feel as though said editor has ripped out your heart and stomped all over it. In fact, let’s be real; in most cases, that’s precisely what they’ll do. If they don’t like it, they don’t have to be nice in telling you. And, given you poured everything into that piece, that can be painful. Which is why you also need the numbers of friends and family to hand at all times. They, at least, can build you back up when the industry knocks you down.

If you’re embarking upon a career in journalism, or if you’re more established in the field. Please share your advice on how you broke into this often competitive field in the comments below.

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