3 journalism resolutions for 2011

By · Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

Updated with additional link (Apart from War).

Let’s be honest. It’s the time of year for resolutions, which is a sure setup for failure at some point in fewer than 365 days.

Still, we make them. Here are three resolutions for journalists of all ages, experiences and expertise:

  1. Keep finding and reporting good stories.
  2. Be serious about quality control.
  3. Stay positive.

Stories are everywhere around us. And by “good,” we don’t mean happy, necessarily. We mean stories about people and where they live, what they do, how they exist day by day. Finding these stories takes a trained journalist who is curious and determined and persistent. Add in genuine, sincere and polite. These stories are also about the systems that govern how we live, what we do and how we exist. A trained journalist will get past the routine news of the day to find, report and write these stories.

Quality control is not the role only of editors. It is the job of every journalist. Grammar, style, spelling, punctuation. Substantiation, support, accuracy. Quotes, organization, clarity. It takes a trained journalist to make a good story better and a great story the best it can be. Add in thinking for the Web and including effective Points of Involvement for readers and viewers as a way to maintain quality.

Positive thinking and working are no longer an option — they are a must in today’s evolving journalism profession and changing media industry. And by “positive,” we don’t mean unrealistic. But yearning for “the old days” or “how it used to be” won’t get you far in 2011. Bemoaning the lack of full-time positions with benefits after graduation won’t get you that job you long for — and we agree you deserve that job. But positive thinking leads to action, which will take you to the next level, the next evolution, the next great story or journalism innovation. A fitting mantra for 2011: patience.

We believe that every year has its challenges and every era its positives and negatives. Core values are for all time.

Here are some links to projects that reflect good journalism. We invite you to share your work — either from 2010 or in the works for this year. And let us know how you’re doing with your resolutions from time to time. We’ll do the same.

Syracuse University visits South Africa, Grahamstown

The Stand, Syracuse NY

Apart from War, Washington state

The Fall Workshop, Auburn NY

Emilie Davis

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