Being a good journalist is not only a matter of nice style of writing, curiosity, creativity, seeing and telling the stories around you. One of the most important characteristics of the journalist is the self-discipline.
As a journalist you should be always ready to write, and not just writing something, but really meaningful texts. You should always be ready to take photos and to film videos with sense and impact. As a real professional you should be able to grab the news and the stories and to put them into words and images as fast as possible, doesn’t matter what is the environment, the time, your health, if you are tired or bored. There shouldn’t be such excuses like lack of inspiration and ideas.
This self-discipline is especially important in our elusive time, when everything happens so fast and the news appear and disappear in seconds. You have the online media and the social networks, where the updates and the information are being born so fast all the time, and the journalist must be in this rhythm, competing for being one of the fastest in providing information with good quality.
For example this self-discipline is so important in blogging. You have an endless variety of topics and the freedom to express your ideas in the way you want, without the limits which you have if you work for an official media. This is your private space which you share with the others and you decide about everything. But if you want your blog to be really influential, you should provide good content regularly, as often as possible. That is why I don’t have a personal blog – I still don’t have enough self-discipline to maintain it in the way I want to, and if I do it, I want to do it right.
I believe that in general it’s a matter of training. When I had my practice in one online media for five months I didn’t have this self-discipline at all. Before this practice I had written just for my own pleasure or for some school and university tasks. And then with the start of the practice came the serious work, when I had to get used to the daily rhythm of a real journalist. It was very hard in the beginning. But then with the time it became better, the words were coming to me easier when I had to write a material. I started paying bigger attention to the details around me and it seemed like I didn’t have to look for the stories anymore, because they were finding me alone. I started writing, taking photos and filming more often in my free time too. It was like… learning to be inspired. All the time!
So, organise yourself and get in rhythm.
Sit and write! Go and take photos! Get ready and film!
Be a journalist!