I have been at the daily grind of a business news room for a while now. Every day is different yet somehow all quite the same. Regardless, as journalists plough through the complexities of each changing day, there are some cardinal rules that holds their ground. The key questions to ask no matter the assignment, the event, the news. The principles to guide our judgement.
One day as I was rushing a story, I was running through these questions in my head. Sometimes you do it without even realising. But somewhere along pondering this it dawned upon me how relevant they were to everyday life. They are questions I can ask in my general behaviour, that can reflect in better decision making no matter what I am doing at that time.
In particular however, I realised these are questions we should ask when we’re talking to people, or rather, talking about people.
Remember when I wrote this blog post during my first year in the news room? Not long from now, it’ll be my third. Three years a business reporter. Time sure flies.
If I could briefly summarize the past three years I would say that it got better over time. My first year was extremely hard because I made a lot of mistakes, typically careless ones and was called out for it. That was to be expected but I was extra hard on myself. I wanted to get it all right. But you can never get anything right without at least experiencing some sort of short fall.
Mistakes are still occasionally made but the more seasoned you become, the less tolerated the mistake. Nonetheless, the journey has been nothing short of interesting. Every day is new and filled with possibilities. I have learned so much along the way and continue to be stretched in different ways, all of which has contributed to my professional growth.
I’m entering the 5th year of my working life and have experienced working for various management leaders. Every single one of them were different. They all had their own approach in how to deal with their staff, and how to navigate the daily office politics. Some were the same in and out of the office, though a few were completely different.
It kind of feels like a love hate relationship.
My experiences with them always felt like an uphill battle. Some were easy to get along with and we shared many laughs. But they hardly fought for me, nor provided me the growth opportunities I needed.
It’s been about 9 months since I made the decision to join journalism. A complete jump from my previous job, though I have no regrets. From naively thinking a good command of English and writing skills would be enough to equip me for the job, I have since been humbled by my lack thereof. In between unlearning and relearning different ways to write, I have also been learning more about how business and the economy works, making sense of numbers, juggling editors expectations, deadlines and just really trying to have fun in between.
I thought I’d share what I’ve learned so far here, because really, no one talks about this great profession enough.
#1 – Get straight to the point, “this is not a law essay”
Basically what my editor told me on my first day when I was given my first announcement for the website. As a typical law grad, I had written a really long paragraph with long sentences that did not even address the issue. I was quickly introduced to the inverted-pyramid style used in journalism – salient points in first paragraph. Everything a law essay was not!