Starting out in the broadcast journalism field is tough. Many smaller markets employ a “sink-or-swim” mentality due to small staff size which can leave many young reporters floundering. Questions like these often go un-answered:
- Where can I look for story ideas?
- What stories can I pitch about (x) topic?
- Where can I find affordable clothing for on-air?
- What is the best hairstyle for on-air?
- What makeup looks best?
- What are creative standups I could do with my story?
Your peers are here to help you with those questions. There are numerous Facebook groups where threads like those are daily conversations.
The groups also help those on the hunt for their first job. I have seen many people post their reels and receive constructive criticism in return. It is extremely common for members to post links to jobs at their current stations. I have also answered many questions myself posed in these groups, such as ‘When should I call a News Director to follow-up?’ and ‘Should I include live shots where I’m wearing a mask in my reel?’.
Another big benefit of these groups are they are a hotbed of insider information on stations you may be looking at. A simple post can put you in contact with a current or past employee. Or, if you want to know what it is like to work for a specific company, another post will you get you honest feedback.
While some groups I am familiar with are specifically geared toward women, there are groups open to all.
Here are a few of my favorites:
WQOW-TV, Eau Claire