One Key Piece of Advice for All Journalists

David Cohn has posted a great series of interviews with several media innovators over at his blog.  But there is one particular piece of advice from Cohn’s interview with Adrian Holovaty (4:15 in) that I think needs to be heard by both aspiring journalists and seasoned professionals, no matter what their level of multimedia skill:

“Do a side project. Pick something that you’re passionate about and make a web site about it. […]  And make it something you actually care about so that you’ll have the incentive to do a good job.”

Video interview is here:

[Video by David Cohn]

For Holovaty, a passion project like led to international recognition. For me, building a simple six-page web site  in college for the Hispanic Student Association (a Python guru, I am not) led to the beginning of my online media career, as well as meeting some of my favorite Latin recording artists, many new friends and –last but most assuredly not least– my lovely wife. See? Passion projects can even lead to finding true love.

In the end, the knowledge you gain from creating your own site around your passion is something that cannot be acquired by working at a large media site or sitting in a journalism classroom.

So what’s your project? Or what’s it going to be?

Author: Danny Sanchez

Danny Sanchez is the Audience Development Manager at Tribune's and Danny has been with Tribune since 2005 in a variety of editorial, digital and product development roles in Hartford, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. He has also previously worked in the newsrooms of the Tampa Bay Times and The Miami Herald.

6 thoughts on “One Key Piece of Advice for All Journalists”

  1. Congrats on the new job Chris. It’s true that a project like that can often carry more weight than a clip file.

    How is the Tools for News site coming along?

  2. The toolkit just moved to SND, so it’s probably about to go through another burst of development, especially now that there are more brains behind it. Look out for a new design, more ways to share tools and (hopefully) better integration with other SND projects.

    I’ll keep you posted.

  3. @Chris The SND site sounds like a great place for it. I’ve found that designers (and, to be fair, CAR people) are some of the quickest to embrace new media tools. Please do keep me posted. I’m sure I’ll find many a workshop handout upon which I can place your site.

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