Honest guide career journalism
The brutally honest way to a career in journalism is often considered an exciting and lucrative career. And you know what? It is absolutely, but it is also a difficult business to enter; it is hard to get your foot in the door. Making enough money to live is even more difficult.
Next month is my third year in TNW. I have been working in technical journalism in some capacity for almost eight years. And honestly? It is A wild ride/
From time/ time, I receive emails from and asking how I got my job. I am always happy to point them in the direction of TNW’s open vacancies, but I always feel that I could have comp more. So, here it is all my technical journalism career advice, distilled in a single blog post.
It helps to be a little middle class
My first salary as a writer was $ 500. Not bad for the commission before an otherwise unproven admin. Still, for a long time, I struggle to turn writing into a career that I could live.
It took me at least six years since of grafting until I reached the point where I was income earning a decent salary—one who could pay the bills.
The only reason I’m was able to survive was that I was fortunate enough to love the parents who, in their early stages, essentially subsidized my career. I did not pay rent or for food. I have not paid utilities. If it weren’t for them, I probably wouldn’t write it right now. I am working in the technical industry, using my computer science degree.
I want to repeat it: I am lucky. It is a competitive industry, but the real barrier to entry is not to receive or work on commissions; You have hard money that will barely see you in the first years.
If you pay me little attention to your soap cans, I also argue that the journalism industry is natura stacked against working-class people.
They of us fortunate enough to get a job in this field have advice from journalists willing to enter (and, importantly, teach about the economic value of their work) and to fight against the unfair and exploitative It is a duty to reduce that barrier. I am practicing unpaid internships.
Know things The brutally honest guide to a career in tech journalism
I want to clarify something: In this section, I am specifically talking about the technology journalism industry. Thin may be slightly different in other areas.
I don’t think I’ve ever worked with a journalism degree. I have worked with (and, for that matter) my share of high school drop-outs. Alejandro, our Editor in Chief, has a physics degree. My colleague Tristan served in the US Navy for a decade, during which he obtained a degree in psychology.
While they might not know how shorthand is written, their life experiences and education them to approach stories with a high level of depth and insight that they would otherwise lack.
Technology journalism can be difficult. I am not just talking about the day-to-day grind of sourcing, researching, and writing a story.
There are many below that require a deep understanding of a subject, and the ability to translate technical knowledge into a compelling narrative. If you enter this industry with that knowledge already, then you give yourself a significant advantage.
Get ready for some self-lotion
Honest guide career journalism Every career is the same: In the beginning, you are very ugly. On one of my first technical works, my colleagues gave me Spoff (for the abbreviation of a single point of failure) after defaming a production database.
Journalism is unique in that your clumsy, rude preparatory work is shared publicly. You have a permanent record of career growth. And while it is sometimes good to see how you have developed as a writer, often you are in trouble.
It also means that when you make a mistake, it is for the world.
A particularly embarrassing incident occurred to me earlier this year when, due to a CMS error, I accidentally published a news announcement from JeetHob, which occurred two days before the date.
It ended exclusively on the first page of SNAFU Reddit and Hacker News. My phone called GitHub representatives every second minute to shout at me.
People were sadt. It was embarrassing. I had better days. Github still hasn’t forgiven me.
One more thing: Journalism does not exist in the void. Other people will see everything you write, and they will be opinionated. Sometimes they are good. Sometimes, they don’t. Hate mail is an essential part of the job, and if you pursue a career in the industry