5 Secrets to Building Credibility as a Journalist

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It’s not a bad feeling, to be the first to break a major news story. It’s that one time, when all of a sudden you are in the center of the spotlight and everyone is quoting your story. And everyone likes to be that person, it’s natural to strive for accomplishment, success and recognition.

“Journalists are supposed to be holding a mirror up to the world. It is part of our responsibility.” – Martyn Lewis

Blogs and news outlets all over the world fight to be the ones to break a story. and who is there to blame them. Majority of the words population still is interested in news that add little to none value to their lives. It’s a big market, and money is there still to be made.

While it can be inviting to break news stories all the time, it’s not about who breaks the new first, but who actually is making any sense of the story, as we seem to have less and less professional content as almost everyone can become a journalist these days, if they so desire.

5 Secrets to Building Credibility as a Journalist

You can learn to increase your credibility as an online journalist by following these 5 simple steps.

Libel

li·bel
ˈlībəl/
a published false statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation; a written defamation.

Never assume that something is true only because the next person said it is. You risk to run into a lot of problems if you start publishing news stories that are false. Never take simple statistics or a tiny piece of information for granted, unless you are 100% certain the information is what it set out to be.

If something looks incredibly fishy, it’s almost guaranteed that it is.

Good & Bad Together = Balance

It’s probably best to assume that every story has got a different side to it, either the good or the bad. Trying to always break stories about how bad a company has acted or presented itself is going to lead to you becoming an ignored figure by the likes of your readers and other news outlets.

Always look for finding the tipping point which will make the story balanced.

Trustworthy Sources

If you want to establish yourself as a trustworthy journalist in front of hundreds of thousands of people, you will need to learn how to approach and establish relationships with trustworthy sources.

This is not something that will be available to you straight away, you will have to prove yourself and show your professionalism by trial and error. It’s important that you gain in experience in dealing with stories that might actually cause backlash.

Keep it Simple

You see news outlets all over the world, trying to maximize the reach of their stories by putting too much clutter inside of them, trying to make it all sound much worse than it actually is. If you have got a news story to break, better do it right and keep it to a bare minimum of unnecessary stuff.

There is a reason they call that word unnecessary. I doubt you would like for me to ramble on about the word unnecessary for the next ten paragraphs. Well, it’s what a couple journalists have adopted as their way of doing things. Don’t be a follower, be a leader.

Love the Reader

Talk to your reader, and connect with him emotionally. Tell stories that people will be able to relate to, stories that people will want to talk with their friends about.

People love journalism that is engaging and based on true emotion, experience.

Once you get a hang of it, people will want to come back for more news stories like the one you wrote earlier.

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