When I was working as a full-time reporter for a newspaper, I noted several situations that annoy journalists that my colleagues and I encountered on a daily basis. Journalism is a tough universe to be in and those who are making a living within its galaxies and solar systems have learned to fend for themselves. It's exactly what Charles Darwin noted: "survival of the fittest." Read these seven situations that annoy journalists and realize that journalists can be as frustrated like that taxi driver caught in terrible traffic.
1 No Pen as the Interview Starts
This is a major blunder that a journalist experiences at least once in her career, making it one of the worst situations that annoy journalists (because it's our own fault!). I was 17 when I started working as a paid journalist. I was about to interview this well-known furniture designer and when he arrived, I just didn't know what to do. I tried to fish for a pen inside my bag but I couldn't find any. The one-hour interview ended with my eyeliner working as a pen.
2 Recorder Stops in the Middle of a Very Important Statement
And it won't start again! Or the phone, which doubled as a recorder, suddenly declared "Battery critically low." It happened to me when I made an ambush interview of the President's Executive Secretary involving peace talks with a rebel group. He finally gave a statement and I was happy but then a fellow reporter told me, "I think your phone just died." There goes my story!
3 Beating-around-the-Bush News Source
I despise news sources who narrate this long epic story before answering a question and then ends his statement without answering my query. Imagine when you ask: "Sir, do you think this orange is round?" And he answers, "Well I guess there are several fruits that take on a round shape one of which is the apple. But..." Get my point?
4 Editors Who Cut a Story Researched for Weeks
Reporters and editors have this love-hate relationship especially when it comes to the treatment and length of the story. One editor told me, "When you're an editor, you see the forest, not just the tree." I get that but some editors are so mean and deliberately cut or rewrite the story without discussing it with me. Worst part? When a news source calls and says I got it all wrong, and I can't tell him it was my editor who muddled the story.
5 Late Cash Advance or Delayed Reimbursements
This happened to me a lot of times. I was told to submit my cash advance request for a trip. I did it but the money was not released before my flight. So I ended up paying the expenses out of my wallet with the newsroom staff telling me that I will get my reimbursement after the coverage. But it's been three days after the trip and there is still no reimbursement. Downright annoying!
6 Incessant Calls from PR People Asking when a Story Will Be Published
Can you guys just pick up a newspaper and check if the article was published? You are being paid to do that, right? Stop making me part of your daily tasks. Now, I am whining. Peace!
7 Newsroom Runs out of Coffee
I am not a coffee drinker but when a newsroom runs out of coffee, it's the most annoying situation of all. Every journalist needs a caffeine kick to write those stories. A newsroom is not a newsroom without coffee.
There is no easy job in this world. Being a journalist is one of the toughest and most stressful jobs in the world that only those with strong hearts and open minds can endure. Any thoughts on the work of a journalist?
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