The world of Journalism is growing every day hence the competition rate is constantly increasing. Therefore, it is only wise to find methods of making yourself stand out from the crowd and leave an unforgettable impression on your viewers, readers, subscribers or followers.
Below are five great tips for aspiring journalists:
- Make It "Multi-Media": Journalism is no longer solely about reporters filing written stories, with newsrooms becoming multimedia platforms. Among all journalists, the most desired training is in social media, digital and production skills. Sometimes, news spreads like wildfire on social networks before it gets to other types of media. This happens especially with topics related to new technologies, social demonstrations or when catastrophes take place, where the witnesses of the event explain what they saw or experienced.
- Have your own voice: Learn your style of writing, acknowledge your voice in your pieces and allow yourself to resonate within your work because your work reflects you. This must-have skill is clear self-representation and the ability to do this well will show off your personality. This would also contribute to your personal branding that makes you attractive to publishers who wish to reach a wider audience, as reporters promote their work on their own social media accounts.
- Develop research skills: A journalist who can do great research produces knowledgeable articles and that is what readers want. When it comes down to it, people believe facts, and whether you’re writing about an up-and-coming musician or homemade chicken nuggets, people want to hear everything. So get curious and remember to have healthy scepticism: a good journalist has questions, but great journalists get answers. Learn data and statistical skills for storytelling. This would help you to collect, edit, analyze and interpret data in order to produce compelling interactive maps and graphics for your story.
- Become a trend spotter: Trending topics are powerful, as they can reveal what people’s interests and intentions are and also what is happening right now. If there is a surge in people searching online for the term ‘unemployment insurance’ for example, this could suggest that unemployment levels are rising. Trending topics are effective for capturing the attention of a broader audience. For example, writing a blog post about a popular trending topic can give your website or blog a huge traffic boost. Conversely, you may be interested in a topic that you think is worth talking about, but there may not be much information online right now. Media intelligence can help you research the level of interest for that topic over time and help to decide whether you should create any content.
- Do some networking: Contacts are the bread and butter of journalism. A journalist's next story or new business opportunity can come about by getting out of your bubble and do some networking. Does your relative’s company need someone to write newsletters? Is your friend of a friend looking for blog contributions? Does your journalism professor have contacts at Nation Media Group or Couture Africa? Be proactive – show up to events, form relationships and follow up the conversation with an email or set up a meeting. This shows your dedication and expresses how serious you are about an opportunity.
Do you aspire to be a journalist and don't know where to start? Click on the image below to begin your journey.
IN THE RING is a monthly comparison series that gives you insight on different careers in the creative industry and what they offer.
From left: Kenyan director Wanuri Kahiu and Rafiki actresses Samantha Mugatsia and Sheila Munyiva at the Cannes Film Festival.
Every filmmaker has a dream to be recognized and applauded for their work. All your sweat and sacrifice must pay off someday but not the same day. You need to put yourself out into the world to be discovered.
Independent and undiscovered filmmakers can reap many benefits from participating in these events such as:
This is the most commonly known purpose of film festival events. Films are screened to attract potential buyers and distributors. It’s similar to an art gallery where pieces of art are exhibited, ultimately for the purpose of being sold. If you do not have enough contacts in the big film distribution companies, look at film festivals as an opportunity for your films to be picked up and distributed in different markets around the world, areas that you don’t have the means to reach to display your product.
When a new or independent filmmaker brings a film to a festival, the viewers have the opportunity to connect with the story by experiencing the film firsthand. The festival setting allows you to share your emotions and ideas with a real live audience who can offer a new perspective on the film and have it reviewed by professional critics. This process gives you insights and even unlock new avenues for your film with producers, distributors, and others who can bring it to a wider audience.
This goes hand in hand with distribution. Though you may not find distribution for your movie as a direct result of playing at a particular event, festivals provide an unparalleled opportunity to make those critical connections that may eventually sell your film. They offer a chance to commune with fellow filmmakers, supporters, media representatives and various professionals. Sometimes even festival staff members would take an interest in a particular film and do their best to push it in the right direction. People who work at festivals are often the most well-connected people in the film industry. Why wouldn't you want to know as many of them as possible?
Lots of festivals are adding panels to increase the appeal of their events. Sitting in on panels is a great way to add to your film making knowledge. Later on, at the party, you'll be able to identify the visiting industry reps by sight. Some festivals have full-blown conferences in addition to film screenings. Make sure your filmmaker badge gets you into the conference as well.
Who doesn’t want to hold a statue in their hands and give an acceptance speech? Winning a film festival award is gratifying and a symbol of your hard work. Every artist enjoys validation, and no one wants to miss accepting their long-awaited award just because they didn’t make the effort to attend the festival!
Below are some of the film festivals that you can participate in:
- Africa In Motion
- Africa Film Festival (AFF)
- Amakula International Film Festival
- Pan African Film Festival (PAFF)
- Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale)
- Festival de Cannes
Vincent Mutiso is a freelance Location Sound Recordist based in Nairobi Kenya and a student at Africa Digital Media Institute (ADMI) taking a Diploma in Film and Television Production. We sat down with him to learn more about the sound department and his involvement in Zamaradi Productions’s Dream Child.
When it comes to art/ creativity, there really isn't a right way to do anything. A person would prefer shooting images in color while another would prefer monochromatic images. Each of us has a preference when it comes to (creatively) expressing ourselves. In the words of Charles Mingus, “ Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity”.
“You need to get relevant in places you consume content.” Terryanne Chebet.
Atieno is a Kenyan feature film that tells the story of Atieno, a 16-year-old Kisumu who drops out of school and is forced to fend for her sick father and her siblings. She goes to live in Mathare slums in Nairobi in search of work and encounters a lot of obstacles.
From a young age, Elisha Ojiambo has always been passionate about filmmaking and storytelling.
Through ADMI’s Placement office, Elisha got an internship at Covenant Television Network (CTN TV), which transitioned into a full-time job. He is a camera operator and technical assistant. CTN TV is a global upcoming Christian Faith television channel with a worldwide reach through its online channel.
We caught up with him to learn about his journey so far.