The Meek School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

The Top 5 skills and attributes that a broadcast journalist needs

Posted on: January 23rd, 2013 by alysia

Photo Courtesy of The Commercial Appeal

Students often feel inundated with advice about the hundreds of skills journalists “must have” in order to be successful. But the journalists at WMC Action News 5 in Memphis have narrowed the list to five essential skills.

1.  Dedication

Photojournalist Bo Bradley says a real journalist has to be a dedicated one. He says you have to be willing to work the longer shifts and do the grunt work, really roll with the punches, to be successful in this business.

2. Persistence

Reporter Justin Hanson says there are going to be times when you have to be persistent to get the interview that will make your story come to life. Stick with it and you will be surprised what you can do.

3.  Creativity

Associate Producer Denisha Thomas says creativity drives the newsroom. You have to really use the right side of your brain and figure out what matters to your public and deliver it in a creative way.

4. Desire

Anchor/ Reporter Lindsey Brown, a graduate of Ole Miss, says you have to have the desire to make a difference through what you write and what you report. You have push through the long hours and realize that your hard work will pay off.

5. News Consumption

Assistant News Director Regina Thomas says keep writing and read a lot! Consume news from different outlets, both local and national, to compare and learn why and how they report the way they do.

It isn’t the most obvious skills and attributes — editing, writing, interviewing — that each of these successful journalists listed as most important.  Instead, they say, their list includes the things that matter most when you are pushed for deadline, hunting down the interview or covering breaking news.

Anna Ellingburg is a senior with an emphasis in broadcast journalism.  She recently completed an internship at WMC.