On their cell phone. At the weekend. #AdviceForYoungJournalists

And no, “get out now” doesn’t make the cut.

All young journalists will find this story familiar. You’re introduced to somebody – a parent’s friend, perhaps – and told they’re a journalist. “Really? I’m going to be a journalist too!” you say, bubbling with youthful enthusiasm. Now you can probe them for secrets of the trade, and with so much in common, you’re going to get along great.

But no! They have that haunted look in their eyes. They know they’re about to stamp all over your dearly-held ambitions. “Don’t do it,” they implore you. “Go and study law. Get into finance. At least, marry rich. But please, don’t throw yourself naively into a dying industry. Get out while you can (and, also, stop trying to take my job.)”

This was the general gist of Felix Salmon’s dream-crushing article, ‘To all the young journalists asking for advice‘. Salmon says he can’t give advice because it’s all about being in the right place at the right time, and anyway, now is a terrible time to become a journalist. This, however, did not deter the journalists of Twitter, who started tweeting scraps of advice under the hashtag #AdviceToYoungJournalists. Some of it is jaded, some of it is funny, and some of it is genuinely useful.

Here are the best.


Stop being scared of the phone, says Emily Bell.

And be a (wo)man of your word:

A trick of the trade from Sally Davies:

Don’t ever switch off your brain (or your voice recorder):

Some good general advice: be nice – to everyone.

And a way to get over that writer’s block when you’re staring at an empty screen:



This freelance science journalist knows it’s a harsh world out there:

Office etiquette is important to journalists:

…Unless you work from home.

Everyone knows the pain of transcription:

And journalists must know how to make the most of perks:


This blogger and TV host was exasperated with the comments section:

This tweet called journalists out for churnalism:

This freelancer knows the pain of making ends meet:

This writer is in the right place at the wrong time:

And this one didn’t sugar coat anything:

And here’s an old piece of #AdviceToYoungJournalists:

So pass this on.

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