Don’t be afraid to pick up a ringing newsroom phone, and 9 other tips for journalists

Mike Juley compiled this list and shared it with his Milwaukee Journal Sentinel colleagues before his recent retirement. “The tips really came from all parts of the newsroom,” he tells me. “I just happened to write them down. But I do sincerely believe in them and hope that they do some good.”

1. Ignore the haters. Time spent with them is time wasted.
2. Appreciate the work of your colleagues, and tell them so.
3. Know that, as busy as you are, there is someone in the newsroom who is busier.
4. Get to know the rest of the newsroom beyond your desk, for you are all in this together.
5. Don’t be afraid to pick up a ringing phone. It’s good to find out what an actual reader thinks.
6. Figure out your niche, and then own it.
7. Find a balance between recognizing great investigative work and recognizing great daily journalism.
8. Appreciate those who work during the day to generate our award-winning content, and also appreciate those who work anonymously at night to make that content look good and read well.
9. Putting out a newspaper and producing a website every day are difficult tasks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun doing it.
10. When your day is done, take a second to marvel at what you accomplished, and then vow to do even better tomorrow.


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