Category: Survive Your Newsroom

The greasy pole and how to climb it

Journalists are born, not made

Some people ask: how do I become a journalist. The answer is always the same.


Survive Your Newsroom: Foreign Editor

Much like Liam Neeson, Foreign Editors have a particular set of skills. They WILL find you, they WILL make you file. From the Aussie Outback to the Patagonian fastness to the fleshpots of Bangkok, if you speak English, have mentioned that fact to a journalist and can write […]

Survive Your Newsroom: Picture Editor

It’s not known if it is a contractual obligation but Picture Editors usually have beards. Or motorbikes. Usually both. And we’re including the women on this. Generally, but not always, ex-snappers – and snappers resent this term so feel free to use it freely – Picture Editors spend […]

Survive Your Newsroom: Comment Editor

You might be yoked to the newswheel being broken like a butterfly but occasionally you’ll get a glimpse of someone who thinks for a living: the Comment Editor. Responsible for the intellectual heart of a newspaper – as opposed to the fist-pump of sports or the tub-thump of […]

Survive Your Newsroom: The Lawyer

There’s two types of lawyer. Those who want to keep your best stories out of the paper and those that keep your best stories out of the paper. Lawyers view every piece of copy, every picture caption, every headline as a libel case waiting to happen. And when […]

Survive Your Newsroom: Pol Corr

They’re like taxi drivers: once you get them started they’ll never stop. Any topic, doesn’t matter. From macro-economic policy to which researcher is shagging their researcher. Ask them to speculate and you can settle back and get on with the rest of your day while they fill air […]

Survive Your Newsroom: The Specialist

Just like dog-lovers looking like the dogs they own, specialists are easy to spot. They’re the newsrooms finest. Walking libraries at the top of their field or, in the case of showbiz, at the bottom of the barrel, scraping with everything they’ve got. There are two kinds of […]

Survive Your Newsroom: The Cub Reporter

Quaint, ain’t it? Cub Reporter. Sounds fluffy. A doe-eyed little ball of cute fur waiting to roll over and have its tummy tickled. But don’t be fooled. This ancient old newspaper term for a trainee reporter actually masks a lethal combination of simmering ambition and soon-to-be boiling point resentment. […]

Survive Your Newsroom: Chief Sub

There is one person who can ruin your career in a newspaper newsroom – and it’s not the Editor. Chief Sub. Chief Sub may sound like the latest lunchtime special from your sandwich deli but do not be fooled. In the slippery world of newspaper internal politics it […]