Tuesday, 30 September 2014
How Being a Journalist Takes Over a Journalist's Normal Life
Being a journalist is a 24/7 job whether we like it or not. The aspects of the news world takes over/interferes with what we like to call our “normal life.” We strive to work hard and often work crazy long hours. Yet, even when we are not working, the ways of the journalism world seem to leak over into our everyday life.
1. We follow police cars, ambulances and any emergency vehicle.
We can’t help it. Normally, on the job we will follow these guys to bring us to a breaking news story. Or something will come in over the police scanner and we are hot on the trail to cover whatever catastrophe is happening. But our curiosity, even when we aren’t working, cannot be stopped. We have this sick internal need to know what’s going on.
2. We ask way too many questions when meeting someone new.
We apologize for this. We do not intend to question you like a prosecution attorney. It’s just our job to find out everything possible about the person we are covering, so we tend to do this when meeting new people in our life.
3. We correct your grammar when you speak, write and use social media.
Yes, we’re assholes. Sorry. We have a passion for the written word and we prefer if those words are written and constructed accordingly. If we make grammar mistakes at work, our editors will chew us out, so it’s just a habit. You can tell us to stop or you can call us the “grammar police” but nothing is going to end it. It’s inevitable.
4. We are nosey.
Our job is to write news and present it to the people so that they may know what is going on. Sometimes we forget to leave this little trait at the newsroom and it unleashes into our social lives. Whether it’s getting the details on a new neighbor, wondering if Jim and Cathy are getting a divorce, or any secret we can get our hands on. It’s just a natural occurrence in our head. We NEED to know everything.
5. We survive on coffee at work and outside of work.
If journalists had their own personal food pyramid, at least four of the categories would be servings of coffee. The others would be beer.
6. We will Google you.
If we are meeting a new person that may be a possible future business partner or love interest, or if you are dating someone close to us, you’re getting researched. We are going to find out everything we can about you. It’s in our nature and we do have the resources. So if you think you can hide something from a journalist, you are sadly misinformed. There are no secrets from a journalist, so you best be on your utmost perfect behavior.
7. We checkout of conversations.
We do not do this to be rude, honestly. But when you have a creative mind, ideas are flowing at all times. We may need to checkout for a minute to fine tune these ideas for our next story. It has nothing to do with you, we just can’t help ourselves.
8. We will randomly write stuff down.
It’s a known fact that every journalist has a small notebook somewhere on their person at all times. In the rare occurrence that we do not, at the very least we have a pen and we will write on whatever receipt, napkin or scrap of paper we can find.
9. We watch the news.
We know not everyone cares about what’s going on in the world - though we don’t understand that logic. But we are going to watch the news. All of it, from every outlet to see what’s going on and who has the most information as well as the most accurate information. What kind of journalists would we be if we weren’t current on what’s going on around us?
10. We are constantly surfing the web and checking our phones.
The news never sleeps. So yes, we will be checking our e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and multiple news sites a day. We are sorry for this as well, but we have to stay current and on top of things. And if we are waiting for an interview and they happen to call at 8 p.m. on a Friday night while we are at your birthday party, we are going to step away to take that interview.
11. We suffer from insomnia.
Our minds are running all day long and unfortunately all night long too. As a result, we are usually sleep deprived. Hence, the ridiculous amounts of coffee we consume.