Every day has been a learning experience for me. This is in terms of how to angle my story and what content to include in a story. As a newbie writer in this field, I have learned to apply the rules of being a journalist. This includes accuracy, balance, objectivity, fairness among others.
Once you get to interact with different writers from several fields, you get to learn a lot from them. You learn to include a human face into every story especially for a feature story. The gist of a feature story, for example, lies in bringing out a human aspect in order for readers to feel the human touch.
So far, feature stories have been among the best stories to work on. They have given me a platform to look at the bigger picture of things, compared to news stories whereby you report exactly what has happened.
One of the feature stories I worked on was quite a piece. The piece specifically focused on social media. It was a survey by Consumer Insight which showed that social media is overshadowing the traditional media. According to the survey,98% of individuals are active on Whatsapp.
It also showed that an average person checks a cellphone 110 times a day. 75% of individuals check their smartphones after sleep whereas 25% check in other places.
Remember this field is for the tough but not the fainthearted. Various assignments you do in the field toughen one`s skills towards the deeper reality out there. I recall one assignment whereby I was interviewing a man whose house and business was destroyed. The untold tale was that he was a 1998 bomb survivor and his current situation had rendered him disabled.
I almost cried when we went to the specific place especially where this individual whom we will call *John* was living. What was terrifying is the fact that unknown individuals were living in houses which they had been promised to settle. Currently, they are living in temporary shelters they call `home’.
Their current situation made me realize how much we take the little things we have for granted, such as food, shelter, and clothing. For individuals like John who live from hand to mouth, it has not been easy.
The future of this field is bright, especially where everything seems to be digital. This ranges from stories being transmitted online and links being done. This is as compared to previous years whereby it was done manually.
From the look of things, it’s best to embrace changes which happen every now and then. A good example is sourcing out for information. As a journalist, one can generate content at the comfort of your phone. It does not require physical representation. This can be done either via personal email or Whatsapp.