When I was 24, I landed my first reporter position at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. I was one of the youngest reporters on staff, and I looked even younger. I remember thinking, “Man, I really need to stay on top of my game to prove myself!”
OK. I’m stumped. It’s true. I’m racking my brain to come up with a good lead to this article about writing good leads (or ledes, the official spelling in newspaper speak so it’s not confused with “lead” type). We’ve all been there — or here where I am presently — trying to craft, conjure and contrive a winning hook for a print or broadcast story that will engage the audience and make them hunger for more.
If you’re a reporter, interviewing a celebrity should be like interviewing an average Joe, right? Well, almost. Although you use the same J-school interviewing techniques, chatting with a famous person — even reality show personalities or D-listers — means dealing with a publicist, time or topic limitations, and possibly your own nerves.
Lately I’ve been a walking commercial for LinkedIn — because if it weren’t for the professional social networking site, I might never have landed my current magazine job. When I moved to New York City from Rhode Island in December for my husband’s job, I applied to dozens of positions but, alas, received no bites.