Callie Starnes is a relatively new news director, but she’s been in the WRCB newsroom in Chattanooga for about 10 years.

Now that she’s doing the hiring for her station, she’s had to quickly learn what kind of employee is going to succeed. Beyond the skills that every journalist needs, Starnes says there are some key attributes job Skills 01applicants can bring to the table:

Be a Good Newsroom Citizen
For Starnes, the ability to work well with others is critical. “You know, the people that have the great journalism foundation, but at the end of the day, they’re also just really great people to work with. They treat other people in the newsroom well, and if they’re treating people in the newsroom well you can expect that they’re treating sources well. They’re treating people out in the community well.”

Be a Problem Solver
We hear this term often, but what does that mean for Starnes? “So, typically that’s somebody who’s coming in the boss’ office to say, ‘Hey, I’ve got a problem and I’ve got two ideas for a solution. Which one do you think would be best?'”

Ask for Feedback
Starnes says that some of the best critiques you can get are from people other than the boss. She urges those who are looking for jobs in TV news to talk with the people they work with most often. “Maybe say how does my day to day impact you? Am I fun to work with? And maybe it’s not about fun but do you consider me to be a good colleague? I think that self-awareness is really big and I think it goes a long way.”

Be a Good Communicator
A lot of people in newsrooms joke about how poor communication is among people in the communications business, but it’s no laughing matter when everything that can go wrong is going wrong, so Starnes says you need to practice communicating effectively under pressure. “Your news day is never going to go the way you planned for it to go, so having the ability to communicate with the people sitting next to you and the people out in the field is invaluable.”

For journalism students, Starnes has additional advice. “Internships are an on the job interview every day you’re an intern. Not opportunities to sit back and wait for somebody else to tell you what you need to do, but it’s an opportunity for you to make the most of the experience,” Starnes said. “I think interns especially really have an opportunity to leave a taste in the mouth of the people they’re working around every day. Because, unlike an interview, ya know I bring somebody in for an interview and I get maybe a day with them, with an internship, you’re in and out of the newsroom so often that you really have an opportunity to show what you’re made of. So, it’s a great opportunity that I wish more interns would really maximize.”

Republished from Advancing the Story



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