On Friday, September 26, Deseret Management Corporation hosted a Journalism and Media Symposium, set up to share the knowledge of experts in the field with up and coming journalists. Attendees spent the afternoon learning from CEO’s, directors, station managers and editors.
Harry Smith, a nationally recognized television journalist, provided insightful advice relevant to the field of journalism.
Smith’s background includes “The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather,” “48 Hours,” “CBS This Morning” (co-anchor) and presently, NBC News.
In his 28 years of journalism experience, Smith has come to learn it is important to do your homework, remain empathetic and determined, and to sometimes, simply walk away.
There are times when there’s the “big story” and there are hundreds of reporters with microphones. Smith says that at times like these, it’s best to walk away from the frenzy.
“I guarantee the story is not there,” says Smith.
One of your colleagues will have the quote of you need it. Smith says that by walking away, you have the chance to stand out and find the real story.
“While you develop your IQ develop your EQ (emotional intelligence),” says Smith. “Learn how to get along with people.”
Smith encourages us to be empathic with open ears, as well as an open mind and heart. Sometimes you find the story when others are not hearing and not being empathic.
Before going on an interview it is important to have done your homework. Know what the story is about. Smith says that journalism is “knowing how to write and find your voice.” He encourages students to take more English, and creative writing classes.
Smith says it’s all about flexibility and determination. How determined are you to get the story? Will you make just one call or as many as it takes to get the story? Are you willing to start working at a company that is not number one?