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A day in the life of a Washington Post reporter

Patricia Cruz

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Emmanuel Felton, Washington Post race and ethnicity reporter, shared how he built a career in investigative journalism and the challenges of reporting on race in the United States, writes part-time trainee Micaela Arneson. 

Emmanuel didn’t set out to be a journalist — much less an award-winning one, whose reporting on Black officers who protected the US Capitol Building from rioters last January was cited during President Trump’s second impeachment hearing.

He was on a path to law school when he realised the best part of working with the Southern Poverty Law Center, a legal advocacy non-profit in the US, was meeting potential plaintiffs and hearing their stories.

For anyone interested in pursuing investigative journalism, Emmanuel shared some insights from his career leading up to The Washington Post, in a guest talk to trainees.

LOOK BEYOND THE BIG TITLES

Emmanuel’s first job with the small newsroom The Hechinger Report might not have been flashy, but it gave him a unique opportunity: “I was allowed to do really ambitious, long-form journalism at an early point in my career, because I went to a place that no one heard of.”

Smaller organisations can give early career journos with good ideas space to develop them, which can lead to jobs with bigger media outlets down the road. Case in point: BuzzFeed recruited Emmanuel because of his work with The Hechinger Report, and The Washington Post came calling a couple years later.

PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS

Carving out your niche isn’t always easy, but Emmanuel advises his journalism students at Hunter College to find their strengths and express their interests.

Emmanuel said: “I was an education reporter for years and knowing how to cover any beat is good.

“But I think what I did do is make very clear early on that [race reporting] was what I wanted to do.”

Everyone has a unique background and perspective to offer — and therefore stories only they can tell.

BE KIND, BE PREPARED

LinkedIn is one of many places to find sources, Emmanuel said, but there’s another, more important principle to keep in mind: “I think generally the best thing, both with sources and with other people in this business (because it’s a really small world) is not to be an a**hole.”

He added you should give sources space to tell their story, but always be prepared in interviews. It helps build rapport and gives people reason to trust that you’re the right person to tell their story.

Emmanuel said: “Especially early in your career when you’re not at a place where people instinctively trust you, showing that you’ve done your homework is an important part.”

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FIND YOUR MAIN CHARACTERS

One of the keys to long-form journalism is finding people who have an unusual point of view that goes deeper than the headlines.

Emmanuel advised trainees to ask themselves questions like: “Who are the people who are really injured?

“Who can sustain writing 2,000 to 4,000 words?

“A good sign of a story is when I’m calling someone and I have no idea what they’re gonna say.”

Another pro tip: try to find the gaps in someone else’s coverage.

Emmanuel said: “I read a lot of the local news, I also read really good narrative and investigative work as a motto.

“But I spend a lot of time reading a lot of crappy journalism and trying to find, where are the gems in here that they haven’t touched on?”

DO GOOD WORK, BUT DON’T JUST WORK

Emmanuel is the first to admit that his work-life balance isn’t ideal, but he’s putting in the hours because he’s still new-ish to The Washington Post. And to prove yourself, you have to do good work.

But it’s definitely possible to set boundaries around your personal life — especially in long-form journalism, which doesn’t move as fast as daily news. Emmanuel thinks it’s also important to be aware of how the work, which can be emotional and personal, can impact your mental health.

He said: “I think there’s some second-hand trauma that’s often a part of this job.”

One way he copes is by keeping in touch with people after the reporter-source relationship is over, and he said diversifying your interests is also key.

He said: “Find a job where you can do the work that you’re really passionate about because this is not an easy job.

“But making sure that this job isn’t the only thing in your life is really important.”

is proud to regularly invite inspiring guest speakers to talk about their lives as journalists, as well as offering free, practical journalism workshops. Find out more here to get a taster of our award-winning training.

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Journalism

The Top Journalism Websites for News and Analysis”

Alice Trout

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Journalism plays an essential role in keeping the public informed about current events and issues. The internet has made it easier than ever to access a wide range of news and analysis from reputable sources. Here are some of the best journalism sites for keeping up-to-date on the latest happenings around the world:

  1. The New York Times (www.nytimes.com) – The New York Times is a well-respected newspaper that has been in operation for over 150 years. It offers a wide range of news and analysis on politics, business, technology, and culture.
  2. The Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) – The Washington Post is another well-respected newspaper that has been in operation for over 150 years. It offers in-depth coverage of national and international news, as well as commentary on politics, business, and more.
  3. The Guardian (www.theguardian.com) – The Guardian is a British newspaper that offers a wide range of news and analysis on politics, business, technology, and culture. It has a strong reputation for investigative journalism and has won numerous awards.
  4. BBC News (www.bbc.com/news) – BBC News is the online news division of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). It offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events.
  5. Al Jazeera (www.aljazeera.com) – Al Jazeera is a Qatari news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of the Middle East and North Africa.
  6. Reuters (www.reuters.com) – Reuters is a global news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of business and financial news.
  7. CNN (www.cnn.com) – CNN is a global news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of breaking news and live events.
  8. The Economist (www.economist.com) – The Economist is a British magazine that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events, with a focus on economics and politics.
  9. The Atlantic (www.theatlantic.com) – The Atlantic is an American magazine that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events, with a focus on politics, culture, and technology.
  10. ProPublica (www.propublica.org) – ProPublica is a non-profit organization that focuses on investigative journalism. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of politics, business, and social issues.

Guest blogging is a highly effective marketing strategy that every business should be utilizing. By purchasing PR publications, you can increase traffic and establish authority.

These are just a few examples of the many great journalism websites that are available. Whether you’re looking for breaking news, in-depth analysis, or a particular perspective on current events, these sites are an excellent starting point.

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Journalism

The Ethics of Healthcare Advertising: Balancing the Right to Information with the Risk of Deception

Alice Trout

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Healthcare advertising has the potential to inform and educate the public about important medical treatments and products, but it must be done in an ethical and responsible manner. On one hand, the public has the right to access information about healthcare options that may improve their quality of life or save their lives. On the other hand, there is a risk that healthcare advertising could deceive or mislead consumers, leading to negative consequences for both the companies and the public.

One issue with healthcare advertising is the promotion of prescription drugs for off-label use. Off-label use refers to the use of a drug for a purpose that has not been approved by the regulatory agency, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States. While it is not illegal for doctors to prescribe drugs for off-label use, it is illegal for pharmaceutical companies to promote drugs for off-label use. This is because the FDA has not determined that the drug is safe and effective for the unapproved use.

Unfortunately, some pharmaceutical companies have been known to engage in off-label promotion in order to increase sales. This can be harmful to patients, as they may be prescribed a drug that has not been thoroughly tested for the specific condition they are suffering from. In some cases, off-label use of a drug can even be dangerous.

Another issue with healthcare advertising is the use of exaggerated or misleading claims. This can include making false or unproven statements about the effectiveness of a drug or treatment, or downplaying the risks and side effects. Such practices can lead to consumers making informed decisions about their healthcare, and can also harm the reputation of the healthcare industry as a whole.

In order to strike a balance between the right to information and the risk of deception, it is important for both regulatory agencies and the healthcare industry to prioritize ethical practices in healthcare advertising. This can include measures such as strict oversight by regulatory agencies, clear guidelines for the approval and review of advertising materials, and campaigns to educate the public about how to evaluate and interpret healthcare advertising. By taking these steps, we can ensure that the public has access to accurate and reliable information about healthcare options, while also protecting against deceptive practices that can harm both consumers and the healthcare industry.

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Journalism

Supporting Startup Founders’ Mental Health: The Importance of Prioritizing Well-Being in the Fast-Paced Startup World

Alice Trout

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As the startup world continues to thrive and grow, it’s important to recognize that the fast-paced, high-stress environment can take a toll on the mental health of founders and employees. In fact, research has shown that entrepreneurs are at a higher risk for mental health issues such as anxiety and depression compared to the general population.

One key factor that contributes to this risk is the pressure to succeed and the fear of failure that can come with starting and running a business. Additionally, the long hours and lack of work-life balance that are often associated with the startup world can also contribute to mental health challenges.

It’s essential that startups prioritize the mental health of their founders and employees, not only for the well-being of the individual, but also for the overall success of the business. Research has shown that mental health issues can negatively impact productivity and decision-making, which can have serious consequences for a company.

There are a few steps that startups can take to support the mental health of their team members:

  1. Encourage open communication and create a safe space for employees to talk about their mental health concerns.
  2. Offer resources such as counseling and mental health benefits to employees.
  3. Foster a culture of self-care by promoting healthy habits such as regular exercise and proper nutrition.
  4. Set boundaries and encourage work-life balance to prevent burnout.

For those not ready to go to the doctor or looking for support, mental health startups Europe offer help through apps.

It’s important to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health, and it’s crucial that startups prioritize the well-being of their founders and employees. By taking steps to support the mental health of their team, startups can create a positive and healthy work environment that leads to success for both the business and its employees.

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