By Tsvetelina Stancheva
Guest speaker Dan Carrier, a reporter for Camden New Journal, gave tips to London Met Journalism students about how to be good at their job and make people trust them.
“It’s not a job! It’s so much fun!” Dan said to students, explaining how if you have passion for the unknown and it excites you, you will never have a dull moment as a journalist.
Even though Dan studied History and Politics at Sussex University, he decided to follow a career in journalism. It’s a decision he has never regretted.
“You don’t have to be Shakespeare to be a good journalist,” he told students. Instead, he stressed the qualities of knowing how to listen, understanding your interviewees, and showing empathy.
Having good research skills is also a must in this field, as well as making sure your eyes and ears are always open. There are stories everywhere, Dan said.
For him, there is no such thing as ordinary people. Every person has gone through trauma – the death of a loved one, heartbreak, illness – and has a story to tell.
It is easy to be biased when you write about something you like, but delivering true information supported by facts is the solution to that. “You shouldn’t be scared of your position of [being a] voice, but make sure whatever you write about is factual.”
Dan advises students to give their articles to a third party to read before it is published, as getting feedback makes journalists better. This could stop you from making mistakes you could possibly regret later. Nobody wants to get sued!