Friday, June 8, 2012

Mailbag: Why don't some journalists know current events?


Have news directors in this industry all given up on giving news/current affair quizzes to potential employees? I find it disheartening at just how little some people in this business know, or care to know. Young reporters and interns at our station were asked recently some basic questions...whose the governor? Senator? Representative? Response was blank stares. And this is a capital city we're talking about.

What gives?

What gives is that many young people don't read enough. There has never been a time when more publications have been at your fingertips online. There's no excuse for not knowing what's going on in the world. You need to know more about life beyond your own market. So stop wasting time on Facebook and read something that will enhance your career.

As for current events tests, I always gave them and know several News Directors who still do. I personally think managers who don't do this are taking a big risk. You might hire someone with a great tape who has no clue what's going on in the world. 

And since you brought it up, time for a pop quiz!

As always, Dad's rules. As my father used to say, "If you don't know something, look it up." So there are no correct answers at the end of the post. You'll have to look up what you don't know.

1. In light of Wisconsin's recall election, explain the term "collective bargaining."

2.  June 6th marks what great day in American history?

3. What was Hilary Clinton's job before she became Secretary of State?

4. Since so many of you are obsessed with Facebook, what does "IPO" stand for?

5. What is the name of the private company that recently launched a rocket to supply the space station?

6. Which planet just made a transit across the sun?

7. In regard to elections, what is "crossover voting?"

8. Does your state have "party registration?"

9. In jury selection, what is a "peremptory challenge?"

10. What is the name of John Edwards mistress/girlfriend/baby mama? (At least the one we know about.)




Anonymous said...

When is it time for a reporter to get an agent? And how do you pick the right one?

-The Grape said...

Well, you don't need one right out of college, and rarely after your first job. There's no rule you need an agent at all to get a network or big market job. Lots of my clients have done it without agents.

Picking an agent is best done via word of mouth. Talk to people who have agents and find out how they were treated.

There's a big section on agents in my book as well.