When seconds count, editors and reporters alike must be able to call up writing strategy on deadline. For example, a Bloomberg correspondent might be calling or texting in live headlines from a press conference somewhere in South America. “If he or she stumbles or if I don’t sense 100 percent confidence from that reporter, it makes me hesitate,” he says. Crooks advises aspiring media professionals to practice hard on media writing basics including lead writing, story structure, grammar, spelling, and punctuation. “Once those skills become internalized,” he notes, “you can concentrate on getting the news out, and on the higher-level issues that matter.”

 

According to Crooks, the journalism profession is not about glamour. It’s more like fighting in the trenches. As a journalist, you must be willing to present the truth even if you don’t like it. You must also be willing to go where the story is, or sit at a desk and write the story your editor wants you to write. “It’s always a rush to be first with breaking news,” Crooks concludes. “But even these days, there’s such an appetite out there for truth and fresh stories. If you can provide these types of stories, you can make it in journalism.”

 

“But even these days, there’s such an appetite out there for truth and fresh stories. If you can provide these types of stories, you can make it in journalism.”