Tips and Tricks From a Successful Newspaper Reporter

Tina Firesheets-- Photo courtesy of

Tina Firesheets is a reporter covering retail and general assignment stories for the Greensboro News & Record. She was always told she was a good writer and knew she wanted to go into journalism. She pursued her dream by studying communications as an undergraduate at Brevard College and UNCG. During her senior year of college her mother was diagnosed with lung cancer so Firesheets did not enter the job market right away. Instead she free-lanced for the News & Record and the newspaper’s entertainment magazine. This lead to her position as a reporter on local government, and she eventually became a feature writer and columnist for the Greensboro New & Record.

Since her early career as a reporter Firesheets has gained a lot of valuable insight into the world of journalism. “If you like to meet people and are naturally curious, this is the best job in the world,” Firesheets said.

She also had some important tips to share with aspiring journalists and encouraged young reporters to never give up on their dreams.

Tina Firesheets’ Top Ten Tips for Aspiring Journalists:

1.)  Don’t give up or get discouraged because there is more than one way to get into the industry.

2.)  Always be on time, be early if you can.

3.)  Everyday is a new experience and you learn something new.

4.)  Sometimes this job is not a lot of fun after you do all your interviews and then realize you have to sit down in front of a computer to actually write the story.

5.)  Writing a story is sometimes really hard. A lot of it has to do with the reporting process, how much energy came out of that and how much information you are able to get out of your sources.

6.)  Look at newspaper advertisements and the classified section. You can find the weirdest things in those sections that can lead to story ideas.

7.)  You have to put your best foot forward and come across to your subjects as knowledgeable and interested.

8.)  Use common sense when interviewing sources or you are out in the field.

9.)  If you think something is interesting and you tell other people and they think it is interesting, you might have a story and your hook,

10.)  Be flexible. You never know what will be waiting for you when you walk into the office and you will never leave at an exact time everyday.


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