Don’t Give Up: Advice from Tina Firesheets

“Don’t give up; there’s more than one way to get in,” said Tina Firesheets when she came to talk to our reporting class Monday, April 2.

Firesheets has been working with the News and Record since 1998 after being a Triad area freelance writer for two years prior.

Firesheets came from a small town, a small high school, and a small high school newspaper. It sounds a lot like me. I grew up in a small town and went to a small high school. I also worked for my high school’s newspaper where freshman year our staff consisted of 5 freshman. It gives me a bit of hope to know that she came from a similar situation as myself.

The crazy thing to me is that she didn’t even go to school for journalism at UNCG, she went for PR. Even thought she didn’t get the job she wanted right away, she was still able to get there. She started freelancing for local magazines since the News and Record wouldn’t hire her right away. Eventually she got the job she wanted and started writing features for them for a while.


Firesheets said that being a feature writer was the best job; it’s a great job no matter what your beat is.

“If you like to learn and are naturally curious, it’s the best job in the world.”

She said that she is still learning something new everyday and that it’s great to get to step into someone else’s life for a while.

She stressed the importance of having an internship before you leave college because not only does it give you good experience, but it also lets you know if you really want to do that for your future. Firesheets was a Hendersonville Times News intern herself before she got her job at the News and Record.

“It’s nice to get an intern who doesn’t need hand holding and guidance.”

Some of the main points that Firesheets makes about being a journalist include:

  • always be on time, be early if you can
  • allow extra time in case you get lost
  • be flexible

I also found it interesting when she said that one of the ways she found story ideas was through advertisements. I never thought of doing that before but it sounds like such a great idea.

Overall, Firesheets’ visit was incredibly helpful. I learned a lot from her and I appreciate her advice.


One thought on “Don’t Give Up: Advice from Tina Firesheets

  1. Merissa – The good stuff first: I liked the photo, the links, and the accuracy of your quotes. You have some awkward grammar and misspelled words, though, especially in the beginning. As nice as it is to see the quotes, they are randomly placed and sometimes don’t go with the surrounding narrative text.

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