Friday, 18 May 2007

What Makes A Good Reporter?

Lawrence Booth’s advice for being a good reporter is to be "structured", "show initiative" and "be dedicated".

The 31 year-old is more than qualified to comment; he currently edits the "Spin" cricket supplement for the Guardian.

According to Booth, these key traits to succeed in journalism are put to the test by the route you take into the industry.

"There are 2 main routes.

The work experience route and the Journalism course route".

It is indeed the former of these two paths, which Booth used to work in the field.

After graduating from Cambridge University, with a modern languages degree, Booth undertook a 3 month work placement at "Wisden Cricket Monthly" magazine.

It was this particular summer of 1998, where his outlook on writing changed forever. "I essentially got one to one tuition from the editor at the time.

He helped me to write engaging articles instead of essays".

This advice has stayed with Booth, throughout his career.

It is fitting then that with his new writing skills at the forefront of his thinking, Booth got his first big break.

With no one following on from him on work experience in the magazine, he was offered a part-time position; his dedication had paid off.

"It was only £500 a month, but we all have to start somewhere!"

What followed was the chance to work on the Wisden Website, as well as the "Wisden Almanack".

This continued until 2002, when he became freelance, which he has remained ever since.
In the present though it’s the Journalism course route that Booth recommends.

Partly due to job preparation, but also due to another key trait in being a good reporter; networking.

"Watch out for those who you think may be successful and try and stick with them!".

A hard work ethic, having a passion for writing and having an interest in you’re writing area, are all important then in the make-up of a good reporter.

Lawrence Booth is living proof.

Mark: 66 (2:1)