Pro tip for journalists: Love the storm

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Photo by MattysFlicks.

Even if you didn’t read Felix Salmon’s downer article or JSK Fellow Mariana Santos’ optimistic rebuttal this week, even if you didn’t dive into #Adviceforyoungjournalists trending nationwide Wednesday, it was a busy, emotional week in American journalism.

World press freedom is on the decline, a sports reporter was shot outside his home in San Diego and CBS reporter Bob Simon was killed in a car crash.

This happened.

And this happened.

There was also good news in the media: Al Jazeera journalists held by Egyptian authorities were finally let go and, not like these two things are on the same plane, but #wjchat turned five years old.

It’s been a tough week, a lot to digest. That’s why we share a few uplifting words from innovative journalists today.

Adrian Sanders, cofounder of Beacon Reader, emphasized the need to recognize opportunities that exist today for entrepreneurial journalists now that old monopolies no longer exist.

I think one thing that’s exciting is that the big monoliths of the journalism industry are really suffering which means there’s enormous potential to do really amazing things, even if you’re a small team or just one person.

Through the Cracks did a series of stories Wednesday to unbundle some motivational thoughts shared by media innovators recently at Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism.

Among them:

5 Pieces of #AdviceForYoungJournalists from Adrian Sanders

Follow your passions outside journalism to become a better journalist

Young journalists tend to be too conservative. That’s a mistake.

Unpaid internships are OK but NEVER work for free

Jim Brady advice was to love the storm, or at least you have to love the storm to stay in journalism today.

“I think the most exciting thing about things now is that we actually do know where journalism is going to be a year from now – not where it is today,” he said.

You guys want to get into it now, knowing that it’s a bit chaotic, and I think that’s a difference between my generation and the generation getting into it.

You know you’re getting into something that’s going to change all the time and you’re still here lining up to do it, which is exciting.

And I do think one of the challenges that I’ve run into over the last 20 years being in digital is a lot of people kind of open that door and look out into the storm, and a lot of people just want to slam it shut and say ‘I don’t want to go out there. It’s crazy.’ And I think you guys already know there’s a storm out there and you still want to do it.

So I think just keep that open mind and keep that willingness to explore because the technology is changing so fast and business is going to keep changing faster and faster and that’s why I’m in it right now, because I love that storm.

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Khari Johnson
Khari is founder and editor of Through the Cracks: Crowdfunding in Journalism. He also writes about bots and artificial intelligence for VentureBeat. He has built news startups in the U.S. and Europe for the last decade.

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