Have you ever had dreams of becoming a journalist? Are you worried that you have left it too late to get involved? If so then you shouldn’t fear as there is never a bad time to get started in this industry. In fact some of the greatest journalists in the country who work for news outlets such as Fox and CNN, came to the profession in later life. My good friend James DeVellis has been working in this field for many years and whilst he did go down the traditional route of starting his career straight after college, he often speaks to me about how it is never too late to get involved.
The first point to make is that a huge array of media outlets such as Reuters and Associated Press actually don’t hire too many journalists, instead relying on many freelance writers. These outlets have cerated a reputation about them which suggests that they will always be more interested in the story rather than the person who has provided it. Perhaps you have a great story about some alleged misconduct or some false allegations, if so then write the story and start sending it out, if it is well written and interesting then it will get published.
There is very little to suggest that younger writers are better in any way than someone who is older, indeed in many cases the older writer is more likely to have a better grasp of rhythm, tone, lexicon and pace. If you have been writing for many years then you may very need to tweak your style to fit in with what good journalism looks like, but beyond that there is nothing at all to say that you will be a poorer writer as a result of your age.
We often hear people talking about the energy that younger journalists have which could be true in some cases. However when contrasting that with someone who has been involved in another career, that is coming to journalism for the first time, it is clear that this person will be able to equal the energy of a younger writer, such will be their excitement at embarking on this career.
The people who read news, newspapers and blogs, or those who listen to podcasts and news reports, are from all corners of society and from all age groups. Not everyone that consumes news is looking for it to be delivered by someone of a certain age group, they simply want the truth and they want great reporting. In many ways journalism is free from the shackles of age and this means that regardless of how old you are, where you are from or what you have done previously, you most certainly can turn yourself to journalism if you are good enough. This is the key, if you are good enough, you are old enough!