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The qualities of a good reporter (journalist).

The qualities of a good reporter (journalist).
A journalist giving a news reportage in-front of the camera.

A reporter is a journalist who conducts research, writes, and accounts on information in order to present in sources, conduct interviews, take part in research, and generates reports.

The job of gathering information is part of a journalist's job which is at times called reporting, in disparity to the production part of the job such as writing articles. In this article we look at 20 attributes that makes a good reporter. And they are as follows:

Truthful - A good reporter must have a sense of truth with regards to information flow from respective sources. In other words, a credible source of information based on evidence.

Objectivity – A good reporter must be objective with respect to being neutral and not taking sides. A good reporter is expected to present the facts as they are without adding or taking out from it.

Balanced reporting – Balanced reporting has to do with the act of separating facts from opinions. What are the facts should only be presented as facts and what are presented as such. Hence, you need to separate both and not mix them.

Must have a sense of news – A good reporter must be able to know what news to report or the determinant of information that is news or just facts and opinions, of which are of importance to the society or the community in he or she works.

Must have the alertness of mind – A reporter must be very alert/prepared to report on news information as well as the time it reaches or gets to the respective consumers.

A reporter must have a sense of curiosity – A reporter must be curious enough to probe into issues that are of concern. The urge and desire to find information on matters around us.

Must have patience – A good reporter must have patience to keep going. At times, the search for a particular information becomes frustrating and annoying but the virtue of patience is needed to keep a good reporter to continue to do his job.

Journalists have to be punctual - Journalists have to be punctual to interviews they set for people or must be on time to work and meetings held so as not to lose valuable information. It also helps you establish links so as to be able to do follow-ups.

The need to have the sense of scepticism – Having a sense of doubt not to be mixed with cynicism. When one is told an information, he or she should not immediately report that information but having second thoughts to the issue as to whether there are more to be said on the matter or the truth element.

A good reporter must also be disciplined – A good reporter must be circumspect in his/her reportage, eschewing the use of derogatory statements, vilification, and slander in his /her work. Commitment and diligence to one’s assignment are key elements to being disciplined.

Initiative on the part of a good reporter – Initiative to enforce good judgement by the reporter. One need not wait always to be told what to do and what not to do. Discretionary measures are sometimes needed for action to be taken.

Must be diligent – Hard work is very key to the work of a reporter. They should not easily get tired with regards to a story being worked on. Hence giving 100% in your work. One should always be persistent.

Must be responsible – Responsibility in the sense that, you do not do things arbitrarily but conform to standards and ethics regarding the profession. Accountability is also key to making one responsible.

A reporter must search for a story vigorously – Seriousness attached to searching for a story is a key attribute to the work of a reporter.

The reporter should aim at making friends or forming friendships - It is important to make friends in order to enhance connectivity to other important personalities around. It also aids in effective co-operation amongst one another in the profession. Access to information as a result of these friendships become easier and less cumbersome.

Freshness of mind – By doing this, you engage oneself in reading more, researching to update your scope of knowledge in various fields of endeavour. It also gives you an appreciation of the profession you find yourself as well as dealing with the different types of publics.

Must have an interest in people and what happens to them - One’s ability to meet all kinds of people and have conversations with them in order to know their problems, worries and issues of concern to society. Must have the ability to inspire confidence and make people feel at ease.

Have the ability to speak and write the English language – Journalism is all about speaking and writing and English language is one of the main languages used in journalism. Writing and speaking the English language gives others or the general populace an understanding of what is being conveyed. One’s vocabulary base is also essential in order to prevent the issue of clich├ęs in reporting.

Must be able to keep promises – When a reporter makes promises, they must try as much as possible to keep to that.

Must have the desire to do more than is assigned to them – Going the extra mile apart from what is assigned you is also an attribute of a good reporter. This gives you the opportunity as an individual to learn more and gain exposure.

In summary, the task of news reporting has never been easy but making effort to have it done very well, pays in the long run.

Source: ghananews.hrforum.uk

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