What it is like to be a local journalist
Some of you know I love writing. Yeah… But not everyone knows I write for the local newspaper (in Dutch).
Writing gives me lots of fulfillment. I can express my feelings, I can express how I think on a certain subject. You can define writing in different categories: articles online, writing for the (local) newspaper, writing by hand, writing a letter, writing a book, writing articles for the business magazine and website and writing newsletters. All these categories require their writing style. I mean, they need a different approach in how to write the sentences or what the readers want and need.
Since 2015 or so, I write for the local newspaper. A job that takes lots of energy and time. In the beginning, I thought: “I’ll do it just like that!”. Hmmm, that was an easy thought… But I also took it as a challenge.
How did I become a local journalist?
Well, I heard there was a vacancy. I found the email address related to the job vacancy and I had to write a test article that you can read in the local newspaper. I was so happy to see my name under the article I wrote. They accepted me as a correspondent and since then I am a local journalist!!
After one or two years, I have seen some changes in the organization: my former boss got another job and I got another boss. But there were some other changes as well. My local newspaper edition (different kinds in the area) wasn’t in our own hands anymore. The former newspaper was in the hands of a national newspaper publisher organization to get published, but they changed as well.
The new publisher decided that we all must write about human interest. I always wrote about the local politics, events in my borough and general subjects, but that wasn’t the issue anymore. The other local newspaper does articles about local politics. So, the strategy changed too. And now my second boss got another job as well. Last thing but not least, there is no local newspaper in my borough, but I work for another borough nearby.
The news from my borough is now in the edition of the borough close where I live. I work there now, but the pages I get for my borough are limited from one newspaper into 4 or 5 pages with lots of commercials.
There is nothing wrong with this approach, but I have seen the changes coming and I wasn’t even aware it could ever happen. It’s ok and I don’t mind.