How to Advocate for Yourself in the Newsroom
We’ve all been there: You have an idea for a story so good you can almost see it on your screen, but your editor dismisses it without giving it a second thought and you don’t push back. Or you want to propose the adoption of a new tool, but you decide against it because you don’t know how your more experienced colleagues will react. Have you ever tried to argue against one of your editor’s decisions, only to be insulted or mistreated for doing so?
Defending your views in the newsroom, especially when you’re early in your career, can be intimidating. After all, you’re facing editors and coworkers with far more experience, who in some cases have spent years on the job doing things in a way that makes the most sense to them.
When there are disagreements in the newsroom, some young journalists lash out in a way that can be perceived as entitled, while others prefer to lower their heads and stay silent, but in doing so they are depriving their newsrooms of potentially useful ideas, and enabling a culture where hierarchy trumps feedback. Ultimately, they are doing a disservice to readers. So, what can you do?
Wilson Liévano, writing for The GroundTruth Project, offers advice to an age-old problem for reporters who work in newsrooms.