Advice for reporters

Several years ago, then-ABC News reporter (and current CNN host) Jake Tapper tweeted out 13 pieces of advice for reporters — particularly young reporters covering campaigns.

This evening, I happened to remember that advice, and tracked it down on Google. Some of it is pretty situational to campaign reporting, but other bits ring true for any news reporter, whether you’re covering a presidential race or the city council. Worth keeping in mind for any scribe:

  1. Young reporters gearing up for campaign coverage, I have two words: neck pillow.

  2. More campaign advice for young reporters: befriend the photographers/cameramen.

  3. I know it’s a pain, but keep track of those receipts and file every week. Just do it. I swear.

  4. Charge every piece of equipment any chance you get.

  5. Keep your eyes peeled. I met my future wife at the Chequers Pub at the Hotel Fort Des Moines.

  6. If you make it to South Carolina without being yelled at by the campaign, you’re not doing your job.

  7. Be the reporter challenging false claim by candidate. If you’re not, be the one who follows up.

  8. Even the people who you like and trust on the campaign will lie to you.

  9. Food that is plentiful and seemingly free does not equal non-fattening.

  10. Don’t send that angry email. Save it. And then reconsider in the morning. You’re exhausted.

  11. Someone somewhere thinks things you say and do are interesting and reportable.

  12. “The news was first reported by (reporter) of (rival organization).” Do it. Applies to blogs too.

  13. Do not rely upon the hotel wake-up call. And don’t forget time zones.

I’ve edited this slightly from the original to transform Twitter shorthands into regular sentences.