Someone once told me that in when Secret Service agents are taught how to spot counterfeit bills they don’t look at various types of fake money. They are required to study and study and study the real bills. Then when a fake one comes into their hands, they can immediately spot that it is different.
They learn because they study the real stuff!
So how do we apply that to journalism? I’m thinking that if we emulate the agents, we should be studying the good stuff — good journalism. Many of you may have an extra day this week or some vacation in the next month. How about taking a few minutes to work on your career?
Like the agents, study the work of the best journalists: the RTDNA Murrow winners, the SPJ Mark of Excellence winners or the recent Pulitzers. I bet you’ll get some ideas, or at least get inspired to work quicker, better, smarter.