What might help me get prepared to interview for a reporter role at The McClatchy Company?

What might help me get prepared to interview for a reporter role at The McClatchy Company?
2018-11-28T14:21:46Z 1

Former Reporter at The McClatchy Company

over 1 year ago
I think in any reporter interview, you will need to demonstrate a firm commitment to the craft of storytelling, as well as an ability to generate story ideas independently, and hopefully a track record of doing so. Coming to the interview with a few ideas in your back pocket is a good idea. Be prepared to talk about your techniques as a report--everyone's are different--but you should have a sense of how you make stories happen, in terms of making sources feel comfortable talking to you, keeping sources in the loop so that they know you are interested in hearing when news comes out, your methods for gathering story ideas when you are new on the job, how you remain abreast of the news cycle online, and what your routines are to make sure you meet deadlines, and produce newsworthy, interesting articles, on a consistent basis. Know what news you are inspired by. Be prepared to talk about turning in polished work at high volumes. The nature of news is fast-paced, so they'll want you to talk about your ability, and comfortability, with turning around a story quickly.
When I worked for the McClatchy Company, I was at a small newspaper in Gig Harbor, Washington, and I know that they have a very vast reach with newspapers of varying sizes across the country. In my experience, my role as a reporter required me to produce a high volume of news articles--enough to nearly fill the front page--but I'm sure all papers are different. So keep in mind that my comments are related to this particular paper, and others may place emphasis on other things. However, as anyone interested in being a reporter probably knows, it is a very unique gig that requires a person to be very nimble, hungry, humble, and curious above all else. It's good to be curious about specific things, but in my experience, an ability to be able to turn that curiosity on for just about anything and everything goes quite a long way in this role. Demonstrating that should get you pretty far. Beyond that, your clips hopefully can speak for themselves, but be prepared to talk about the techniques you used to pull off any clips that you're proud of. You want them to be able to feel confident that your success has come of your own volition, not simply by a savvy editor or a lucky break on an interesting assignment.
Much of this is not really about the McClatchy Company specifically but interviewing for news reporting in general. It's important at this time to be able to talk about how you keep up with the quick pace of the news cycle, and the high volume of content that is published on a 24-7 basis about any given beat, without getting sucked into the regurgitation trend in an effort to write "relevant" stories. Be prepared to talk about how you come up with new angles to existing stories. That's a big part of news reporting today, for better or worse.
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