I arrived at the George Mason University today at about 1 p.m. and so far the Washington Journalism and Media Conference has been an absolutely amazing experience! The student correspondents got to hear Chris Cilliza, author of “The Fix” speak. He offered valuable insight into the different mediums of mass communication/journalism and described his own experience in the world of journalism. After his speech, I had the chance to ask him a couple questions and asked how he finds his sources, and handles difficult sources. His words of advice were very valuable and resonated with me strongly. Mr. Cilliza said that when he first started out, he dreaded making what he described as “cold calls” and said that what he found out is that you have to talk personably with people and develop a relationship with them before prodding for information. I think his advice makes a lot of sense, and is definitely something to consider about before venturing into the journalism field.
He also said that when he first started out he relied on being assigned stories, but now that he’s been in the field for a while he can search out his own stories.
I found his speech fascinating and was really excited to hear what he had to say.
I’m very excited to hear the rest of our speakers and ask them questions as well.
In sum, day one of the Washington Journalism and Media Conference was a blast!