Am I a real journalist? Are you?

Here’s a good checklist with my responses:

Written a 15-inch story in 30 minutes

Check. For those not in journalist, that’s about 525-600 words, depending on your newspaper’s design.

Corrected a loved one’s grammar in a greeting card

To their faces? No. I’ll give myself a half-point.

Replaced one of the major food groups with coffee

Caffeinated soda. Another half-point.

Own your own police scanner

No way. But I know some who have.

Eat in your car more often than you do at a table

At times, yes.

Gotten fired/laid off for no good reason

No, but I’m lucky.

Forgotten what it’s like to have the weekend off

Absolutely.

Can no longer read a newspaper without scanning for typos and errors

Oh my, yes.

Learned that being told to “**** off “ and “go to hell” is part of the job

Been there.

Woke in a cold sweat thinking you forgot to change the date on A1

See, here we drift into copy editing rather than reporting. I’ve spent plenty of years on copy desks, so … yes.

Spend your down time coming up with the perfect lede

What’s “down time”? I guess I’ll say yes.

Slept in your car and not because you were too drunk to drive home

That’s a little extreme.

Found that fine line between harassment and persistence

With apologies to a few people, yes.

If you needed bail, the first person you would call would be your editor

Nah. I have a lawyer in the family.

You analyze city council meetings the way sportscasters break down Monday night football

All political writers want to be sports writers. I took the honest way out and wrote about sports.

You think it’s normal to work 16 hours a day for 8 hours pay

Yep.

Have conducted a phone interview while completely naked

Completely? No. Does it count to do an interview from the toilet?

Can write an entire interview on a cocktail napkin

Record everything.

Threatened to quit over an editorial decision

Sort of. More of a staffing decision.

You couldn’t imagine doing anything else

Oh, come on — give me some credit. I still imagine being a bassist.

via Checklist for being a “real” journalist | Blog.

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