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Old 12-29-2008, 05:08 PM   #1
deity307
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Default What can I do to break into the industry as a journalist?

What can I do to make myself have a better chance of breaking into the industry as a video game journalist? So far, I'm doing this:

-Taking a journalism program at my college. I'm in my first year and I'm going to finish it in 2 years. It isn't specifically video game journalism, but the program is teaching me how to be a journalist in general. There is an internship I have to do in my final year, and that is when I'm planning to intern for G4TV or a video game related company in California. I live in Canada, but I'm sure if I work out the legal/work permit stuff, I can get in.

-Video game podcast - I have a video game podcast, but I currently put it on hiatus because I want to get better equipment. What I do on the podcast is review games and talk about video game news.

-Website - My plan is to start my own website where I can host my podcast and blog on it.

-Working for a video game company - I think if I work for a video game company in QA, it'll help me out. I live in Toronto, so there aren't many developers or publishers here.

-Video game events - Perhaps I can go to video game events, or launch days and interview people. Or host my own events.

Does anyone know anything else I can do to help myself get into the industry? It's not easy to break in, so I want to do what I can to increase my chances. I heard networking helps too.
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Old 12-29-2008, 06:08 PM   #2
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Interning for G4 is highly competitive. I don't know how college education works in Canada, is it similar to America? Do you earn Bachelor's, Master's? You'll be going up against stiff competition and you can almost certainly bet that local candidates get privileged, let alone citizens of the US. I'm not trying to discourage, just want you to have realistic expectations and to plan ahead just in case you don't get an internship at G4.

When you are done with your 2 year program, exactly what will you have earned? Diploma, certificate, full degree? Is that program the best in the area? Is there better?

Having a personal blog/podcast is a great start. You don't need to get paid to do what you would like, and in fact you'll have to do it unpaid for a while before you get noticed enough to be hired by a place like IGN.com or another popular video game site.

Try to find a startup site that's recruiting freelance writers (they often post on this forum). In a perfect world, it'll become popular and soon enough you'll be able to get paid to write for that site, or better yet it's a great addition on a resume. Nothing says passion and dedication than doing something for a long period of time for free.
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deity307 View Post
Taking a journalism program at my college. ... the program is teaching me how to be a journalist in general. There is an internship I have to do in my final year...
Good start! I would encourage you to intern with very experienced journalists and editors if you can, rather than looking specifically for a game-related publication. It's more important to learn and develop strong journalistic skills that you can bring with you into the game space than it is to intern in the game space (although if you can do both at once, kudos).

Quote:
Originally Posted by deity307 View Post
I currently put it on hiatus because I want to get better equipment.
Don't ever let equipment be your excuse. It's more important to do and learn NOW. By the time you can afford quality equipment, you'll be much better at producing quality thoughts, which is much more important.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deity307 View Post
Video game events - Perhaps I can go to video game events...
Yes! Go and summarize sessions from them. These are very popular reads when people actually take the time to write them. Don't just blog your thoughts. Summarize the speakers or event and tell WHAT HAPPENED. Practice your journalism skills by quoting speakers, trying to look objectively at the event, researching contextual background about the speakers or companies represented, and so forth.
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:22 PM   #4
deity307
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Quote:
Interning for G4 is highly competitive. I don't know how college education works in Canada, is it similar to America? Do you earn Bachelor's, Master's? You'll be going up against stiff competition and you can almost certainly bet that local candidates get privileged, let alone citizens of the US. I'm not trying to discourage, just want you to have realistic expectations and to plan ahead just in case you don't get an internship at G4.
I think it's pretty similar. I know that getting in the U.S. for an internship will be difficult, thanks for the reminder. I guess what I can do is try to apply for other positions journalism related on the West Coast. My goal is to work on the West Coast, where the heart of the North American video game industry is. It's a big goal I want to accomplish and it's going to take a lot, but I am determined.

Quote:
When you are done with your 2 year program, exactly what will you have earned? Diploma, certificate, full degree? Is that program the best in the area? Is there better?
I will earn an advanced diploma. There is a university in my city that has a 4 year journalism program that earns you a degree. I thought about going there and the one I am currently attending. The university has no internship requirement, while mine does. I chose my college because I believe experience is very important in getting a job.

Quote:
Having a personal blog/podcast is a great start. You don't need to get paid to do what you would like, and in fact you'll have to do it unpaid for a while before you get noticed enough to be hired by a place like IGN.com or another popular video game site.

Try to find a startup site that's recruiting freelance writers (they often post on this forum). In a perfect world, it'll become popular and soon enough you'll be able to get paid to write for that site, or better yet it's a great addition on a resume. Nothing says passion and dedication than doing something for a long period of time for free.
I'm going to do what I can. Thanks, man.

Quote:
Good start! I would encourage you to intern with very experienced journalists and editors if you can, rather than looking specifically for a game-related publication. It's more important to learn and develop strong journalistic skills that you can bring with you into the game space than it is to intern in the game space (although if you can do both at once, kudos).
Would you recommend for example, that getting an internship at CBS (also in L.A.) would be a better option than getting an internship at G4? While G4 is a video game related, CBS is much more well known (at least in US) and most likely has experienced journalists and editors, like you say.

Quote:
Don't ever let equipment be your excuse. It's more important to do and learn NOW. By the time you can afford quality equipment, you'll be much better at producing quality thoughts, which is much more important.
You have a good point. My partner also says he wants to start it up again, so I will restart my podcast even though it'll take me a bit to get the equipment.

Quote:
Yes! Go and summarize sessions from them. These are very popular reads when people actually take the time to write them. Don't just blog your thoughts. Summarize the speakers or event and tell WHAT HAPPENED. Practice your journalism skills by quoting speakers, trying to look objectively at the event, researching contextual background about the speakers or companies represented, and so forth.
I learned at my college how to properly quote and bring out a story at an event, so I should be able to put this to use.

Thanks for the advice, guys.
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