by ANNELYSE HARRISON
Kristin Chick, a foreign correspondent and reporter for the Christian Science Monitor, gave an enlightening presentation Nov. 17 to a class of aspiring journalists on the opportunities available to young journalists.
Kristin lives in Lebanon and covers events in Egypt and other areas in the Middle East. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Alabama and is fluent in Arabic.
After graduating with a political science and journalism degree, Kristin was looking for an internship when she decided to buy a plane ticket to Lebanon. Even though she had no place to stay and no concrete job lined up, she was willing to take the risk. It paid off when she walked right in to the Daily Star and asked for a job.
"I have never gotten a job by sending in a resume," said Kristin. "The key is meeting as many people as you can and developing a network."
Kristin also stressed the importance of experience. In her opinion, the best route to success is to simply get out and work. She encourages young journalists to get internships, freelance while in college and develop multimedia skills.
Kristin's main advice to young journalists revolved around the job market. According to Kristin, there are more opportunities available to journalists abroad than in the United States. "India's newspapers are thriving," said Kristin. "I think you'll find that more doors will open for you if you go abroad than if you stay here."
Kristin agreed her decision to go abroad did not come without risks, but according to her, if you want to survive in the journalism world, you have to be willing to take risks. She encourages young journalists who are interested in international relations to consider becoming a foreign correspondent. "It will open up a world of opportunities," said Kristin.
In her opinion, acquiring a degree in journalism is not of great importance nowadays, but she does advise aspiring journalists to develop the tools of the trade. "Know how to write a really good pitch," said Kristin. "You'll never get any work if you don't send in a good pitch."
According to Kristin, while writing a pitch, journalists should take into account what the paper's interested in, do enough reporting beforehand to know if it's going to be an interesting story, and develop a strong vocabulary. If young journalists work on these skills, the competitive world of freelancing will become much easier.
After hearing Kristin's presentation of journalism in a foreign country, I realize how competitive the world of journalism can be. According to Kristin, you must be cautious and watch what you say because you never know what other journalists may be listening.
Kristin Chick is a prime example of how determination and taking risks can get you anywhere.