On Jan. 30, I start a new job of sorts.
I’ll still be living and working in Wausau, but working in a three-member team focusing on enterprise and investigative reporting for all of the Gannett newspapers in Wisconsin. We have a lot of details to figure out, but the opportunity is exactly what I’d like to be doing.
That said, I’ve tried to mix up my goals to help in the new job and develop other skills on my own.
1. Keep up with weekly Codeacademy lessons. Yes, I’m one of those 500,000 who signed up for the e-mailed training on basic coding skills.
2. Break at least one significant statewide story. Yes, this is broad and therefore a no-no for goals/resolutions according to any “expert.” I’m okay with that for now.
3. Focus on incorporating web components into all enterprise work. Document Cloud, data visualization, etc. all can be used to tell stories more effectively than words ever could. I’ve improved this
4. Work on multimedia component — film, produce, narrate, etc. — at least once each quarter.
5. Attend at least one training session. I’m debating which may be most useful, but I’m definitely leaning toward an IRE or NICAR bootcamp. Other suggestions are welcome!
6. Learn basic database construction. This may merge with #5.
7. Continue to stay in touch with former editors, co-workers and classmates. I am fairly pathetic when it comes to networking, still convinced that I’m bothering people. But the more time I spend in the working world, the more I realize how valuable staying in touch and meeting new people can be. Whether it’s networking in person when possible or upping my give-and-take with journalists I admire on Twitter, I can do a better job in this area.
8. Read more outside my usual interests. My editor suggested that reading about topics that you normally wouldn’t can introduce new writing techniques. Good science writers, the example he used, take complex topics and connect the ambiguous ideas to readers or listeners lives. I love newspapers, magazines and web journalism, but it’s time to branch out.