Journalism Tool box: What every young journalist needs

As a young, aspiring journalist, I want to know what it is I need to have, what I need to know and what I need to learn. I’ve spoken to some friends, colleagues and with a few professional internships in my past, I think I am ready to fill the vaccum. What needs to be in every young journalist’s tool box?

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What I want to do

Last month I posted about how damn TV shows affect how I feel about where I am destined professionally.

I am not someone who is very good at living in the moment, at enjoying what I have without worrying what will come next. Currently, I am taking a stab at fighting that instinct, backpacking through Europe without much in the way of plans or professional opportunities waiting.

Still, I think it’s worth making it clear to myself what it is I want.

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Weed and prostitutes: a conversation in Amsterdam

One of the many canals in Amsterdam, Netherlands on Oct. 7, 2008

By Christopher Wink | Oct 9, 2008 |

We meet Sander and Neek at the outskirts of Amsterdam’s Red Light District. Sean, his brother Brian, and I are on a bridge demarcating where the sex ends and the large, quiet residences begin. A small, sloping bridge over a small canal, 15-feet wide, on which covered bicycle taxis perch to take drunk tourists back to their hotels.

We’re deciding if one more walk through the alleyways glancing at half-naked women in their rented window brothel doorways would be one too many. Half-naked women tap on the glass under red fluorescent lighting – the most give and take you’ll ever have window shopping. They’ll sleep with you for a little money. This is one half of many people’s Amsterdam.

Sander and Neek walk by reminding us of the other half, shouting at us to ’smoke weed everday.”

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My Life To-do List: A Web site to chronicle my obsession was always meant to be my professional Web site, where I blogged about the interests and experiences that involve being a young journalist today. I decided I needed a place to display my more personal experiences, particularly pursuing My Life To Do List. I am announcing the soft launch of that site today.

When I was 13, I sat down in my bedroom of my parents’ home in rural northwest New Jersey and I composed a list of 26 things I had to do before I died.

From time to time, I have updated it, so that the list, now in the form of an Excel spreadsheet, is a more than 300-item syllabus for my life. It still governs the choices I make and experiences I want to have. It’s where my money goes and dreams lead.

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Failed post for BNet

I have been pretty active developing my blogging skills. No, seriously, there are blogging skills.

So, when I saw that BNet, an online business news site launched in 2007 by CNet Networks, was looking for bloggers, I wanted to give it a go. I’ve been in talks with some folks there, who wanted me to start with some trial posts. Trouble is, I’m in Europe.

I did get one done before I left. However, it seems I missed their focus a bit. I got an e-mail from one of BNet’s editors yesterday, thanking me for posting but telling me the following:

We tend to avoid pieces about stock and commodities prices. Were more interested in the goings on inside Energy companies.

Backpacking in Europe these days keeps me a little busy, so I’ll try to figure this out when I return.

After the jump check what I submitted.

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We Don't Speak the Language: European Exploration

Currently I am abroad, video podcasting at A video podcast and blog about traveling the world for the young and broke. Follow me there, but also continue to enjoy regular posts here at about the plight of a young, aspiring journalist, which will appear below this reminder.

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Graduation speech column for The Temple News that never ran

At my desk in the newsroom of The Temple News after graduating and cleaned out May 21, 2008.

At my desk in the newsroom of The Temple News after graduating and cleaned out May 21, 2008.

In April I wrote a piece to run in the commentary section of The Temple News but never ran it. My last column was an open letter to the university’s President Ann Weaver Hart. Since last week I shared video of my commencement address, on which this column focuses, I thought I would share the column that never was.

By Christopher Wink | April 18, 2008 | The Temple News (never ran)

I am your commencement speaker.

A committee of professors and administrators have decided that I am serviceable enough to represent my 4,000 fellow graduates on Temple University May 22 commencement ceremony. I will speak to you, our families and our friends, more than 8,000 people in the Liacouras Center.

But, I, too, have sat through graduation speeches of little note and boring memory. I want this to be yours as well.

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To Europe: I am gone for at least a month

Today, my good friend Sean Blanda and I are departing for London. I mentioned this trip last month.

He and I are beginning an open-ended European backpacking adventure. We have no return ticket, no definite plans or destinations: just a month long, 10-stop itinerary on the way to Hungary and vague plans of reassesing our funds to get down to Greece and circling all the way back to Spain.

We’ll be blogging and video podcasting the trip together, but more on that next week when the official rollout comes.

Stay posted for that, but don’t worry, will remain fresh and posted – I know you’re concerned.

God bless America and wish us luck. Lots of exciting news to come next week.

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