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7 tips to build a durable career in journalism


Jean Samuel Mentor, IJNet's Journalist of the Month, offered journalism tips for professional development..
Jean Samuel Mentor

By KOSSI BALAO

International Journalists' Network


Haitian reporter Jean Samuel Mentor didn’t always want a career in journalism. Initially, he aspired to pursue medicine, but getting a medical degree in Haiti was prohibitively expensive. 


Mentor considered alternative paths as a result, and enrolled in journalism school. He did so despite resistance from family members who felt that journalism was both risky and unprofitable.


Since embarking on this new path in 2017, he has reported diligently on the daily lives of Haitians for Haitinews2000, where last year he was promoted to head of news. He is also an active member of ICFJ's French-language Pamela Howard Forum on Global Crisis Reporting, which has guided and influenced his reporting practices. 


Mentor won third place in the 2023 Bayeux Award for War Correspondents for his radio story, "Haïti: le corps des femmes, terrain de guerre des bandits" (Haiti: Women's Bodies, a Battlefield for Bandits). This prestigious award honors journalists who risk their lives to provide free information, working under challenging, perilous conditions.


Mentor's journalism career is rooted in a profound sense of responsibility to serve the public interest and contribute to the well-being of society. I spoke with him about his approach to journalism, his work as a reporter in Haiti, and how his engagement with the Global Crisis Reporting Forum has influenced his career.


Here are seven tips he offered to fellow journalists:


  1. Uphold the ethical principles of journalism.

  2. Strive for a diversity of sources.

  3. Cultivate a perpetual curiosity and a commitment to continuous learning. Explore new subjects and deepen your understanding of current issues.

  4. Maintain rigorous fact-checking practices. Precision is paramount in journalism. Take the necessary time to verify facts meticulously and promptly correct any inaccuracies.

  5. Foster relationships with fellow media professionals and actively engage in journalist fora. Connect with experts and reliable sources.

  6. Stay abreast of emerging tools and technologies.

  7. Love what you do and nurture your passion.


This post is excerpted from an article first published on the International Journalists' Network (IJNet). Read the original story here.

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