Rule #1 Thou shalt listen
Journalists put up with a lot of crap everyday. While you’re sitting in your safe little cubicle we’re sprinting to the next news scene, dealing with complete idiots and spending way too much time convincing the next person that their children are NOT a news story. Therefore we always need to vent at the end of the day. Listen up, or get out.
Rule #2 Thou shalt not be intimidated by stalking
Right after we met you we Googled you during that lengthy “bathroom break” we took. We know an awful lot about you. We already know your mom’s name, that you have a dog, that your ex-girlfriend has brown hair, that your granddad died last year, your favorite restaurant and color. When you tell us in real life, we will nod as though we didn’t already know to avoid looking like a freak. Don’t be scared by this piece of information. We’re PAID to stalk people daily. P.S. We also know where you live. It’s called 411.ca.
Rule #3 Thou shalt not be hurt if we reject you
We reject people every day. We receive numerous pitches, phone calls, emails and more from people vying to be on TV, the radio or print. We will tell them no in a polite way once, but only once. After that it’s just a plain NO. We will do the same to you. We’re trained to be blunt.
Rule #4 Thou shalt understand we may write about you
Ok, don’t feel special when you read that. We write about everybody. We get news tips from hairdressers, the guy who fixes our dryer, the cab driver, the people sitting next to us in the restaurant and more. At one point in time you are apt to give us some sort of idea for a story. You will be mentioned. Face it or get out.
Rule # 5 Thou shalt put up with our long hours
We work messed up hours. We’ve come to terms with it but chances are that you haven’t. No, we can’t take our Saturday 5 p.m. – 1 a.m. shift off for your best friend’s cousin’s birthday. We likely miss our own birthday. We rarely get vacation. We will probably never see you. Distance makes the heart grow fonder. Deal with it.
Rule #6 Thou shalt accept that neurotic is the new sexy
We drink a lot of coffee. In between the coffee we tend to drink massive amounts of sugar laden tea, and Red Rain—the poor man’s Red Bull. We talk a lot. We are extremely contemplative. We speak sarcasm like a first language. Deal with that too.