September 7, 2017

Tips for Making it in Journalism, from a Radio Journalist

Bradley George ’02 is the Atlanta Bureau Chief for Georgia Public Broadcasting. In his role he’s responsible for newsroom operations throughout the state of Georgia. He helps reporters write and edit stories and get them on air while also acting as a reporter himself. If you’re interested in a career in journalism, particularly in public radio broadcasting, check out Bradley’s industry tips.

What advice do you have for students interested in pursuing a career in journalism?
Bradley: Consume as much media as you can. That way you have a broad understanding not only of what exists but what your critique of it is. Ask yourself, “What stories aren’t being told?” 

Imagine you need to fill an intern or entry-level position. What does a good resume look like? 
Bradley: It’s kind of subjective, but you look for what they seem to be interested in and where they are showing potential. Maybe this person’s writing isn’t the strongest, but they’ve had interesting experiences that they could build on, or their personality shines either in their resume and writing samples or in their interview. 

What’s a common misconception about your job? 
Bradley: That you have to sound a certain way. That’s especially true for public radio. There’s talk about “public radio voice” — this white, upper-class sound. It’s a valid critique! We need voices who aren’t that. Diversity is something we in public radio need to work on.

Bradley George '02 (center) on stage in a Guilford Theatre production.

What kind of majors end up in your field? 
Bradley: All sorts! Liberal arts degrees, certainly, and degrees from journalism schools. But you shouldn’t think that a broadcast journalism degree is the only way into this business. I thought that in high school. I first looked at big universities with journalism schools, but by my senior year I was looking at smaller liberal arts colleges. Liberal arts curricula offers majors like History, Creative Writing and Foreign Languages. I majored in Theatre and German Studies. Journalists have to know a little about a whole lot, and Guilford set me up perfectly to do that. 

How do you find a good story lead? 
Bradley: Stories are everywhere! Pay attention, observe. Walk down the street and wonder —  what’s going on with that. Trust your gut. If something seems inexplicable, find the story. 

How do you recover from an on-air mistake? 
Bradley: Keep going! It happens. Just try not to lose it, and keep reading. We all do it. 

Aspiring journalists should check out the Guilfordian, Guilford's award-winning student newspaper, and schedule a visit to connect with students and faculty. And be sure to read more about the Real Guilfordians of Atlanta!