RFE/RL journalist Bruce Pannier: “Dumb it down, sex it up, and put it to bed”

Just from our email correspondence I could tell he’s a really nice American vibe guy.

We talk about the profession of a journalist: it’s quick pace, perks, beginnings, and value. Bruce also gives advice to future journalists and shares his own experience. In the full interview, Bruce tells the story of how he got from the U.S. to covering Central Asia in Prague, and what it is like working as a journalist with an academic background, and how useful it is to know Russian when covering Central Asia. We also get into more detail regarding the profession of a journalist, and its aspects.

As we kept on talking, Bruce then remembered two pieces of advice he received, when he started writing really short fast pieces: “If it doesn’t bleed, it doesn’t lead,” he says was “to figure out the topic”, so that it’s “something big”, and not “crappy”.

“Dumb it down, sex it up, and put it to bed” was the second so that you “don’t use fancy language, make it sound really important though, really big, and as soon as you get to that point, send it out”. He then adds and laughs how as an academic he had been horrified, and it had been “a very strange philosophy for me”.

I was glad to hear that beginnings can be challenging for everyone, and that it gets better with time. One adapts, and it becomes easier, satisfying even, and you manage to get a lot done. And as Bruce said, we might run into each other somewhere in Prague.

Video vzniklo v rámci kurzu Angličtina pro žurnalisty.

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