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What's it like working in the New York Times?

I really like investigating- In fact funny story, my obsession with escape rooms and law enforcement started because I watched all the president's men. Even though I watched the 60 minutes first which made me want to learn about watergate, I was so inspired to investigate. Do the New York Time writers investigate like detectives? #career #business #lesson-planning #nyc #newyork

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Paul’s Answer

New York Times writers investigate like detectives to the extent that they want to find answers. For example, look at the recent story about Mary Trump. She had crucial informationa bout some of Donald Trump's wrongdoings. Suzanne Craig, who share in the Pulitzer in writing the story about what that information held, knew Mary Trump was a good source. She approached Mary Trump three times to get what she wanted.

I've attached a link from CNN. It tells not the story that Craig wrote, but rather, the story of how she got the story. I think it might be more helpful to you than the actual story. Besides, you can search for that if you like:


However, Craig and her associates didn't use the information to get anyone in legal trouble. Instead, they wanted to tell the world about something bad that was happening and something that they felt the public should know about it. Then, once the public knew about it, it could get to the authorities and anyone who might use that information to right wrongs the Trumps had committed. They needed to take a LOT of information and simplify and communicate it so that readers could understand it after reading only an article or two. Journalists don't have a lot of space or time to tell their story. It can be very gratifying though, because you're doing a great service to the public, and like a detective, you're investigating a story, following leads, and getting to the bottom of things.

If you search for "All the President's Men" in the library, or on Amazon, or any other places like that, you'll see that there are a lot of stories about how investigative reporters got their story and were heroes. Don't be afraid to ask librarians for help on finding such books. They are SO happy to help you, and if you're going to be a journalist, get used to doing research, and always keep track of anyone wh's helped you get information you needed.

You need to write well to be a journalist. If you want to work at the New York Times, you have to show them that you've got the stuff. You can do this by writing for other places where it might be easier for you to get your work published in print or online. Or start your own blog to highlight your skills. Even if it doesn't get a zillion hits, that doesn't mean you can't tell people to look at it as a sample of what you can do.

I hope this helps.

Paul recommends the following next steps:

Start reading daily newspapers, either in print or or online. The best newspapers are the New York Times and the Washington Post. However, the L.A. Times, the Miami Herald, the Chicago Tribune, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the St. Louis Dispatch, and the Cleveland Plain-Dealer are all good. The Boston Globe is good, too, but sometimes, it focuses more on local news than national stuff.
Read the book, "All the President's Men" and watch the movie of the same title. The writers in that story (who are beyond famous) were at the Washington Post, but the scenario is the same. And those guys uncovered the Richard Nixon's involvement in the Watergate scandal in the 70's, causing Nixon to become the first president in American history to resign just before he was about to be impeached.
Learn about history, politics, government, geography, and even business. It not only will help you as a citizen of the world, but also help understand more about the context of most of what you'll be writing.
How do you learn to write well? Read work that is considered really good writing and pay attention to what makes it good. Next, pay attention to your writing teachers, regardless of what kind of writing it is; good writing is good writing. (Journalism classes won't hurt either.) Two old books that are still highly respected are Strunk & White's "The Elements of Style" and William Zinsser's "On Writing Well." They'll tell you what's what when it comes to writing.
Most importantly, get out there and write, wherever they'll put your work in front of the public. You'll get lots of practice, learn from your mistakes, and get feedback from readers.

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Crystal’s Answer

Here are some links/employee reviews from New York Times that might be helpful for you: