Write your own narrative. Are you an idealist who went searching for the facts to support your beliefs and ended up making a career out of it? Are you a writer who explains opaque, heavy subject matter with the flip tone of a BuzzFeed quiz? Are you a wonk who just wants to wonk harder? Your colleagues (who are also friends) who share your approach to journalism can help with the creation of this narrative. In fact, together you make a media trend story. You don’t need to splash your narrative on your website, but definitely think about it when you accept jobs and short-term assignments. And you need to draw on it when media reporters start calling.

Ask for more. More money, more space, a better title, more flexibility to freelance, more air time. Especially if you’re a woman, you’re going to have to learn how to do this in a way that is both confident and self-effacing. (I know. It sucks.) But you have to ask for what you want. You’re going to need the practice in asking for small things, because soon you’ll be at the point where you’re asking for the big stuff. Like eight figures to start your own media company.

If you'd like to get email from CJR writers and editors, add your email address to our newsletter roll and we'll be in touch.


Ann Friedman is a magazine editor who loves the internet. She lives in Los Angeles