So you know what Newsjack is… but what isn’t it?
Newsjack isn’t easy.
Don’t think you can just fire off anything and it’ll get into the show. Listen to previous episodes. The standard is HIGH.
Newsjack isn’t quick.
It’s not a task you can do thirty minutes before the deadline while your boss is having his pre-lunch poo. You’re going to need to dedicate a load of time to it.
Forget weekends for twelve weeks of the year.
Newsjack isn’t something to dip into.
You need to live the news for the entire series. Totally immerse yourself. Try and skip the really dark stuff. There’s a lot out there and it can really wear you down. It will break you if you’re not careful.
Newsjack isn’t conducive to a happy home life.
You’ll hide from your family from Friday morning until Monday night. You’ll anxiously re-read your one liners after sending them Tuesday all the way up until Thursday evening. That’s when you’ll see the tweet saying emails have gone out and despite refreshing your inbox 700 hundreds times in an hour, you haven’t got one. Your anxiety will turn to a sulk which will get exponentially more insufferable with each creditless episode.
Plus you know, the whole becoming broken by the news thing.
You may wish to look into scheduling your family on two six week cruises each year. Don’t worry, you can pay it off with the Newsjack money you’ll be raking in.
Newsjack isn’t on the TV.
Don’t restrict your thinking. Go crazy. Have fun.
… Here’s the big one.
And this one is a direct contradiction of what the BBC says Newsjack is.
Newsjack isn’t something anybody can write for.
It requires work (I told you we’d go back to this). Lots of it.
Don’t worry, this isn’t one of those things where I’m going to make you feel guilty for reading this instead of writing. This is part of the work. I admit it’s the easy part but it’s still work.
Anybody can write for Newsjack in the same way that anybody can perform brain surgery. Some people are just a little more suited and prepared for the task. These are the people who deserve to be paid for the work, rather than dishing out free brain surgery down the pub with their mates.
You need to have a sense of humour.
You need to understand basic joke/story structure.
You need to be creative.
You need to have time.
You need to know the tone and style of the show.
You need to write in a specific format (use the templates).
You need to be able to meet a deadline.
You need to be resilient.
You need to be patient.
You need to be a decent person who doesn’t kick off if they don’t make the script.
You need to be somewhat delusional.
You need to do the work.
(I’ll admit the BBC’s description is cleaner and an easier sell).
If you meet all of the above criteria – congratulations! I’m sure you’ll get something onto Newsjack…one day.
Okay, now stop reading this and go do the actual work. Reading blogs doesn’t count as work and anybody who tells you otherwise is a liar.