“I’m not always wrong, but when I’m wrong, I’m wrong with conviction.”
— Overheard at The Washington Post

A good thing

Journalist 1: I’ve gotten so much weirder on the Internet since I met you. I just wanted you to know that. 

Journalist 2: That’s a good thing. 

Looks like we’re running out of space in our awards cabinet. 

Gross.

Journalist 1: Ew! That’s gross. 

Journalist 2: It’s gross, but in an interesting way, I think. 

“Nice people are the worst.”
— Overheard at The Washington Post

Q

yoami98 asked:

Hi! I am not sure if you received my ask from earlier but i have two questions for Mr. Eli Saslow: 1- What are some tips you would give to young journalists, like myself, to become a successful journalist and you? 2- What has been your favorite story you have covered so far?

A

Hmm, journalism advice: I wish I had an easier answer, but I think the best advice is just to write, and write a lot. I went to a journalism school for college, and parts of that were nice, but the truth is I learned so much more just by doing the work. I wrote a lot of stories — mostly bad stories — and then they slowly got a little bit better.

Also, by writing a lot, I began to find the kind of stories that I cared about and the kind of writing that I liked, which leads me to another thought: Write about things you care about, and do work you believe in, because that will be your best stuff.

When I first came to The Post, I was writing about high school volleyball — 300 word stories, like four or five a day sometimes. I already knew then that I wanted to write in-depth, narrative pieces, but that wasn’t my job for the paper. So I made time on the side to work on some of those, because it was the stuff I cared the most about. Journalism jobs are busy and the demands at daily newspapers especially are rising, always rising. But I think as a writer you should always have one story on your plate that is for you — that you think could be great. It might be a story on the side that takes you a month, or a year, but it was important for me to always have something.

As for a favorite story, I guess I have two kinds of favorites: memorable stories because I felt them deeply and they meant a lot to me (Newtown comes to mind); and fun stories (like, say, going to the French Open to write a profile of Novak Djokovic, because work is never bad if you are sent to Paris to hang out for a few days).

“Do I refer to Lil Kim as Kim on second reference?”
— Overheard at The Washington Post
“I went in more of an anthropologist and came out more of a believer. Hearing day in and day out the very real impact of the transcendent on people is just inspiring, I don’t know how else to describe it.”
“Help. I can’t stop compulsively checking the number of notes my jokes get when they end up as Overheards on the WaPo Tumblr.”
— Overheard at The Washington Post

Perfect.

Journalist 1: There’s only one cupcake left. 

Journalist 2: Perfect. There’s only one of me. 

“Save a spot in my calendar for ‘Cocktails.’”
— Overheard at The Washington Post

Journalist 1: You had a good idea earlier!

Journalist 2: Did I? Are you sure?

Journalist 1: It’s 2014. No more mediocrity.

Journalist 2: That’s the spirit! 

“You people with your apps, man.”
— Overheard at The Washington Post

True love

Journalist 1: Thanks for nothing!

Journalist 2: Any time!