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).