Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Matt Nistler: Journalist At Large

>> Picking up writing skills “on the job” and gaining support from his superiors, Matthew Nister worked his way up from a layout designer of a college newspaper to the founder of

>> Matt Nistler graduated from Bemidji State University in Northern Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in design technology. His talents in graphic design, combined with his interest in writing would eventually fuel his career.
Even though I was the designer for the newspaper (‘The Northern Student’), I picked up a lot of journalism tips and tricks from my time there,” Nistler said. “I wrote a number of articles for the newspaper, when spaces needed to be filled up. My journalism training was ‘on the job’.”
>> Nistler noticed that The Daily Chorus, a respectable music website, was looking for reviewers. After being added to their staff, Nistler eventually began writing for other sites as well, and went on to create his own, titled The Sound Alarm.
“I get to promote music I love, and the writers get to do the same and get a lot of cool opportunities and perks such as free music and concert tickets,” he said. “Deserving bands and labels get free promotion, and readers get informed and can possibly discover their next favorite band.”
>> The benefits of running his own site seem endless, but Nistler cited writers’ block, keeping each review unique, not being too biased, and deadlines as some of the challenges faced in this profession. One of the major challenges is keeping things consistent.
“All of my The Sound Alarm writers have different skills and abilities, so it’s my job to make sure everything is proper, standardized and high quality,” he said. “Journalism requires a lot of coordination.”
>> Nistler also has some meaningful advice for those interested in a career similar to his.
“You don’t have to go to journalism school or be getting paychecks from the New York Times to be a journalist,” he said. “If you’re passionate and knowledgeable about the piece you are working on it will show.”
>> With enthusiasm and willingness to learn, virtually anyone can have a shot at becoming a journalist.
“The harder you work on honing your skills the more you'll improve your writing,” Nistler stated.

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