Season 1, Episode 3: Become a Journalist – Benjamin Cunningham

Citizens of free and fair societies rely on good journalists for the truth. There is no question that quality journalism is vital for a healthy, functioning democracy. But with the advent of social media in recent years, new challenges as well as opportunities have arisen in the world of journalism. So, how can someone become a journalist and do their job well in this brave new world?

On this episode of the Do This With Your Life Podcast, we speak with Benjamin Cunningham about how to become a journalist and succeed in this indispensable profession. Benjamin is a Prague-based journalist and writer who has contributed to notable publications such as The Guardian and Politico and now frequently writes for The Economist and the Slovak SME.

Benjamin speaks with us about his humble beginnings as a local reporter in Michigan and his journey to becoming a writer for popular news publications such as The Guardian and The Economist. You’ll get Benjamin’s take on how the journalistic landscape has changed with social media, how journalism and news publications have changed over the years, and how someone can get started with being a journalist. We also go through one of his more mind-blowing stories about the Czech Cold War ‘super’ spy Karel Koecher, the only foreign agent known to have breached the CIA. This is one episode you really don’t want to miss!

Become a Journalist – Benjamin Cunningham – Highlights:

– How did Benjamin get started with journalism?
– The transition from traditional newspapers to digital
– Benjamin’s view of Twitter as it relates to journalism
– What is the news story selection process like?
– How has Benjamin evolved as a journalist?
– The reality of being a journalist
– How do you know if journalism is right for you?
– Benjamin’s story of the Czech super-spy who infiltrated the CIA
– What is the fact-checking process like?
– Benjamin’s thoughts on where journalism is right now and where it’s going in the future
– Benjamin’s thoughts on biases and making decisions in what goes into a story
– What is Benjamin working on at the moment?
– ‘Click-bait’ headlines
– What are Benjamin’s thoughts about comedy news shows?
– Benjamin’s advice for those interested in becoming journalists

More Info:

Benjamin’s website:

How a Czech ‘super-spy’ infiltrated the CIA

The Economist

The Slovak Spectator (SME)

The Guardian


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