Knowing whom and what you’re dealing with are keys to success. In the interest of sharing, here is a brief field guide to help you identify various types of Fourth Estaters:
1. The Diva. Divas are easily spotted. They’re hot stuff—or think they are. This breed tends to work in TV. They spend considerably more time on their hair than on learning the facts of a story. This propensity is compounded by the reality that the Diva never really wanted to be a journalist. Alas, dashed hopes of being a model/actor led him or her to the world of news. When you encounter a Diva in the field, proceed with caution. The right look and hurricane-proof hairspray take precedence over good reporting, so you will need to repeat key facts and messages over and over (and over) again.
2. The Cub. This breed looks and acts like a youngster. Cubs are full of piss and vinegar, and tend to be imbued with a sense of zeal (as they are fresh out of J-school). They’ll be demanding, pushy, and generally unpleasant if they don’t get what they want. (Think of a petulant 4-year old who has his candy taken away.) Don’t worry too much though; the Cub is not sent to cover stories of major consequence and is easily handled.