Advice from Nick Taylor-Vaisey

Never stop learning. Once you’ve learned how to tell stories, keep looking for different ways to tell those stories. Teach yourself or take a course, whatever works. But always look for different skills you can offer prospective employers. If you shoot photos or video, that’s great. If you know even the basics of data journalism (aka computer-assisted reporting), that’s even better.

And if your storytelling combines any or all of those tools in meaningful ways, you’ll shoot to the front of the pack. That’s a lot for a first-year prospective journalist to have in mind. But if you think you’ve fallen in love with the craft, then continuing education is your ticket to a future in the business.

And while you pick up those skills, never forget the importance of writing. I was given this advice before, and it’s worth passing on. Always be writing. Whether it’s blogging, reporting or something in between, always have a pen in hand (or hand on keyboard). There’s a good chance writing or editing will be front and centre in your career as a journalist, no matter how much the field changes or how many other skills you need to succeed.

About Nick

Nick Taylor-Vaisey

  • Name: Nick Taylor-Vaisey
  • J-school: n/a (Political Science at the University of Ottawa)
  • Current/Past employers: OpenFile (current), the Fulcrum
  • Publications in which his work has appeared: Ottawa Citizen, Globe and Mail, This Magazine, University Affairs, Maclean’s OnCampus
  • Platforms he works in: Print/Online
  • Website:
  • Twitter: nonstopnicktv
  • Link to a good sample of your work: Where Ottawa kids go to learn (Open File) Qualifier: I think this is most representative of the kind of work I love to do. It’s more about the approach and technique than the storytelling, but it’s what I’m thinking a lot about these days.