Journalism Mentoring, Editing Available

At some point in every young journalist’s career comes the point where you weigh what you were taught in the classroom or by your school newspaper advisor against what your editor is telling you.

At that point, you should ask questions. Both of yourself and of your editor. Not just “Does my editor really want to kill me?”

What happens instead in many cases is you defend yourself, your institution where you earned your journalism education and maybe blow up at your editor. Because you’re in your early 20s, that’s why. I’ve been there along with pretty much every other journalist.

I’m offering my experience and institutional knowledge of how to navigate your way from out of your college newsroom and into the first three-to-five years of your career.

Newsrooms are shrinking and that means finding a veteran reporter or editor who can give you sage advice without chirping something to your boss is difficult to find. Here are a few things I can do:

  • I’ll offer to be that neutral third-party who can look over your writing offering edit suggestions and explain why.
  • Show you tricks and tips for questions you have to ask yourself and of your sources before turning your story in.
  • How do you get a source to talk on the record?
  • How do I get a leg-up on my competition?
  • How do I balance a long-term assignment with daily beat assignments?
  • Offer career coaching, including providing advice on if that salary offer is adequate or fair for your market.
  • Should I stay or should I move on?
  • How do I move on from a correction or a mistake?
  • How to navigate certain business and real estate databases and what they mean.
  • What skills do I need to learn for my first journalism job? And my next job?

If I don’t know the answer, I will say so. More often than not, I will point you to a person you can talk to for advice.

Here’s what I won’t do:

  • Call your editor for you
  • Call your sources for you
  • Write your story. Or rewrite your story.

Between covering small towns to mid-size cities and counties to covering retail, commercial real estate, entertainment features plus being an online producer, I can give you a snapshot of how to prepare yourself for a wide range of scenarios. And how to prepare for job interviews.

Poke around this site to see what I’ve done and am doing now. Or visit my LinkedIn profile. I’ve worked in Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and attended college in Indiana to give you a sense of where I’ve been.

Contact me at cfschelle at gmail dot com for prices and packages. I know what journalists make, so I’m not charging a fortune.

We can arrange for GoogleHangout, Skype or FaceTime meetings or if you are regional, we can meet. Gas mileage charges will apply.

Further your career in your early years by contacting me now.


When Cowboys Call It A Day

These are the features that writers love to write.

Just spending a few hours in what feels like the middle of nowhere, with a family of retired cowboys who will never tire of telling stories.

Someone spotted an ad about 1,000 acres of land being auctioned off in the eastern part of Manatee County, where it feels like civilization may not be seen again. And good luck if you have signal on your cell phone.

Cowboys call it a day: 1,000 acres to be auctioned off in Myakka City


MYAKKA CITY — David Kibler’s voice comes through as clear as the scenery surrounding him.

“This is what Florida was,” Kibler says over the loud Jeep engine, riding shotgun with his brother Thomas Kibler, as they tour the family’s 1,000-acre ranch — or rather, a retreat that runs along the Manatee River.

Welcome to Kibler Ranch, where the deer roam alongside cattle eating green tomatoes, horses swimming in a pond near grapefruit trees. Bobcats can be spotted here, and snakes aren’t out of the question when navigating the Manatee River.

“You will see flora and fauna, you will see snakes,” says David Kibler, a bit of a humorist whose language is as salty as the earth. “It will be majestic, and you will be (expletive) scared.”

Continue reading When Cowboys Call It A Day