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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Eric Mitchell

Class of 2004, Bachelor's

How I began reporting for In Touch Weekly? It’s simple. Be in the know.

I was so lucky to be an attendee and reporter at Paris Hilton’s Christmas party (she throws one every year) at her West Hollywood Hills mansion. I partied with the likes of Fergie, Rick and Kathy Hilton, Janice Dickson and Nick Cannon to name a few.

Basically, I mingle with stars and talk to them about their lives and observe them in their natural environment.

Make no mistake, the job is demanding. It’s not always parties and cocktails.

I recently covered Paris’s jail release, Nicole Richie’s DUI court appearance, Lindsay Lohan’s wreckless driving civil suit and Rebecca Romjin’s secret summer wedding (in 100+ degree weather...that’s HOT).

It’s a fun job with lot of perks and rewards. But again, it’s tough and incredibly hard to break into the industry. I tried, literally begged for two years and finally got a break.

Entertainment reporting is my life, my passion and my happiness. If any of my fellow USC grads reading my profile want to report entertainment news email me. I make no promises but I will point you in the right direction. 


What are the top three skills journalism students should learn in college?:

1. Writing
2. Staying abreast of local, national and world news
3. Making an impressive resume tape

What were your duties at ATVN? :

I ran Teleprompter and operated the graphic machine and wrote scripts.

How did ATVN prepare you for your career?:

ATVN kept me focused. There was never a dull moment. And although at times I hated the requirements, I’m much thankful now.

What is your advice to aspiring journalists?:

I’ll answer in two parts. 1. No matter how big, never give up on your dreams. Work hard and you’ll accomplish them. If you want to be a television reporter, writing effectively is paramount. If you can write for television you’ll go far. So absorb all you can in your writing classes and you’ll do well. 2. MAKE IMPORTANT CONNECTIONS NOW. Get to know the power players in the game. Know the people who hire reporters. Please remember, it’s not always what you know, it’s who you know. Knowing the right people will give you such an edge in this highly
competitive business. Listen, I’m just keeping it real. Being in the business and being in journalism school are two completely different things. I can’t stress the importance of knowing the right people. SO GET CONNECTED NOW.

What should graduates keep in mind when negotiating their first job?:

Don’t try to “negotiate” your first job. Think about it. You’re in no position to bargain. What real, hands-on journalism experience can you offer? Stations will likely hire you because your tape was “off-the-hook” and they want to give you a shot.

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