Experience counts for a lot in journalism. Partly, it gives an awareness of what needs to be done in a sometimes bewildering range of situations; partly, it gives the deeper world view needed to put what is happening to real people, living real lives, into a human context.
Which means that the stumblings of junior reporters provide a rich vein of comedy.
In The Water Clock, Jim Kelly has fun with the Crow's acne-ridden junior reporter Gary Pymore:
Criminal over confidence was his fatal flaw, compounded by the illusions that it was his spots.
Gary has tombstone teeth, an 'ever-present full-length coat' (for Kelly, a coat defines a man) and smokes inexpertly. He had meningitis as a youth, and lost a good part of his ability to balance.
This had been treated by fitting his shoes with blakeys - small metal plates once designed to preserve shoe leather. The treatment involved smacking his shoes against the ground as he walked and using the sound as a kind of sonic stabilizer. As a result he was, in motion, a human metronome. A metronome with acne.
Gary's real flaw is, of course, enthusiasm - both a great virtue and a heavy burden for a journalist. As Liza Marklund says of a bright young reporter:
His only flaw was his undisguised delight in accidents, murders, and various other tragedies.
And, as Kelly's central character Philip Dryden observes:
... despite some serious handicaps, including phoentic spelling and Olympic stupidity, Gary was probably a born reporter.