Have you made a decision to pursue a career as a journalist?
Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that the employment of journalists will decline 11 percent through the next decade, you can still find employment, especially in digital media. Plus, if you’re passionate about news and reporting, becoming a journalist is a good way to do what you’re passionate about and get paid for it.
But to become a journalist, you have to do more than just make a decision. You have to take actionable steps that will help you meet the requirements employers are always looking for.
In this article, we’re sharing a brief guide on how to become a journalist.
Pursue a Degree in Journalism
In the Digital Age, it might seem that one doesn’t need any professional training to become a journalist. After all, these days, you can open a YouTube channel or a Twitter account or set up a blog and start delivering your news.
Well, many people are doing that, but they aren’t professional journalists. There’s a lot that goes into becoming a journalist beyond observing and reporting things.
This is why it’s super important to start your journey toward becoming a journalist by pursuing a degree or other college program in journalism or a closely related field. You’ll learn about the art of communication, including reporting, article writing, and opinion writing. You’ll learn how to gather information, interview people, and more.
Most importantly, you’ll learn about the ethics and best practices of the profession, which is what often draws the line between a journalist and a good journalist.
In college, and depending on the nature of the program you’re pursuing, you may have the opportunity to specialize in areas such as investigative journalism, broadcast journalism, opinion journalism, sports journalism, or entertainment journalism. The type of specialty you choose depends on many factors, including your personal preferences.
Nurture Occupational Skills
Professional knowledge alone isn’t enough to make you a competent journalist. You need occupational skills to go along with the knowledge.
First, you need strong verbal and written communication skills. There are no two ways about it.
You need excellent analytical skills. You must be able to dive through a vast amount of data or information and make sense of it all.
You need good computer skills. It’s the digital age. The vast majority of your audience consumer information online.
You also need persistence and stamina. Digging into the facts of a story you’re working on can be a long and exhausting task. You shouldn’t give up so easily.
Get an Internship/Find a Job
Now you have the education and the skills. What remains is to start putting your training to practice.
You can start out by getting an internship in an established media house. This is the path many journalists take. You have to prove your game before you can be fully hired and assigned big duties.
Become a Journalist and Keep the World Informed
Journalism, although the profession’s demand has waned, serves an important role in society. You have made the right decision to become a journalist and now you know the steps you should take to realize your goal.
All the best and keep reading our blog for more career insights.