How to Become a Journalist

Written by

Beatrice Harrison


August 14, 2014


Journalism is a very important field that relays valuable information such as news, events, and interviews to a targeted audience through various forms of media. It serves to keep people informed of things going on around the world. Journalists are professionals the convey information to the audience through articles, broadcasts, and other forms of presentation.

What does a journalist do?

Journalists gather and present information about a variety of things such as news, current events, issues, trends, and people. They must present the information in a way that gives an unbiased viewpoint. They research the information or stories and put them in their own words to make it appeal to the targeted audience. They go to sources to get background information and obtain direct quotes. They also conduct background research using a variety of documentation formats. They often attend a variety of events to observe and gain information. Journalists disseminate information through newspapers, magazines, periodicals, television, radio, and the Internet . They write a variety of pieces from short new stories to long articles. They also write feature stories, how-to articles, travel reports, interviews, and opinion columns. They sometimes include photographs and other documentation in their text. Some journalists are responsible for editing content, checking facts for accuracy, and laying out documentation.

What kind of training does a journalist need?

Journalists usually need a bachelor degree in journalism, mass communications, or other related field. Coursework typically includes liberal arts courses and many journalism courses such as history of journalism, introductory mass media, press law and ethics, and basic reporting and copyediting. Some journalists have master or doctoral degree in journalism. Many journalists gain experience by working for school newspapers and completing internships with news organizations.

What are the prospects for a career as a journalist?

Employment of journalists is expected to have little or no change in growth, increasing 2% through 2016 (1). The consolidation and union of the broadcasting and publishing industries will limit job growth.

Job prospects are projected to be fair with keen competition. Journalists that are talented with a broad range of skills will have the best prospects. The best opportunities will be with small companies and publications. Some job openings will result from the need to replace journalists who retire or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do journalists make?

Currently, journalists with less than 1 year experience earned annual salaries between $27,022 and $33,573 and those with 1 to 4 years experience earned annual salaries between $28,760 and $40,900 (2).

A career as a journalist is a great choice for people interested in writing about current events, issues, trends, and people. Journalists must have good work processing skills and be able to effectively tell a story. Persistence, accuracy, curiosity, poise, and initiative are essential traits. Journalists must also have excellent communication, be well organized, be a visual thinking, and have social conscience.

Becoming a Journalist Requires Skills & Training, Start Today

Want to know what the 10 top liberal arts schools are?

Are you serious about becoming a Journalist? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the  College Mouse Course Search tool  to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Written by:  Beatrice Harrison

Educated at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Beatrice Harrison has extensive professional experience in career counseling, having helped a growing number of job seekers find fulfilling and meaningful careers in a variety of fields and disciplines.

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