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How To Become A Journalist?

by Antra Kamble
How To Become A Journalist

To pursue a career in journalism, an individual must know how to become a journalist in the first place! Journalism is all related to updating currently happening events, writing articles, posting blogs for newspapers, and so on. If you think you are a good writer and speaker, then this particular course is perfect for you my friend! Our today’s guide outlines how to become a journalist after graduation in detail. Here, I have mentioned areas of specialization such as sports journalist, travel journalist, music journalist, and more. Without wasting much time let us understand how to become a journalist in-depth.

How To Become A Journalist?

You can first have a glance at the steps needed for how to be a journalist.

  • Step 1: Prepare In High School
  • Step 2: Earn A Bachelor’s Degree In Journalism
  • Step 3: Go To Journalism School
  • Step 4: Complete Internships
  • Step 5: Choose An Area Of Specialization Of Your Choice
  • Step 6: Apply For An Entry Level Job
  • Step 7: Advanced Your Career

This procedure may sound quite simple for now. But individuals need to do a lot of hard work to secure their position in this field. Let us now explore how to become a journalist more in detail.

Step By Step Guide To Become A Journalist

In this section, you will get all the information related to how to become a journalist.

Step 1: Prepare In High School

The basic criteria to enter into any field is having a high school degree certification. In school, there are various subjects related to writing in school, such as English, Language Arts, Humanities, and social studies. Students can also develop their writing skills by reading newspapers, yearbooks, or literary magazines. Also, volunteering your school’s TV or radio station can help you to prepare for broadcast journalism.

Step 2: Earn A Bachelor’s Degree In Journalism

It is best to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism if you want to become a journalist. It is a four-year degree program that offers an excellent opportunity to present yourself. This course will give you the right knowledge based on print, broadcast, or Internet journalism. You can also go for courses in marketing and business administration if you want to be a freelance journalist.

Step 3: Go To Journalism School

A journalism school will help to understand all the journalistic ethics and fundamental methods of investigation. They also include other master’s degree programs for further career objectives. Here, I have listed down a few journalism schools for you.

  • Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
  • UC Berkely Graduate School of Journalism
  • Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism
  • Missouri School of Journalism

This is an excellent way if you want to start your career as a journalist. You can also teach journalism at the college level.

Step 4: Complete Internships

Internships will help you to shape your skills even more! Many private firms offer paid and unpaid internships, apprenticing, and on-job experience for newcomers. Here, you will get the opportunity to apply your theoretical knowledge practically. Even colleges and universities offer internships in school newspapers, radio stations, online blogging, and podcasting. So, make sure you grab the opportunity by keeping your eye on the ongoing job listings. 

Step 5: Choose An Area Of Specialization Of Your Choice

Generally, journalism is broken down into two sections: print media and broadcast. These days even digital or media-media journalism is also very popular. You can choose any section of your choice to enhance your knowledge.

Step 6: Apply For An Entry Level Job

There are several things you have to keep in your mind to get your first paid job as a journalist. Candidates have to create a portfolio of their work in the form of published stories or photographs. You can also add up your internships certifications and school project certifications too. Individuals can also approach editors and producers to grab the position of assistant writer.

Step 7: Advanced Your Career

Everybody needs to update themselves along with the technology. As a journalist, you can continue your education by obtaining advanced degrees in journalism. You can attend workshops and fellowships conducted by several institutes and media organizations. Try to create a bond with editors, news reporters, and other journalists related to this field. These people will also show you the right way to shape your career.

Let us now check out what to study to become a journalist in detail.

Degree Levels In Journalism

There is a wide scope in journalism. So, it is very important to learn the basics before stepping into this field. In this section, I have provided all the information related to journalism degrees.

Associate Journalism Degree

In the associate journalism degree, you will get to study the following courses.

  • News writing
  • Broadcast journalism
  • Social media in journalism
  • Introduction to mass communication

Bachelor’s Degree In Journalism

A bachelor’s degree takes 4 years to complete and includes the following courses.

  • Broadcast reporting
  • Investigative reporting
  • Mass communication law
  • Advanced reporting

Master’s Degree In Journalism

A Master’s degree requires 1-2 years to complete and includes the following courses.

  • Graduate seminar
  • Evidence and inference
  • Specialized topical reporting
  • Other outside courses

Doctorate Journalism Degree

PhDs are ideal for those who want to reach the highest position in the field of journalism. This degree program includes the following courses.

  • Research methods
  • Teaching programs
  • Dissertation seminar

Educational Qualifications To Become A Journalist

To become a qualified journalist, you have to qualify for certain educational requirements. Here, I have given a list of educational qualifications needed to be a journalist.

  • High school degree
  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism
  • Master’s degree in journalism
  • Internship certifications

Continue reading further to know more about how to become a journalist and their skills.

Skills Required To Become A Journalist

Here, I have mentioned personal requirements for becoming a successful journalist.

  • Ability to write material quickly.
  • Must have an interest in ongoing events.
  • Candidates must have enough general knowledge.
  • Ability to speak clearly on different platforms.
  • Must have the ability to express themselves.
  • Should be able to maintain all interpersonal relationships.
  • Must have excellent data analysis skills.

Duties Of A Journalist

After understanding how to get a job in journalism, let’s check out their duties.

  • Provide accurate information to the public.
  • Report all the upcoming events related to television, radio, and online media.
  • Thoroughly research newsworthy stories before publishing.
  • Carry out interviews.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Journalist?

It takes four to six years to become a journalist. The first four years go in obtaining the bachelor’s degree and the next year goes in completing the master’s degree. In between some time is also utilized in finishing the internships and fellowships.

Areas Of Specialization To Become A Journalist

In this particular section, you will find all the different areas of specialization found in journalism. You can pick up your favorite section and pursue your career in that field.

  • Sports Journalist

Journalism in sports is a great choice for those who are familiar with the sports industry. If you are a passionate writer with good knowledge of sports, then this post is for you! Here, you will get to know how to become a sports journalist in detail.

  1. Learn Everything Related To Sports

First, you must have general knowledge related to sports. You can try to watch all the events related to sports to understand all the basic details of each sport.

  1. Participate In Different Sports

You can even participate in any sports of your choice such as football, basketball, or cricket. This will help you to learn all the rules and regulations of different sports. You can also take the help of your coach and teammates too.

  1. Obtain High School Degree

While learning all these things do not forget to complete your high school education on time. It will help you to improve your grammar, punctuation, and writing skills.

  1. Earn Degree In Journalism

After high school, degree go ahead and earn a bachelor’s degree in journalism. This degree course will enhance your skills and provide different opportunities to present yourself.

  1. Apply For An Internship

To sharpen your writing skill, even more, you can search for internships in journalism. This will guide you on how to work and write professionally.

  1. Search For Job

Now, you are ready to apply for the sportswriter position! This is an excellent chance to present yourself as a sports journalist. Make sure you include all your educational certificates and your qualifications in your resume.

You can use the same instructions if you want to know how to become a music journalist.

  • Travel Journalist

A travel journalist allows the reader to visualize the place just by reading. If you want to pursue your career in this field, then you must know how to become a travel journalist. You can keep on reading to know the steps needed to become a travel journalist.

  1. First, decide what kind of writing you want to write.
  2. Then learn all the rules and regulations of travel writing.
  3. Try to travel as much as possible.
  4. Now, start writing about the places you have visited.
  5. You can also create your own website or start a blog.
  6. Also, do not forget to insert pictures and videos of the place.
  7. Stay updated on all the news related to the places you are writing.
  8. You can also collaborate with other bloggers or writers.

There are also some other areas of specializations that are included in the journalism program.

  • Other Areas Of Specialization

The following are some less common areas of specialization you must be aware of.

  1. Broadcast Journalism
  2. Business and Financial Reporting
  3. Environmental Journalism
  4. Feature and Magazine Writing
  5. Global and International Journalism
  6. News Reporting
  7. Science and Health Reporting
  8. Photojournalism
  9. Political Journalism

Salary Of A Journalist

The minimum salary of a journalist is $41,260 dollars per annum. However, the salary of journalists varies according to their profession. Below I have given a chart of journalism salaries according to their profession.

SpecialtySalary
Broadcast Analysts$55,380 per annum
Editors$53,880 per annum
Reporters$37,090 per annum

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FAQ

What Qualifications Are Needed To Be A Journalist?

The following qualifications are needed to be a freelance journalist.

  • High school degree
  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism
  • Master’s degree in journalism
  • Internship certifications

How Do I Start A Career In Journalism?

You can start your career in journalism by using these steps.

  • Step 1: Prepare In High School
  • Step 2: Earn A Bachelor’s Degree In Journalism
  • Step 3: Go To Journalism School
  • Step 4: Complete Internships
  • Step 5: Choose An Area Of Specialization Of Your Choice
  • Step 6: Apply For An Entry Level Job
  • Step 7: Advanced Your Career

Can I Be A Journalist Without A Degree?

No, it is not possible to be a journalist without completing a degree program.

How Hard Is It To Become A Journalist?

It is quite tough to become a journalist. You always have to be in contact with people to obtain the correct information. Sometimes, you don’t even get paid for your job.

How To Become A Journalist Without A Degree?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to become a journalist without a degree. But you can attend the journalism programs to know whether you are suitable for this field or not.

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Conclusion

In the above article, we have understood how to become a journalist in detail. Aspiring candidates can make excellent careers in the world of journalism. Before stepping into this field make sure you have completed your high school diploma and bachelor’s degree program. This will give you detailed information related to journalism, communications, or other related fields. After completing this course you can go ahead with a master’s degree if you are interested. Make sure you do apply for internship programs conducted by colleges and universities. You can share this guide on how to become a journalist with others without any hesitations.

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