How do I Become a Journalist?

B. Miller

Journalism is a rewarding career that many aspire to. If you've decided you want to become a journalist, the first step is to receive an education. Most journalists have, at the least, a bachelor's degree in English, communications or journalism. An education is a necessary stepping stone to learn about journalism and to help you get your first job with a newspaper, magazine, or other form of media. Some schools will also assist you when searching for journalism jobs.

A bachelor's degree is required for most journalism careers.
A bachelor's degree is required for most journalism careers.

While you are receiving your education, it is a good idea to get as much hands-on experience as you can. This means working on your school's newspaper or radio station and taking at least one, if not more, internships during your years at school. Internships can be invaluable experiences and may even lead to getting hired when the internship is complete.

Photojournalists work to provide their audience with images to accompany news stories.
Photojournalists work to provide their audience with images to accompany news stories.

As you are completing your education and hands-on experience, you should be able to determine if becoming a journalist is the career path you want to take. Journalists have to be able to find a good story, and quickly. They need to be able to approach it from an interesting angle, as well as be able to communicate effectively with other people, especially if you wish to work as a reporter or a correspondent. The ability to write clearly and concisely without the need for a lot of heavy editing is another valuable skill to have.

A reporter needs to be able to communicate well.
A reporter needs to be able to communicate well.

You will also need to determine your specialty. There are many different ways to be a journalist, including becoming a newspaper reporter in print journalism, a foreign correspondent, a photojournalist, or a broadcast journalist. The type of career you wish to pursue depends on your skills, personality, and how much you wish to travel for your job. It is helpful to try different areas while you are still in college, to make it more likely that you will be satisfied in the career you eventually choose.

An aspiring news journalist may gain experience as a radio broadcaster.
An aspiring news journalist may gain experience as a radio broadcaster.

When you first begin trying to become a journalist, it helps to look locally. Local newspapers, radios or television stations are likely to have entry-level positions available for new journalists, and the experience will look better on your resume when you apply for other jobs. Freelancing is another option -- many journalists support themselves by freelance writing for various publications. Searching online for jobs is another option. Keep in mind that taking a less-than-ideal job at first, such as working as a proofreader, might get you in the door and be a great start to a journalism career.

A news journalist is responsible for researching and interviewing persons of interest to develop a story.
A news journalist is responsible for researching and interviewing persons of interest to develop a story.
A journalist may pursue a career in print journalism.
A journalist may pursue a career in print journalism.
Journalists often learn shorthand to facilitate their note taking speed.
Journalists often learn shorthand to facilitate their note taking speed.
Journalists often attend local meetings to report on important highlights.
Journalists often attend local meetings to report on important highlights.
An aspiring journalist should consider going to school to study journalism.
An aspiring journalist should consider going to school to study journalism.
Journalists often report about natural disasters and recovery efforts.
Journalists often report about natural disasters and recovery efforts.

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Discussion Comments

anon91225

this article can really help young or older people and give them advice on how to be a journalist.

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