Have you always aspired to take up a job that will better the world? Well, becoming a journalist is the solution to it. From war-torn Syria to school shootings, there are so many events in the world that require coverage. However, if you’re wondering what it takes to be a journalist, here’s a quick guide for you.
Get a degree in Journalism for becoming a Journalist
Whether you want to work in print, internet or broadcast journalism, it’s best to start to becoming a journalist is by getting a degree in mass media. Your degree will help your employer gauge that you have that right theoretical knowledge and practical skills to get the job done. Since journalism encompasses covering a wide range of topics, colleges in India are even known to offer triple-major programs which can help broaden your horizons.
But what if you don’t have a degree and are well past the age of studying?
Even if you don’t have a degree, you still need to get some kind of education or training to prepare for the journey you’re about to undertake. You can try various online courses for the same. Here are a few-
- Course in English for becoming a journalist
This course is ideal for those who are interested in developing the skills needed for a career in modern journalism. This course will help you explore digital and print media through authentic readings and video lectures, while increasing your ability to research and develop local and global news stories. Know more here.
2. Course on becoming a journalist
International Career Institute’s journalism course is designed by experienced journalists to educate students on the best journalism techniques out there. Know more here.
3. Course: Introduction to becoming a journalist
This free course is designed for budding journalists and teaches them how to identify and research a budding story. From educating students about the different types of features to feature writing in general, this course covers all the important aspects of journalism as a career. Know more here.
Write as much as you can
Every journalist has his/her own personal style when it comes to writing. If you’re an aspiring journalist, put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and write/type about anything you find interesting. For instance, you can even write about the fly on the wall. The idea is to try to make the idea of a fly sitting on the wall catchy. Think of interesting stories connecting to that fly. Doing this will not only better your writing skills, but it will also help you develop an eye for detail.
Get relevant experience
An internship with a media house will help you build connections and establish your network. Even if you don’t have a journalism degree, you could intern with a publication of your choice provided you are equipped with creative writing chops along with a willingness to learn. Various publications like The Hindu and Economic Times are happy to bring interns on board.
Choose an area of specialization
If you’re studying journalism at the post-graduate level, you will have the opportunity to choose between print, broadcast and multimedia journalism. Specialization is important as different media sources report stories differently. Also, be sure to choose your area of specialization after much contemplation as you wouldn’t want to study intensively only to realize that the field you’ve majored in isn’t right for you.
Land an entry-level job
After you’ve gained experience from internships and obtained your degree, you need to apply for an entry-level job in the publication of your choice. It is likely that you might not land your dream job instantly, but perseverance is key. Aspiring journalists should aim to have a portfolio of work ready to show.
While the above listed steps are ideal to become a journalist, there are several acclaimed journalists out there who switched to journalism without a degree or relevant experience and still made it big. If you believe in yourself and have what it takes, nothing and no one will be able to keep you from achieving what you’re destined to achieve. At the end of the day, confidence is key!
Since you are here, take a look at the 5 Common Misconceptions About Journalism Debunked!