How to Become a journalist: All you need to know

Journalism is an exciting but also stressful job. They don't create stories. They are the detectors and spreaders of stories. These people play an important role in the development of our society. If you want to be a member of the group, we have some great tips and advice for you to start.

The tasks of journalists vary depend on the type of media and target audiences. To help you arrange thoughts, the first thing is to know what a journalist is.

Step 1: Understand journalist description and responsibilities.

Journalists are people who present and report information as news to audiences in media like television, newspaper, magazines, radio or internet. The duties include gathering appropriate news, editing articles, interviewing people, and following up on good stories. To report the news to the public, journalists need to work with a team of several writers, videographers and editors. There are huge and glorious responsibilities on their shoulders because a journalist is a spokesman for the public, a bridge between the government and the people.

Step 2: Think before you do: whether is it worth to be a journalist

As a journalist, every day you are getting exposed to the latest events happening all over the world. During work, you can gradually increase your value and quality and become widely knowledgeable. Plus, you can usually get a good salary in the position.

But you must understand that journalist is a relatively dangerous job. What you find out and report may have a negative influence on someone's interest and brings you grudges and resentments from these people. Sometimes you need to be in places of violence, confusion or war, to get the latest news, which also puts you in a pretty risky situation.

Step 3: Research Best colleges and universities for journalism

If you are a high school student or undergraduate students, we recommend top 30 universities in journalism/communication for you:

  1. The London School of Economics and Political Science

    London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), known for academic achievement, is one of the foremost social science universities around the world. It is the world's top public research university with a long-standing reputation in the UK. It is a member of the G5 group and the Russell group.

  2. University of Oxford

    University of Oxford is one of the leading public research universities. It is the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the second oldest institution of higher education in the world. The major of education of Oxford focuses on global higher education theory and practice and aims to cultivate future leaders in academia, policymaking, research, and management.

  3. University of Cambridge

    University of Cambridge is one of the world's leading public research universities. Together with the university of Oxford, it is known as Oxbridge, which also belongs to the G5 group. The university of Cambridge is the second oldest university in the English-speaking world. With its lofty academic status and extensive influence in many fields, Cambridge university is recognized as one of the top higher education institutions in the world.

  4. Australian National University

  5. Goldsmiths, University of London

  6. Queensland University of Technology

  7. University College London

  8. The University of Queensland

  9. The University of Melbourne

  10. The University of Sydney

  11. King's College London

  12. Loughborough University

  13. The University of Manchester

  14. Imperial College

  15. The University of Auckland

  16. The University of New South Wales

  17. London Metropolitan University

  18. University of Birmingham

  19. Monash University

  20. Macquarie University

Step 4: Go through College

To be a successful journalist, there are many things that you should prepare during college. Usually, students spent 4 years in a journalism degree, and the courses include journalism and communication, news reporting and writing, news editing and commentary. If you choose to get a degree in communication, your classes would focus more on researching and preparing written and oral messages. If possible, you can still learn double academic degrees, and study a foreign language as your second major. Or you can learn languages in your spare time.

Don't miss any chance to shine. There must be many activities or competitions you can participate in, like ceremony MC and speech contest. With more experience, you would perform better next time. Also, a rich college experience is helpful for your interviews.

Step 5: Internship Opportunity

If you want to stand out, an internship at a local station can be very useful. If you can handle your learning tasks, you can start internships during the junior or senior year in college. You can start as a journalist assistant and learn from senior colleagues during the early days of your work.

Step 6: Prepare relevant skills for a journalist

1. Strong psychological quality

Journalists should always maintain confidence and calm, even facing the messiest condition, so they need a strong heart to do this. It is difficult to train a person psychologically. What you can do is to get exposed to as many different situations and people as you can, so that you don't feel confused and frightened during work.

2. Writing skills

A journalist must have excellent writing skills, because the article is one of the most important terms for presenting news to its audience. Everything you write must be accurate and concise. Balancing is not easy. Your articles should be in-depth but also readable. Any word you choose must be thought over and over. If you cause ambiguity, you might get into huge trouble.

3. Social skills

Since journalists work with all kinds of people, they rely on interpersonal skills to gather information and get support. Knowing how to build trust and ask questions is the key. A good journalist always knows how to get the information needed without offending others.

4. Multilingual

If you want to be a journalist, it is not enough to just speak your mother tongue. You should master modern Standard English to broadcast standard and at least one foreign language with a high level of broadcast quality.

Step 7: Find relevant journalist jobs, and apply it.

To break into journalism, your first job is very essential. How to find a job as a start? The first thing you need to do is ask others for advice, including your teachers, parents, and schoolmates. Their experience can help you avoid detours. Next, you should decide which kind of journalist you want to be and choose suitable firms. If you get a chance to have an interview, try to know more about this company and its publications ahead of time to show your respect and enthusiasm. Don’t get afraid to try and express yourself. It is normal to get rejections at the beginning. Figure out what you want, and then do your best to get closer to your objective.

Important Tools for a successful journalist

(1)Voice recorder

Recording function provides convenience for the interview, so you can focus more on the interview and organize information after. Also, there are segmented recording and recording marking functions. Recording data management efficiency is relatively high, which is also quite important.

(2) Voice transcribing tool

It is heavy work for people to transcribe voice into text. Luckily we have professional software to do this. There are also many APPs available to help you work.

Develop your career path

When you become a journalist, you still have to think about the career path in the future. There are 2 promotion patterns for journalists. If you love reporting, you start from an assistant reporter, then be a junior reporter. A few years later, you would be offered rise to a reporter, director reporter, and senior reporter. Another direction is for those who what to move into management, then you can begin from reporter to deputy supervisor, then supervisor, deputy director, and director.

Journalists should always help people find out the truth and speak up for the weak, but it is not easy to do so. In this industry, you might face temptations and difficulty. If you want to be successful, you must maintain persistence and discipline the whole time. Don't forget why you want to get into the position. I hope you can become whatever you want to be.

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