Writing from the Heart

If you are considering the thought of becoming a journalist, it is important to know what this rewarding career consists of. A journalist is primarily responsible for writing and researching news and current events via broadcast, online, and print media. Methods of research can include interviews, making contacts, and even on-site investigation. It requires someone who is passionate about getting the story and telling it in a unique way.

Journalists are sometimes required to attend live functions in order to conduct research and then review the notes that they took. Being a journalist requires excellent communication, writing, and grammar skills. Some journalists narrow their focus of interest to business, politics, sports, and entertainment. You can begin your journey to become a journalist by joining your high school newspaper and taking creative writing and journalism courses.

In order to become a journalist, you must obtain your Bachelor’s degree in journalism. You will learn about how to conduct research, interviews, as well as how to cultivate new resources and leads. Many times journalists work on a freelance basis so you may also want to take some courses in business administration and marketing. While you are pursuing your degree, you should try to land an internship at a local newspaper or news station which will help you obtain a better job after graduation.

Many journalists work for newspapers, news stations, and many work for themselves. It is a very rewarding career that gives you the opportunity to travel and learn more about how the world works.

You can find work for newspapers, magazines, TV stations, radio stations, colleges and universities, as well as a wide assortment of Internet portals. Figures for 2013 from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that a majority of journalists worked for newspapers and magazines (www.bls.gov). A smaller but significant share worked for TV and radio stations. The BLS outlook for journalists isn’t promising. Approximately 43,630 were employed in 2013 as opposed to 50,690 in 2008. Employment is expected to decline another thirteen percent by 2022, primarily due to consolidation in the industry. Opportunities will be strongest at online magazines and newspapers. The median salary of journalists as of May 2013 was $35,600.

You will likely have to start out in a small market at a small station or newspaper. Entry-level tasks include writing obituaries or covering civic meetings or court cases. After you’ve accumulated more experience, advancement usually entails changing jobs to positions at larger publications or broadcasters in a larger market, covering a specific field or covering more difficult or dangerous stories. With sufficient experience you could become a columnist or editor if you work at a newspaper. You could advance to the position of correspondent, announcer or program manager if you work for a broadcaster.

Writing from the Heart Credit Picture License: Landslip adjacent to the East Cliff Lift, East Overcliff Drive to Undercliff Drive, Bournemouth, Dorset via photopin cc