Journalism: Telling A Story

Being a journalist can be a very rewarding job, and it can also be a very hard and demanding job, as well.

Some of the most common journalism jobs are working for a newspaper or working at a broadcast station.

 Job Description

Regardless of whether you work in broadcasting or print journalism, the job descriptions will be similar. According to Journalism Degree, journalists will be:

  • interviewing people people in a wide range of circumstances
  • writing copy for publication on a tight deadline
  • building contacts and sources for future stories
  • fact-checking the information given to you by a source
  • creating blog publications

As someone who is getting a minor in journalism, I can attest that this list sums up a journalism career prety well. One thing it left out was the research part of the job. When going to interview someone, a journalist has to be prepared and ask questions that make sense. So, the logical first step is to research the person you are interviewing, and the topic you are going to discuss.

Also, I need to emphasize the fact-checking point that the article makes. If a story gets printed and later on the journalist finds out they did not use a credible source, the results could be detrimental. Journalists must tell the truth when reporting to the public, and they must double-check sources. It’s probably a good idea to check them three or four times.

Skills Needed

According to same article, some skills journalists need are:

  • able to work within a tight deadline
  • curious about the world around you
  • general understanding of current events
  • ability to delve deeper
  • good communications skills, both written and oral
  • strong editing and proofreading skills
  • eye for detail
  • excellent written English skills
  • must be able to work well alone or in a team
  • ability to multitask
  • strong familiarity with photography, video and audio content gathering and editing skills

A skill that is not on the list is objectivity. A journalist needs to remove him/herself from the story. That journalist should not insert their opinion in the piece. That can be hard, but in order to tell the truth, it has to be done.

Places of Employment

  • Newspaper
  • Websites
  • Radio Stations
  • Television Companies
  • Periodical publishers

Salary

“According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, In May 2008, reporters and correspondents had average yearly wages of $44,030. The average starting salary for journalism majors in July 2009 was $35,328.”

Jeff Bercovici

Jeff Bercovici, a reporter for Forbes, said in his opinion piece, “Being a journalist is the best. That’s all there is to it. Yes, there are too few really good jobs and too many people fighting for them. Yes, salaries start out quite low. Yes, the hours can be long and irregular. Yes, the industry is in a period of extreme disruption, with lots of old jobs being destroyed, and the new ones typically offer less security and require different skills.

None of that changes the core fact here. For those who are cut out for it — and that’s definitely not everyone — journalism is a uniquely rewarding, wonderful career”.

Jeff writes the following are good reasons to be a journalist:

You’re always learning.

You get paid to read a ton.

You get paid to meet interesting people.

You get to meet celebrities.

Maybe you even get to enjoy a little celebrity.

All that “stress”? It’s called excitement.

Journalists get around.

And then there’s the small matter of self-expression.

Not all of these perks will apply to all journalists. Some of these benefits depend on where you are working.

Journalism is a very rewarding career choice. It will not always be easy, but it can be very fulfilling.

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