So you are interested in making journalism a career? Journalism is an extremely important form of communication in our world and it has taken a few knocks recently. The key for people interested in entering this field, is practice, perseverance and dedication. You will need to have a thorough understanding of the journalistic process and, even more so, communication.
When you are working as a journalist, you are sharing stories and news. Some of your articles may be facts based, reporting the who, what and where, and others may be opinion pieces. Either way, you should strive to deliver a natural and entertaining read. Even when the news you are reporting is bad news, the article should be an interesting piece. How you communicate your opinion or the facts will impact how your readers will understand the news.
We live in an age of sensationalism. There is plenty of room for this type of reporting, but unbiased and fair reporting is in dire need of talented individuals. As you prepare for this, you need to start honing your writing skills. A college degree, or at least a partial education is a great start. Take journalism classes as well as creative writing classes or workshops. This will help you understand the writing process more completely. Knowing what politician is in trouble right now is all well and good, making the article about it informative and, for lack of a better term, enjoyable, is key. Journalism is a highly competitive field. Anyone can ask questions and get information though. Only a few can write truly entertaining, informative and important articles.
With that in mind, some writing tips for beginning journalists that come to mind include workshops, or personal study time. Read some of the great novels of the past. Beyond reading the story, study how the story is built, unfolds and closes. Keep this in mind as you write practice articles. Find a web site that will let you write for them, on a volunteer basis or paid, the experience is what matters most. Small websites and blogs are always looking for talented writers, so search for those first. Nothing can prepare you for writing as a journalist like practice. Be brave, make mistakes and enjoy what you do. In time you will find your own voice and start to put out important articles that could possibly change the face of journalism as it is today.
Journalism is a demanding field that can be rigorous to even the most prepared people as they enter the profession, but there are a number of schools which stand out among thier peers as being the best for preparing students for the real world situations and challenges that will face anyone who enters the field of Journalism. These are schools that not only focus on the traditional types of media, newsprint and radio/television, but also the ever growing online media opportunities and the techniques that are best for each.
University of Georgia, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications
University of California, Berkley Graduate School of Journalism
University of Missouri, Missouri School of Journalism
Syracuse University, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
St. Bonaventure, The Russell J. Jandoli School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Columbia University, Graduate School of Journalism
Northwestern University, Medill
UNC-Chapel Hill, School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University
The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
Arizona State University, The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
University of Florida, College of Journalism and Communications
University of Maryland, Philip Merrill College of Journalism
Ohio University, E.W. Scripps School of Journalism
University of Oklahoma, Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communications
University of Wisconsin, School of Journalism & Mass Communication
George Washington University, School of Media and Public Affairs
Middle Tennessee State University, School of Journalism
University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, College of Journalism and Mass Communication
University of Southern California, USC Annenberg School for Communication
Washington State University, Edward R. Murrow College of Communication
Contact each University directly to learn more about what their Journalism programs specialize in so you can better understand which areas, specifically radio, television, or print, will be best suited for your goals. From the New York Times to CNN, to more local media outlets, there are many opportunities for you to find where you fit best in the wide world that is Journalism. Some folks will say that a traditional English degree will suit you just as well as a degree in Journalism, but that is just not true. No matter how well versed you are in the great works of literature, if you don’t have the ethics, perspective, and researching skills demanded by Journalism, you will be ill prepared for the rigors of that profession.
The two best known top journalism clubs in the U.S. are the National Press Club, and the Society of Professional Journalists. Both started about the same time, in the early 1900′s, and they are both considered to be prestigious places for journalists to gather and share thoughts and beliefs, and to socialize.
The National Press Club, located in Washington D.C., is sometimes known as the “place where news happens”. It earned this reputation due to the many very famous speakers it hosts each year. The club is host to famous politicians as well as prominent leaders in the fields of business, film, sports and music. The National Press Club hosts thousands of events annually, and boasts a membership of over 3,500 members. To belong to the National Press Club is considered an honor and a privilege, and their mission is to be the best professional club for journalists to belong to.
The Society of Professional Journalists was started in Indiana in 1909, on the campus of DePauw University. It was originally a Fraternity of journalists, and later became the Society of Professional Journalists. Holding fast to the belief that the first amendment rights of free press were the foundation of this country, they strive to always perpetuate the liberty of a free press.
Stating that their goal is to keep the American people well informed, so the people can always make informed decisions and choices in the matters most important to them, their goal is to keep the press open and free, as well as to promote excellent journalism. They hope to be a real inspiration to journalists, and to keep outstanding quality in the profession, and diversity in the profession as well.
With the protection of first amendment rights always at the forefront, both of these organizations are considered to be exceptional journalism clubs. Any journalist desiring to be a member of a either of these organizations would have their career greatly enhanced by their membership.
Both the National Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists believe in fostering the talent that is on the rise in the profession of journalism, and believe in teaching new journalists to hold to the highest standards of excellence and accuracy in their work. They strive to be mentors to new journalists, and one would be wise to look into becoming a member of either of these fine top journalism clubs.
The internet makes it easy to quickly share information with anyone. If you have an idea and a computer, it is possible to build a website. There are a variety of sites that allow you to purchase a domain name or publish your content for free. If you have an idea, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that you can create a website. The bad news is that so can anyone else. How do you create a news website? It is easy, but there are millions of websites out there to compete against. However, it is possible to create a news website and find success.
Consider your idea. “News” is a giant category. There is new information about thousands of subjects each day, so which areas are you going to cover? If you are going to cover a big area like world news, how are you going to be different from the multitude of sites already existing? Maybe you could start covering news that occurs in your town or neighborhood. The market may be smaller, but there is less competition. You could become a trusted source for this information. Or maybe you have a job or hobby that interests you. Consider covering the news in one particular field. It’s okay to branch out later but start small, build a base of readers, and gain experience.
After your idea is planned, you need to set up your website. For news related articles, serious formats work best. Look at news websites that you wish to emulate. How is their page laid out? Learn from various websites to see which looks appeal to you and the people you wish to cater to. For news content a professional, clean website is probably the route to go. It is also best to buy your own domain name. This costs money but makes you appear legitimate, and will give you more control over ads and how you want the page to appear.
A news website requires dedication. Depending on your content you may need to frequently update the page as more news becomes available. This can be a difficult task if you work alone, but as you gain skill you will find ways to manage. If you grow the website, others can help you. Creating a news website is arduous work, but it pays off when people read and trust your stories.
News reporting can be a challenging and rewarding career. This is especially true with the Internet, which has created both opportunity and potential hurdles for old-school reporting. Whether you are interested in reporting for a newspaper, television, radio or the Web, there are steps to get started in your new career.
1. Consider college. Most reporters today have a college degree, majoring in something specific such as journalism, magazine writing, broadcast journalism or multimedia, or something more general such as political science or public affairs. A journalism-related degree will give you the basic skills you’ll need on the job. A general degree will give you a broader foundation in the world about which you will write.
2. Secure an internship. This has been a routine step for journalists for generations and is still a good idea given today’s slow economy. Contact your local newspaper or television station or other media outlet and find out about internships for college credit or for work experience. Offer to do general assignment reporting and be ready to work nights and weekends. Save your clips, online postings or broadcast tapes for future job interviews.
3. Consider a nontraditional approach. The Internet has brought something new: the citizen journalist. Now everyone can start a blog or post things online. Seize the opportunity by either creating your own blog and covering a specific geographic area or interest beat or by contacting a media outlet and asking whether you can contribute pieces as a freelance community writer. Start reading news blogs of your local newspaper or television station and post thoughtful comments under stories. These steps will boost your reputation as an involved and community-minded writer and could lead to a paying job.
4. Network to find out about salaried news reporting positions. See if your local press club has auxiliary memberships for freelancers. Join business organizations and find out about media contacts. Contact local colleges and ask about media recruiters. Call the newspaper or television station and sign up for a tour, ask about shadowing a reporter and see whether you can meet with the hiring manager.
Although old-school journalism is evolving into a new multimedia environment, there will always be a need for careful, well-balanced, well-researched and nicely crafted reporting. What’s more, the Internet provides many tools to make the work of journalism easier. Consider your options and get to work pursuing your news reporting career.
It is not uncommon to hear a person say that they would like to become a writer. The desire typically is rooted in their enjoyment in performing the activity, which is a major requirement to be successful in this career path.
When making the commitment to write, it is important for the person to decide on what type of writing they prefer. There is a wide variety of genres as well as methods of delivering the completed works. Making these choices will aid in directing the individuals to their final goal.
Reading is vital to a serious writer. All subjects and reading materials should avidly be read. By reading, a person is performing many beneficial tasks including improving their own skills and gaining creative ideas. The more material that is read, the easier it becomes to understand what good and poor writing looks like.
To develop skill and knowledge, it is necessary for a hopeful to write constantly. The material can be added to a work in progress or something that is for personal use but the trick is to consistently produce something. An interested person is also well advised to participate in self-improvement methods. These may include receiving feedback on works, enrolling in courses, or finding a mentor.
Becoming a professional writer is not an easy process. A common principle that is applied to the term professional, regardless of field, is 10,000 hours. A person who has completed 10,000 hours in their field of practice has earned the title of professional.
Writers should be prepared for rejection. This should be viewed as a learning experience and not an obstacle. Take the editing information, improve the piece, and learn from it. Stay professional and never give up. This process, while frustrating and aggravating, provides essential information to a person on how to be successful. Due to the often emotional toll, it is highly recommended that a new writer have a support group which can be family or friends providing that little kick in the pants when a person needs it.
When planning on being published, it is advisable for a person to thoroughly research if a publishing house or private publishing is the best choice for their needs.
News is very important in today’s society. Companies use it to advertise their products and specials. Sports teams use the new to advertise their organization and gain fans who will purchase their products. Politicians use the news to send out political messages in order to gain popularity. Regular citizens will use it to know what is going on in their society. In the past, news was delivered predominantly through newspapers and on the television. In the future, this will change greatly.
Printing newspapers is very costly. Papers, ink jets, and trucks need to be purchased. The vehicles need lots of gar and sometimes need costly repairs. Employees need to be paid to deliver them to various locations. News on the television means millions of dollars need to spend on cameras, employees and buildings. Reporters need to rehearse themselves and spend lots of time to produce a small story. If the rating are down, they could easily lose their work positions. Also, certain types of stories are censored and would not be acceptable to put on the air.
The future of news will be far less costly and complex. Companies will have reporters and workers who put news onto the internet. They will simply type stories and take pictures that will be uploaded onto their website. The news will be transmitted onto the internet and cell phones in various locations. Any internet enabled device will be attached to the news. If citizens want paper copies of the articles, they can easily print it out onto paper that they have purchased with a printer that is their’s. If it is graphic, a link can be added that asks for someone to click a button to say that they are 18 years old or more. Video segments can easily be uploaded by using regular digital cameras. This will allow news to be delivered faster and be more current. There will be no delay between important events and when society is able to know about them.