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Im only in 5th grade and I've decided to become a journalist as my future profession. Any tips?

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Abigail’s Answer

Hi Jahorul,

That's neat that you have a goal in mind at such a young age!

My aunt was a journalist for many years. She'd recommend that you can help prepare by reading the news a lot. When you do, try to break down how the writer shares the who, what, where, when, why in the story.

These days, newspapers are also working to share information and stories online via social media. As you get older, having a knowledge of how these other sites work and how journalists share information could be incredibly helpful!

Last bit of advice is of course to take advantage and start writing a lot! You have classes that focus on this, but you can take advantage of joining any school clubs that encourage student writing - for example if there is a yearbook club.

Best of luck!
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Sabrina’s Answer

I commend you, Jahorul, for thinking about your future profession at such a young age! It really shows a level of maturity and reflection that you should be proud of.

I'm glad you are considering journalism, it truly is a noble career path.

My first piece of advice is simple and may sound a bit too rudimentary, but it really cannot be stressed enough: Read.

At its root, journalism is about having command over language. Communication and captivation are keys to engaging with an audience and being the eyes and ears of the world. The best way to build your writing skills is to read. Make time everyday to read. The more you read, the better writer you will be.

As you continue to make that a part of your daily regiment, consider joining the school's newspaper if it exists at the schools you will be attending. This will be a great opportunity to see if reporting and being the main architect behind the stories people consume everyday is for you. While any reading is helpful, you should also get into reading journalistic work from a variety of sources. You'll get the hang of journalistic writing and learn about journalistic integrity.

Multimedia journalism is also very important in today's age, so don't shy away from video and audio. Practice shooting and editing, maybe listen to a podcast or radio channel that interests you, and think about the content you are most passionate about. There are infinite ways to make journalism fit to your likes and faculties. It is such a vast field and the best advice I could give you is to have fun with it and experiment. You will understand yourself better as you get older and it will get much easier to narrow down what side of journalism brings out your skillset and fulfills your purpose.
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halee’s Answer

Google will be your best friend. Use it to find [free] online courses and websites that focus on journalism as a career. Soak up as much knowledge now. You can also use social networks like LinkedIn or Twitter to find journalists you admire. Study how they go about crafting stories and use this information to perfect your own style and storytelling. Many of these individuals have their own websites that you can learn from too.
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Vanessa’s Answer

This is such a great question! If you haven't already, I'd suggest getting a journal where you can jot down your ideas and find a passion for what you like to write about. I graduated with BA in Journalism emphasis in Public Relations, but there are so many things you can do with this kind of degree. You can write books, news articles, blogs, press releases... the list just doesn't end. Take advantage of any creative writing courses and see if there is a way you can join your schools newspaper/newsletter (if you have one). I also encourage that you learn a new word every week. This could be a word that you hear and aren't sure of the meaning, or any random word straight out of the dictionary. This knowledge can help you become a more colorful writer in the future!
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m’s Answer

Write, write, write, and write some more.
Also, read every news article you can!
Start expanding your reading selection and seeing what types of language they use for different sections. You'll also want to start thinking about building a Portfolio. You may not use these same pieces when you graduate, but it's good practice to save and display your writing style for others to view. Be open to learning, and be curious - A good journalist is not only eloquent in words, but also open to possibility. Best of luck!
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halee’s Answer

- Get involved with activities like your school’s newspaper, yearbook, radio (like Youth Radio, link: https://yr.media/)
- If there isn’t a news club at your school, create one!
- Create a portfolio of your writing (website)
- Read a lot, write a lot- discover what you like
- See if you can get a subscription to news publications through your school or public library
- Job shadow a real journalist at your local newspaper or news station
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J.L.’s Answer

Hello. At your age, I knew I wanted to be a playwright. In 7th grade, I wanted to be an investigative reporter. By high school, I was back into the theater. I encourage you to explore all areas of writing first before deciding which is your favorite. Take creative writing courses, read newspapers, become involved with the school paper if they have one. If they don't, see if you can start one. Ask questions to people. This lets you learn interviewing skills. When you read a piece, whether its an article, story, whatever, ask yourself how you would have written it? Did the piece make you ask questions? Was it informative or not? Learning the little things like this will help you become a great writer no matter what area you chose to have your voice heard in. Good Luck, my fellow young writer.
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John’s Answer

Read, read, read and write, write, write.
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Tom’s Answer

Hello Jahorul! You asked a great question and I have a great answer for you. Besides the advice of the others on here...which is very accurate....I want to suggest you simply follow your other interests! Here's what I mean. There are journalists who write about all kinds of things. There are journalists who write about news, business, travel, sports, fashion, discoveries, money, hobbies, mysteries, ghosts, felt tip markers!!! WHAT?? I'll get to the markers in a minute.

So what really, really interests you? Maybe make a list of several things that interest you, and maybe update that list as you finish high school. What you are starting to do is to focus on a place where you can write about what you are most interested in. Let's pretend you are interested in tennis. There are all kinds of magazines/websites about tennis. Some are for consumers (probably like you and me) and some are for the industry of tennis (folks who make rackets, tennis balls, shoes, nets, etc.) Both of these need good writers.....and the more knowledgeable about tennis you were the better chance you have of landing a dream job someplace.

I came out of college as a plain old journalism major and wrote a lot of stories for a newspaper and radio station. It was mainly news stuff. But had I figured out then what I'm suggesting above, my life as a writer may have been much different.

Ok, the felt tip marker. There really are people who write stories about them. Usually these writers work for a trade magazine (like the tennis industry example above) which in this case might be a trade magazine about office supplies. My point is that there are a BAZILLION places journalists can work besides those on TV, online and in the newspaper. Take the English and writing courses the other folks mention, but also learn all you can about the things that interests you the most. Good luck. The world needs more 5th graders like you!!!! :)
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halee’s Answer

- Assigned writing prompts - write as much as possible, journaling and vlogging
- Join Write the World (link: https://www.writetheworld.com/for_young_writers) and submit your stories + hear from other journalists/writers
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