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I'm planning to take journalism. I would like to get some insights of choosing it as a career

I would like to know about the following
- best place to study and practice it
-requirements/talents/priorities for taking it up as a full time career
-professional advice for the same journalism

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

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7 answers

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John’s Answer

Indhu, to become a journalist, you'll need a bachelor's degree in either journalism or communications. While completing your degree, you can choose to specialize in either print or broadcast journalism. Work experience, such as an internship with a media outlet, is important to help you secure a job in this field, which has become more competitive in recent years.

Journalists analyze and interpret facts and information about local, national and international events and report them to the public. Most journalists complete bachelor's degree programs to prepare for careers in either print or broadcast journalism. Work experience is important for aspiring journalists, so most degree programs include an internship.

Journalists, also referred to as reporters and correspondents, have bachelor's degrees in either communications or journalism. All journalism majors take courses in editing, journalistic ethics, reporting, feature writing, photojournalism and communications. Additional coursework is determined by whether a student is focusing on print or broadcast journalism. Students either take courses to strengthen their writing skills or to learn radio and television production techniques. Those concentrating in online media learn software and web design skills, as well as how to combine text with graphics, photo and video media. Undergraduate students also benefit from professional internships with media outlets, completed either during the summer or during the semester.

Job options in the journalism field include reporter, editor, anchor, producer and public relations specialist, to name a few. An undergraduate journalism degree is the minimum requirement for each of these positions. There is still a need for journalists to cover stories for newspapers as well as for the Internet, radio and television. Students can earn a bachelor's or master's degree in journalism; a bachelor's is sufficient for several entry-level positions in the field.

• PRINT JOURNALIST – Reporters, or correspondents, inform the public about news and events happening at the local, national, and international level. They can work for newspapers, magazines, websites, television, and radio. Journalism graduates are often hired by news outlets as reporters or staff writers. These jobs involve researching and interviewing people and writing stories on a deadline. Hours may extend beyond the normal workday, since reporters need to be in the right place at the right time.

Journalism graduates are often hired by newspapers as reporters or staff writers. These jobs involve researching and interviewing people and writing stories on a deadline. Hours may extend beyond the normal workday, since reporters need to be in the right place at the right time. Typically, these writers are assigned to projects by an editor, though they may also propose story ideas of their own. Many careers in the field of journalism require at least an undergraduate degree in journalism for entry-level positions. Earning a master's degree may be beneficial for future advancement in the field.

• BROADCAST JOURNALIST – Broadcast journalists may choose to be either newscasters or correspondents with radio and television news outlets, as well as on the Web. Newscasters are more commonly known as news anchors, who present and introduce news packages. Correspondents conduct research and deliver news reports from the field.

Budding journalists interested in radio and television may find satisfaction working in broadcasting. Journalism graduates may become hired in entry-level positions at TV and radio stations as assistant producers, reporters, news writers, correspondents or anchors. Other options include jobs as weather casters, sportscasters, assistant news directors and video editors; a graduate can sometimes also get a foot in the door through the sales and marketing departments. Graduates who have completed internships during or after college often have an advantage over other journalism majors when it comes to landing a job in broadcast journalism.

Indhu, a bachelor's degree combined with relevant work experience is the best path to landing a job in journalism. You can choose to focus on either print or broadcast journalism and develop specializations within those areas. Although there are fewer jobs now than in the past, training and experience in online media can improve your job prospects and help you build a career in journalism.

Hope this Was Helpful Indhu

Thank you so much Mr. John Frick. I am delighted to receive your answer. Indhu H.

You are Welcome Indhu, It was my Pleasure. Nothing is impossible, the word itself says “I’m possible”! John Frick

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Kristin’s Answer

Hello Indhu,
I was a journalism/communications major at Pepperdine University. I highly recommend it for that major for several reasons:
- It covers all facets of journalism from reporting, to producing to legal implications
- It has an entire building dedicated to it
- Not only do you have a great education in journalism, but the rest of the curriculum is challenging
- It has its own new station that goes out to local areas

If you decide not to go to Pepperdine, I would highly encourage you to find a college that has its own news station on campus. This was great for me because when I did my internship at the local Fox News in Chicago and then got a job at E! News later on, I already understood what it takes to create and run a show. I made sure in college to be talent, executive producer, camera person, editor, writer and even teleprompter so that I could understand everything during the production.

Once you study journalism in college and take as many internships as possible, I highly recommend doing smaller local news for a few years - gaining experience and getting promoted (hopefully) faster and then going to a large market - especially if you'd like to be on-air talent or an executive producer. We've had several successful on air-talent members from Pepperdine in my year and the previous year who made it big and they all started out at smaller affiliates. For example, Stephen Holt was a year older and he began his career at an NBC affiliate in Florida, then moved to NBC in Chicago and now he's a lead anchor in New York. Another classmate of mine did ABC news in Nevada and after about five years there was able to move to ABC Los Angeles as a top reporter. Smaller stations will allow you to gain more experience. Plus the opportunity for growth is better because there is less competition and you're not stuck doing only one job. You can wear many hats in a smaller company and branch out from there.

Hope that helps, best of luck in your journey!

Thank you so much Ms.Kristin Fowler. Thank you for wishing me in advance for my future promotions too! Indhu H.

You're welcome! Let me know if you have any further questions :) Kristin Fowler

Sure Ma'am 👍 Indhu H.

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Josh’s Answer

Hi Indhu,

If you're set on going to a journalism program, there are plenty that can help you get to where you want to go from undergraduate programs at Indiana, Arizona State, Georgia, Texas, Maryland and graduate programs such as Northwestern and Columbia. However, any journalism or communications program will ultimately help you because a career in journalism isn't necessarily about the education you get. It's about your experience. The more you can write or record (if you want to get into broadcast journalism), the more prepared you'll be coming out of college. You can get that type of experience in a variety of different places, from your school paper or TV station (or even radio station to help you get another skillset), or even the local paper or TV station. Internships are quite important but don't get caught up on trying to just get the biggest and best. Sometimes smaller internships allow you to do more which can help you in the long run because you'll get more experience. My advice: write, write, write and read, read, read. The more you can do of both of those, the better.

Another route to go in college is to freelance as much as you can. It not only gives you more opportunities to write, it can help you meet editors and reporters who can assist you down the road.

The best advice I can give you about becoming a journalist is this: Be vigilant in getting your facts right. Make sure names are spelled correctly. Make sure you get the 5 Ws - who, what, where, when and why. And also the "how." Also, be curious. Ask as many questions as you want. Everyone has a story. Go find it.
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John’s Answer

Hi Indhu, in my experience I've found that your degree matters very little with getting a job in journalism, provided you have the hands-on experience to give you the skills you need to succeed in journalism. I worked for several newspapers, and my bachelor's degrees are in political science and linguistics - I've had no formal journalism schooling. However, I made sure during my college career to work at the campus paper and do internships at online news outlets. I also kept up with the latest digital news media trends and networked with professional journalists (joining the Society of Professional Journalists is a wonderful networking move). Also, don't be afraid to start off small at a local newspaper or local news media website - the skills you acquire, the stories you report on, and the connections you make will be invaluable in moving to larger outlets later on. In fact, I encourage starting small because you're more likely to be a general assignment reporter. Reporting on anything from local government to courts to lifestyle to sports on a daily basis gave me a solid foundation to work from and opened up many career options for me. Best of luck!
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Clarissa’s Answer

If you are looking for the schools with the best journalism programs, Columbia, Northwestern and University of Missouri are considered the best of the best. One other school that has recently emerged at the top is Arizona State. It also depends what kind of journalism you are wanting to study. Ohio University is considered fantastic for photojournalism while Syracuse and USC are considered elite for TV journalism.

When looking at careers in journalism, I highly recommend looking into online news organizations as I believe they are the future of journalism. There have been a few niche online news companies popping up over the past 5-10 years that are really great. I would find your passion whether it be education, crime, health etc and then find a news organization that focuses on that topic.
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Shivani’s Answer

Hi Indhu,

I was a STEM major in undergrad, but ended up working as a journalist for my university newspaper. I had no intention in going into journalism, but throughout my college experience I realized the lack of communication between the science community and general public. I became a science reporter!

The advice I offer is to join a class, club or university paper that allows you to practice writing articles. But most importantly, try to accept assignments that are OUTSIDE your comfort zone. This is where you learn the most about different styles of journalism. Push yourself to explore and research topics that you would have not considered doing. For example, I was a chemistry major but I ended up publishing articles in animal biology, computer science and geology. It was challenging but I learned how to effectively report the information!

Hope this helps

Thank you so much Ms. Shivani Kamal. The answer gave me an interesting perspective towards gaining experience and sounds like something I must try. Indhu H.

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Rob’s Answer

Hi Indhu, I majored in Journalism at San Jose State and worked in the field for a few years before I decided I needed to move in a different direction. Now I'm senior program manager focused on executive communications for a Senior Vice President at Cisco. Quite different from working at a daily newspaper -- but equally rewarding!!

A few points I would make:
-- I don't think the school you attend makes that much difference in terms of "name recognition." I started at West Valley College, transferred to Pepperdine University and graduated from San Jose State. All great schools -- and there are MANY more. The key is that you need to go to school somewhere where you can direct hands-on experience (as much as possible). Write A LOT, as much as you can. Learn about editing, page layout, the printing process. Learn all you can and do as much as you can. Make sure that whatever school you choose will help you in that direction.
-- There are a variety of talents you need but two that I think are most important: An incredible sense of curiosity (the old joke about the young child who keeps on asking Why? Why? Why? -- that should be you!) and a tremendous, unquestioned, insatiable desire to write.
-- My professional advice is to be willing to start small. Most likely, that's the path you'll have to take but don't be discouraged. Get your foot in the door. Start working somewhere where you get a lot of experience with those areas I mentioned earlier. The more writing, the better! You need samples to show your work and that's how you will create those outstanding work samples.

Hope this helps.

Best of luck,


Thank you Mr. Rob Gibbany for bringing out the talents I must possess while persuing journalism. I found the comment quite interesting. Indhu H.