Is it better to study journalism/communications or Academic subjects to become a Journalist?
So basically, the dilemma here is that I have recently decided to try to become a journalist, and I was wondering if it would be better to do an academic university degree (e.g. international relations, politics etc.) to build a broad foundation of knowledge and then transition to journalism, or to directly study journalism/ communications in order to equip myself with the skills/ techniques required for journalism? Any help would be very much appreciated!
#july20 #journalism #communications #reporting #internationalrelations #politics #academicVSvocational #career
Great question! A lot of what everyone said is definitely great advice. I would also suggest on not only relaying on school and college groups, but getting an internships that will immerse you in areas that you like, but also need to learn. Internships outside of school, offer a lot more opportunities and knowledge then some classes can. Also, they are a great way to network and prep you for the business world. A lot of people who get internships at certain stations, companies etc are 80% more likely to get hired back once they graduate. Especially if you made a good impression and willing to learn.
Hope this helps!
There are several types of journalism, and it really depends on multiple factors. One thing to consider is: are you interested in political and global affairs? If you were to imagine yourself as a journalist, would reporting on world/political affairs be your preference?
A degree in International Relations would not only help with a career in journalism, but could also help with careers in the government, education and even in the non-profit sector. On the other hand, a degree in Journalism would open up a career for you to be any kind of journalist you'd like to be. No subject would be off limits: sports, fashion, business, food etc.
However, having said this, if your heart is set on you becoming a journalist, you'll get there with a degree in either of the above fields!
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Great question, thank you for asking. I would agree with those who recommend studying both. I wanted to be a broadcast journalist so majored in broadcasting with double minors in journalism and political science. I decided having that additional academic background in poli sci was critical after listening to so many of my classmates who were planning to be reporting the news with absolutely no understanding of how our government works (of course, if you are interested in sports reporting, I would recommend separate studies in that field). I highly recommend additional studies in whatever your area of journalistic interest so you are able to represent yourself as a credible source as well as know enough to ask the right questions.
The best thing you can do to become a professional journalist is to study the fundamentals, get real-world experience (have you joined your school newspaper? Start today if you haven't!), and to have a broad and well-rounded knowledge base. As a journalist you'll likely be covering stories in a variety topics, so having a business, marketing or other minor is a great career strategy.
There isn't a strict recipe for success in the field. There are tons of great journalists who didn't major in Journalism, so the best advice I can give is to find an area of study you're deeply interested in and passionate about.
So choosing a journalism course will help you understand the various facets of this industry and help you better understand where you want to work.
Journalism or communications courses today are probably not what they were like a couple of decades ago. I joined a communications course because (in my own words) I liked "words/writing" . What I *did* learn is what aspects I enjoyed or didn't (eg I didn't enjoy the tediousness of broadcast/television journalism) and then majored in public relations. I still think my internship at a PR consultancy was one of the most valuable courses in my whole uni career because I realised that one needs to very quickly translate the technicalities to action and very quickly get up to speed on different subject matters (eg financial journalism, aviation/tourism, technology, etc). That's your major challenge .
Having said that - while not all journalists have a journalism degree, they ALL keep practicing and honing their writing skills. Regardless of the platform they publish on.