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which cource should i take after 10th to become a journalist?

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James C.’s Answer

Hi Varshitha,

If you attend a high school that has a journalism program with courses tied to the area you'd like to pursue (TV, Radio, writing/digital media), that would be the most direct path. If this isn't an option, a couple of alternatives would be taking English and/or literature classes if your focus is on writing.

You should also look into programs away from school. There are different organizations -- perhaps a local newspaper/TV station/radio station or professional journalism groups that -- oversee student projects.

Whatever your area focus, you should constantly work on your craft. If you want to write, practice writing stories and columns relating to current events. If you're looking to work in front of the camera or on radio, do practice recordings and go back to watch and/or listen to yourself. Have others critique your work.

One thing to remember: There are so many job roles and opportunities in this business (just like any field). My answer centered around talent positions (writers/reporters, TV anchors, radio hosts) but there are a ton of behind-the-scene roles (editors and producers -- the people who help shape the stories and coverage you see on TV and on websites). Scrutinize your desires and talents -- is your focus on reporting/delivering the news or helping shape it from a planning perspective? Either way, it would help to find mentors in the industry who can help guide your path.

Best wishes.
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David’s Answer

Hello Varshitha:

A journalist must be able to think critically and communicate effectively verbally and in writing.

Any courses that help you develop those skills will be valuable to you as a journalist. For example, courses in the social sciences tend to require reading a variety of materials, analyzing them and presenting your analysis in an essay; same with courses focused on the humanities. Sciences tend to reinforce critical thinking skills and are also valuable.

Additionally, it's is useful for a journalist to have a broad an education as possible... you want to be exposed to many different subjects to help develop critical thinking stills along a variety of areas—everything, say, from biology to literary analysis. The more you understand and the broader your education, the more effective you are likely to be as a journalist.

For example, I worked in journalism for many years but I've never taken a single journalism course in my life. I pursued a liberal arts education, honing my ability to think critically and communicate effectively, and learned "the ropes" of day-to-day journalism working in newsrooms.

Any good editor can teach you the nuts-and-bolts of journalism. What she/he cannot teach you is to think, ask questions, analyze data and present it coherently orally in written form. Learn those skills in school and you'll be in strong shape for a career in journalism.

Good luck.
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Diarmait’s Answer

You could take any degree in theory and become a journalist on that topic, but I would think areas like literature, politics, history would be good general areas to cover along with an actual journalism related degree. I know people who did journalism degrees (in Ireland) and become sports journalist as that was their passion and other folks who studied classics and moved in journalism. So i think there are probably multiple paths as well as the obvious "journalism" course route.
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Donald’s Answer

I agree with David Eaton's comments with a few distinctions for students who want to work in multimedia, broadcasting, or television journalism. A liberal arts education is necessary, yes, for all journalists. But here's the caveat: The multimedia journalism student needs to learn the technical side of the business at the same time. Now the technical questions start popping up. Are you interested in graphic design, computer-aided journalism, or data journalism? Are you interested in working in social media? Are you prepared for digital journalism on a website or blog? Do you want to be a radio or television journalist? For TV, it helps to have an interest in filmmmaking or videography. For a podcast, you need to have a great sense of sound and all things radio. You should be able to edit audio or video interviews. You may even need to build your own home studio. My experience has taught me that you really need to learn the technical skills as early as possible (and then keep up with the technology) so that you have a chance to be successful as a multimedia journalist.
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Allan’s Answer

Hi Varshitha. I agree with the answers you received. Liberal arts is important for the opportunity it provides to develop critical thinking skills, learn about people and the world, and develop writing skills. I think it is also helpful to study social sciences like economics and sociology for much the same reason. Consider also learning skills in data analysis and statistics. Data journalism -- investigative reporting based on analyzing data -- is growing in importance. Understanding the use (and misuse) of statistics will make your reporting better when you need to make sense of numbers. Some people know what area of journalism they want to pursue -- political reporting, international reporting, sports reporting. If you are not sure, explore subjects and be open to new fields. I never expected to work in business and technology journalism when I majored in history. But I found many opportunities and have had a rewarding career in this area, because I was open minded about exploring a new field. They don't offer classes in curiosity in school, but curiosity will open doors in this field. Good luck!
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