Skip to main content
8 answers
8
Asked 682 views

I want to go into journalism but its not that encouraging from the things ive seen. Any advice on how to start from grade 11 to try and make that happen?

I love writing more than anything and I've always wanted to go into something that has to do with it. I have always liked spreading the word on recent events or social issues and I think journalism is the best way to do this. I would really like to pursue it in university but I've heard its really hard to find a job and I'm not exactly sure how to start from now. Unfortunately my high school doesn't have a paper or anything like that so I'm not sure where to go from there. I've heard its an extremely competitive industry so any ideas would be great or even any other career options ideas too would be greatly appreciated. I know there are things you can do with a journalism degree but I still have yet to learn about them. Any advice or info would help and thanks in advance. #journalism #english #writing #university #job

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

8

8 answers


0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

mitch’s Answer

I salute you for wanting to go into journalism, and can appreciate your love of writing. Words are a wonderful thing, aren't they?
It's unfortunate that there is no school paper. Right now, though, you can start searching for a college that has a good journalism/mass communications department (which will probably be found in the Department of Humanities). You can set a goal to qualify for and attend such a university or collect when you graduate. Select one that has stiff requirements, as well as one or two that are a little easier to get into, just in case. Obviously your grades and SAT or ACT scores will have a great deal to do with whether you can get into a particular college. Dedicate yourself to getting good grades now, while you still have time to have an effect on that aspect of college admission. I don't know how your grades are so far, but some colleges put a higher emphasis on the grades you achieve as a junior and senior in high school, than your earlier ones.
To qualify not only for higher education in this field, but for the career itself, take lots of classes that force you to write, and any advanced placement classes you can. Take classes like that which require essays, themes, reports and major papers. Not only will you get good writing practice (with the bonus of a free critique of your style by your teachers), but you will be forced to do research. So much of journalism involves not only the joy of writing out the story; it is good, solid research. Many writers, including many news writers these days, have forgotten how to do what it takes to nail down the facts and background of a story, and end up doing a lazy job of regurgitating what one biased new source spouts to them, instead of going more in depth.
Not only do you need classes that make you write, but don't hesitate to take grammar classes and honors English. Good grammar needs to become sort of second nature to you now, which will suit you well in your post-high school studies, and in whatever journalism career (and there are many) you choose to pursue. Journalism was very competitive when I was your age as well, since it was the time of the Watergate/Richard Nixon scandal, and it seemed that everyone wanted to be a reporter lake Woodward and Bernstein. But remember there's always room for the best prepared, clearest and most interesting writers.
It would be wonderful if you could seek out a job shadowing situation now while you are still in high school, even though you are inexperienced. If you offer to work for a newspaper, radio station or podcast doing anything (though it probably won't include writing), you will learn and absorb just from being around it, and seeing how the sausage is made, so to speak. You might even want to offer to shadow someone in a journalism, reporting or other writing job for no pay, on a part time basis.
When you get to college, keep your eyes and ears open for any opportunities to be an intern in any communications field. They are often posted on bulletin boards in the buildings where communications classes are taught, and online. You would gain tremendous experience, help find out what you are good at and what you enjoy, and possibly even get paid to do it.
Good luck.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for the great advice! Nada
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Lore’s Answer

For students like you who are deeply passionate about spreading the word on social issues, investigative journalism is an excellent option. ProPublica is the gold standard of investigative journalism:
https://www.propublica.org/

Materials from the Global Investigative Journalism Network can help you understand the important role investigative journalists play in modern society. Here is the group's website:
https://gijn.org/about/investigative-journalism-defining-the-craft/

This consortium offers a list of places to study investigative journalism:
https://ijec.org/north-america-programs/
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Don’s Answer

Hi Nada, that's exciting to hear -- the world needs more people passionate about journalism! As Warner said, it's not always a glamorous field, but it can be a rewarding one. And as you've heard, journalism is a field facing many challenges, as it continues to evolve from a print product to monetized online news. It has a ways to go.

The good news is, studying journalism in college will teach you vital skills useful in a number of other fields, including Corporate Communications, where my career took me after 10 years as a journalist. The ability to write, to tell clear, concise and compelling stories, is a very marketable one, and journalism is a great way to learn.

I'm sorry your school doesn't have a newspaper, but in the meantime, you have everything you need to get a jumpstart! Start a blog, a social media channel, or both. Learn to shoot and edit video. Take photos. And most importantly, read great reporting and writing.

I'll leave you with the advice I received once from my journalism hero, Mitch Albom: "Be patient. Be persistent. Be open to improvement. And be funny."

Best of luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much, I'll definetely try and branch out. Nada
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Brooke’s Answer

You are right. Journalism is a tough field and only getting tougher these days as newspapers continue to close or merge and cut staff and you see the same thing in broadcast groups.
Where journalists continue to have an impact is in hyper-local outlets. The challenge here is that salaries are very small.

However, there's more you can do with a journalism degree than just being a journalist. I was a newspaper reporter when I first graduated from college with a degree in journalism and political science. When my newspaper began to thin out staff and I was laid off, I looked for a new way to use my skills. I landed in a role at an innovative company working in corporate communications, specifically internal communications. In this role, I was still able to tell stories and interview subjects just like I did as a journalist, but now my audience was my colleagues within the company. I've gone on to become an internal communications lead at a large tech company. Here I've been able to learn about evolving technology while also sharing team member stories about innovation, work-life balance, and more.
Various businesses, government offices at all levels, and nonprofits need strong communicators to make their efforts successful. You can support any of them with a journalism degree. Just keep an open mind!
If your heart is set on a journalism career, begin networking now. Attend a journalism program at a university that is staffed by former journalists. They will have connections that can help you. Attend journalism conferences and symposiums where you can hear from journalists themselves about what they love about their work and the challenges they face. Talk to them after! Take writing samples and have your business cards to share with them. Better yet, have a business card that includes a link to your website of writing samples. Look for internships - even unpaid ones, which are most common in journalism. Build your collection of clips. Ask for constant feedback from your editors during your internship. Ask for examples of ways to improve. Always be writing and always be learning.
READ! Read everything - from books to websites to newspapers. Be aware of the news and continue to be informed. Think about how you would want to cover a story. Would it be different from how this journalist did it? Always ask questions and don't be afraid to ask hard questions. Don't stop trying.

Keep writing! Keep learning! Keep an open mind!
Good luck,
Brooke
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Cooper’s Answer

What a great question, and one I can truly relate to! Like you, I loved to write and be in-the-know about current events. After being on the student newspaper in high school (unfortunate you don't have one) I majored in journalism in college. I am now a lawyer, however; the skills I learned studying journalism are used everyday in my current law practice. Studying journalism teaches you to get to the heart of a situation quickly, write clearly and succinctly, and ask good questions. Most importantly, I think, it allows you to empathize with others and to truly put yourself and your readers in someone else's shoes. I can certainly understand your hesitation to go into the field, however. A lot of your sentiments are ones I also had. What I can tell you from my fellow students is that those who studied to be a journalist and now are working in the field were those who really truly were passionate about the work. Because it isn't always glamorous. It could mean small towns, moving a lot, weird hours and lack of respect. But if you want to tell people's stories and have a front seat to life--there isn't a better job in my opinion. A journalism degree or a minor can prepare you well for a number of careers. Law, higher education, politics, tech and of course anything writing heavy. For now, my advice would be to keep writing and try and involve yourself in any way you can in activities that help strengthen that skill. Also, don't count out a potential career field yet-- you are so young with lots to experience. I am excited for you! Keep asking good questions and seeking out advice!
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Colin’s Answer

Hi Nada

If you’re interested in journalism but don’t know where to start, I would suggest starting your own blog or posting articles on websites like Medium.com. That way you can get some good practice writing and doing research. Plus, you can focus on stories that you are passionate about and don’t have to worry about meeting deadlines or getting a certain amount of engagement.

Then in the future, you can use that blog as a portfolio to show future employers or find opportunities by connecting with your own audience. Even if you decide to go into a different field, starting a blog is a great way to demonstrate your knowledge on a particular subject or explore issues you’re passionate about.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Bruce’s Answer

There are many job sites online seeking freelance writers. Contena, Solidgigs, Problogger, Clearvoice, and others. The best way to jump into what you love is to put your words into the world and get feedback. Good luck with your aspirations.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Caitlin’s Answer

A journalism degree can parlay into a lot of various roles. I began my career in local news and eventually moved into internal communications with a specialty in technology and security messaging. My husband used his news career to shift into social media management and eventually marketing/communications. It's not quick, but if you look hard enough you can find roles.
0