I have always wanted to be a journalist, but with all the controversy over the news and the lack of interest towards newspapers, how do I know if I'm making the right choice? How much money will I make? Will it be enough to support myself? I'm worried that I'm making a bad choice by pursuing English and Journalism. Am I making a mistake if this is what I have loved to do and wanted my whole life? #journalism #english #news #writing
I'm a Data Journalist, which is a type of journalist that both does reporting and writing but also analyzes data, crunches numbers, and knows how to write computer programs. The skills that a data journalist has these days are in high demand in other fields as well, and those additional skills can provide an additional sense of security in terms of being able to support yourself. Its also a lot of fun to extend the art of storytelling to the web through things like interactive data visualizations. There are journalism schools that will also give you some training in data and programming as part of your journalism education. Furthermore, if you build out a diverse skillset in journalism during your years in school including video, audio, writing, etc...those skills will extend to other fields as well.
Hope that helps!
Compared to, say, an engineer just starting out at $80k/year+, you will find work as a journalist will be lower-paid. A good place to start is at a smaller paper in an area where the cost of living isn't so high. You may haver to settle for a salary in the high 20s/low 30s. Get your experience, gain some clips (samples of your work that have been published) and then you can start climbing up the income ladder. Don't forget many companies need writers -- it's not only newspapers that need journalists!
But while in school it's important to get as rounded an education as possible. Minor in journalism, but major in the social sciences and/or English. Employers want to know that you know more than just how to construct a good story.