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Since I want to become a journalist and I’m already writing stories to contribute to my schools newspaper/website what other classes should I take to help me become a successful journalist?

I want to become an excellent journalist in the future and I want to know what kind of classes I should take that would help me in collage and In the far future. #journalism #writing #writing-and-editing

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Brian P. D.’s Answer

Until you have decided what specific areas you want to cover as a journalist, the best thing to do is to take an array of courses that provide a broad education in all the subjects you find interesting. Politics, business, education, arts and culture, science, technology, and the judicial system are all topics that would benefit from entry-level classes. If you are interested in covering politics, for instance, take classes in civics and government. If you want to report on business, take classes in math, economics, and basic business practices. If you want to specialize in coverage of the environment, take classes in biology, chemistry and geology.

Obviously, any sort of computer course will be extremely helpful now and in the future. This is not only helpful for reporting about technology, but simply for the purpose of understanding how to share stories in a society that is becoming increasingly reliant on computers and mobile technology for exchanging information. In addition to social media, learn how to work with content management and internet publishing platforms such as WordPress and GoogleDocs, as well as graphic design, web design, page layout, and digital video, audio and photography programs and apps including Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, GIMP, and all the standard Microsoft Office programs including Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Excel. Many software tutorials are posted as videos online at YouTube and other sources that can be located with a quick Google search, and there are numerous lists of helpful software for journalists that can be found online.

Be sure to study history, which is as wide open as journalism in terms of focusing on anything you may want to cover as a reporter. History courses will help you understand why the world is the way it is now and how it became that way. You cannot fully share and explain stories about current events with your readers, listeners, or viewers unless you understand the background of your stories and how those situations and events came to be. This could mean studying the history of different time periods – ancient, early modern, or modern history – as well as the history of different geographic regions, from the history of the United States, Europe or the Middle East right down to the history of your own city or town. Studying the history of social and protest movements and figures, such as the Suffragette and Civil Rights movements and Ghandi’s nonviolent protests, will provide a better understanding of modern advocacy and civil disobedience groups such as Black Lives Matter, MoveOn.org, Occupy Wall Street, and MeToo.

In a related area, courses that teach the basics of philosophy would be helpful in understanding the norms of a civil society and, therefore, provide a good foundation for responsible journalism. (Many of today’s leaders in every profession could use a course in ethics.)

Also, studying a foreign language – any foreign language – will be an asset to you in future journalism jobs. The more people you can communicate with and understand, the more stories you can report.

Finally, learn how to type properly and not just peck at the keyboard with one or two fingers. The typing class I took in high school was one of the most valuable courses I ever had and still benefits my daily work as both a journalist and a college teacher.


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Tracy’s Answer

Take Public Speaking, it is a lifesaver and will help bolster your interviewing skills.

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Kruti’s Answer

study media and communications, English literature, political science, history, humanities
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