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How do I break into the media/journalism field as a non-art major?

My name is Paige and I'm a 2nd year Psychology student and I want to know what steps I should be taking to break into the journalism field. I feel like my major doesn't really offer many art based opportunities.

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Ritika’s Answer

To break into the media/journalism field as a non-art major like yourself, Paige, consider leveraging your psychology background as a unique perspective in storytelling and analysis. Start by gaining practical experience through internships or freelance writing for online publications, blogs, or campus newspapers. Build a strong portfolio showcasing your writing skills, research abilities, and critical thinking.

Network with professionals in the industry, attend journalism workshops or conferences, and consider taking courses or workshops in journalism or media studies to expand your knowledge and skills.

Remember that passion, dedication, and a willingness to learn and adapt are key to breaking into any field.

Warm wishes,
Ritika
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Brian P. D.’s Answer

Because of the diverse nature of news coverage (every and any topic can be news) there is no need for concern that you don't have the correct major. Whatever you are studying now or in the future can be applied somehow.

There are journalists who cover every area of society, including topics that you likely touch on every day in your psychology studies. You might be able to work as a reporter or editor on health care or mental health and other wellness topics. Or you could simply consider your understanding of psychology as good preparation for dealing with people, which is one of the primary requirements for any journalist or media professional.

To give yourself better general knowledge of media and journalism, get into the habit of reading as much news as you can. Check out a variety of sources and topics, from local, state and national newspapers to online-only publications to specialist publications or websites that have articles of interest to you and cover subjects you think might be interesting to cover as a journalist. No subject is too general or too specific to provide a benefit in some way. Read about psychology and politics and economics and and artificial intelligence and baseball and dogs. No subject is wrong if it helps you expand your understanding of the world, which is the basic idea behind all of journalism.

Look at your reading for the information provided, but also for tips on style and approach: How did the article open and end? How many quotes were used? Who or what were the sources used to inform the article? Was it meant to be a completely serious, straight news approach or was there any humor or a human interest angle used to bring the reader/listener/viewer into the topic? You can take valuable lessons from reading articles, listening to audio reports and watching videos that tackle many different topics from numerous angles.

As far as specific skills that can benefit you with an eye toward a media and journalism career, work on your writing and communication skills.

Writing will be necessary in any media form: if you go for print journalism (paper or online) you need to be a quality writer of articles of various lengths and forms. But also if you want to be involved in video and/or audio, you will need to write scripts and questions and other support materials. Being a good writer is key to all of this.

Being a good communicator is at the heart of being a good journalist or media professional. You will need to be in constant communication with others, whether interviewing someone for a story or just sending email queries to story subjects or messages to colleagues or asking questions on the phone. You need be able to get your ideas across while successfully drawing out information from others. Think about whether or not you are a strong communicator, verbally or in writing, and work to improve areas you think could be better. Are you a fast talker? Practice slowing it down. Are you shy? Practice opening up with friends and family. The more you work on the small things, the more effective you will be overall in your future career.

Remember, there is no right way to be a journalist or media professional, the same way there is no right or wrong major. It is such a wide field that you can take anything you already have learned and use it moving forward.
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Paige,

Research and Understand the Field of Journalism

To break into the media/journalism field as a non-art major like Psychology, it’s important to first research and understand the field of journalism. Journalism is a diverse field that encompasses various roles such as reporters, editors, producers, and more. It involves gathering, analyzing, and presenting information to the public through different mediums like print, broadcast, online platforms, etc.

Develop Relevant Skills

While your major may not be directly related to journalism, there are several transferable skills from psychology that can be valuable in journalism. Skills such as critical thinking, research abilities, effective communication, and understanding human behavior can be beneficial in the field of journalism. Additionally, consider taking courses or workshops in writing, media studies, or journalism to develop specific skills required in this field.

Gain Practical Experience

One of the best ways to break into journalism is by gaining practical experience. Look for opportunities to contribute to your college newspaper or local publications. You can also start a blog or create a portfolio showcasing your writing skills. Internships at media organizations or news outlets can provide valuable hands-on experience and help you build connections in the industry.

Network and Build Connections

Networking is crucial in any field, including journalism. Attend industry events, conferences, and workshops to meet professionals working in journalism. Building connections with journalists, editors, and other media professionals can open up opportunities for mentorship, internships, or even job offers in the future.

Create a Strong Portfolio

As a non-art major looking to break into journalism, having a strong portfolio of your work is essential. Include writing samples, articles you’ve written for your college paper or blog posts you’ve created. Your portfolio should showcase your writing style, research skills, and ability to tell compelling stories.

Consider Further Education

While not always necessary, pursuing further education in journalism or related fields can enhance your credentials and knowledge in the field. Consider enrolling in a postgraduate program in journalism or media studies to gain specialized training and access to industry resources.

Stay Informed and Adapt

The field of journalism is constantly evolving with advancements in technology and changes in audience preferences. Stay informed about current trends in media and adapt to new technologies and storytelling formats. Being adaptable and willing to learn new skills will make you more competitive in the field.

Top 3 Authoritative Sources Used:

Columbia Journalism Review: A reputable source for news and analysis on the media industry.
Poynter Institute: A leading organization dedicated to promoting excellence and integrity in journalism.
Journalism.co.uk: A trusted source for news and resources for journalists worldwide.

God Bless You!
JC.
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Joanne’s Answer

Paige,
Look at it this way. Everything you learn adds to your skills ans growth.
In talking about media and journalism, there are many avenues, from graphics to blogs. I am not sure what you are looking at,
AND
Psychology could become your niche- in creative ways as well, including art and music knowledge and the ability to convey that knowledge to others in terms of learning to relieve stress, combat loneliness, focus on joy.
Take some courses in the areas of communication that interest your, be it writing, photos, art, etc., and then, start following other professionals in fields that interest you.
Talk to your professors about a career in communication and how the skills you are learning can be placed in your career.
It is a big world out there with so many possibilities, and, who knows, you may create your own.
All the best. Joanne
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