How to Become a Journalist
Journalism is the practice and profession where in you investigate into things and report them to the mass. It is a profession much in the demand right now and has opened career opportunities for many. The very fact that it caters to a broad audience requires a bit more than just standing there and saying anything you wish to. You have to be very careful and witty for being a journalist. You have to look out for what you have said and it is important that you have your facts right, because one wrong information to the public and then and there you can bid goodbye to your career. Journalism forms the backbone of the media industry.
Now media consists of so many varieties of things e.g. TV, news channels, movies, sports etc. The kind of journalist required depends upon which area you are working for. If you are working as a journalist for the TV media, then you have to be on your toes for all the gossip that you can gather about the soap opera stars. Same goes for the movie stars as well. A Page 3 journalist has tremendous name and fame among the stars and the people as well.
When you are catering to the people as a news journalist, there is some serious business to do. You have to be smart and intelligent and resourceful in gathering information about what’s going wrong where and then reach that place and communicate to the people through news channels about what has happened and how it has happened? Then again if you are a newspaper journalist and you are required to write down things in the form of articles and reports, then you need a good command over the language in which you are writing. You have to be precise, crisp and at the same time must not lose out on the information that you are supposed to give to the public.
In journalism, it is said that the 5 “Ws” are important which are who, what, where, when and why. Apart from just the technical knowledge of a particular incident, you also need to have the ability to presume why a thing happened. And that can happen only if you have sufficient knowledge about a subject matter about which you are reporting as a journalist. You have to be thorough with the local surroundings to be able to just go to any corner of it to deduce information.
There are many colleges which provide education and training to become a journalist and the popularity of such colleges are undoubted. Gone are the days when only doctor and engineer were the only recognized professions. Today journalism is equally popular and attractive career option because it gives an opportunity to communicate with a whole country at a time and people look up to you as well. The profile of a journalist is very interesting and presents you with new challenges every day. So if you are someone who likes taking challenges and bring out the best, then journalism is the career for you. Becoming a journalist can be a fun and rewarding job but of course, you need good education and a passion to work hard.
Journalism is a subject that cannot be specifically defined as something in particular. It generally is defined to be investigation, finding a lot of details, writing reports and all that is related to it. There are various types as well. There is photojournalism, documentary and editing. This is a profession to many, but a true passion to some. When it is a profession, you earn enough to live but, when it is passion you learn enough to make a living. A journalist can make a really good one if he loves the subject and what it teaches you.
Coming to journalism as a subject, there are several types or genres, you might say, of journalism. It basically depends of types of writing. There is Advocacy journalism which is writing to advocate or influence the opinions of the public on various issues. Then there is investigative journalism which requires the journalist to investigate further on a particular event and provide details of that investigation. Broadcast journalism is a genre where the news report is written to be broadcasted via the radio, television or the internet. There are several other genres like, citizen journalism, literature journalism, photojournalism etc. Information can be found these types in journalism reference books.
Journalism is a vast subject yet every aspect of this subject, be it for study or as a profession, follows certain ethics. A reporter needs to follow these ethics, but sadly all of them are not being followed. A reporter is required to be non bias at all times. He needs to keep emotions aside and only believe in making sure that the facts awaited by the people are given to them. Compassion and sympathy should be shown where it is required i.e. if you are interviewing someone in distress or if he is interviewing a child. These are a few ethics that should be followed by a journalist.
There is always a question in the minds of students as to the degree subjects they should take to make journalism as a profession. Should they take a degree course in journalism? Is a post graduate course necessary? Well, it has been suggested by journalists cum authors that you do not need to have a special education or take a degree course in journalism. It is better to take different subjects in their degree course along with journalism training. This opens a lot of doors in the future if you decide not to go ahead with journalism or some obstacles come your way.
Like I mentioned earlier, if journalism is your passion and you would like to study subjects like media law, the political implications of journalism and so on i.e. journalism in depth then you can always go ahead with degree and post graduation with journalism as your core subject. This will give you a lot of knowledge but a job in the journalism field will require a bit of experience. So as a journalism student you must try to do internships in any media field you would prefer, write a lot of articles and so on. Something that will give you experience your future endeavors. All in all journalism is a wonderful subject to study and an exciting profession to pursue.
The Need for Good Journalism
Journalism is a challenging field and to be a journalist is not an easy task. One needs the right skills to be a journalist. This article will highlight some of the facts for the need for good journalism and what are the skills that you need for journalism career.
You need to have talent as the journalism involves facing the camera, interviewing people and writing the content about a particular incident or event. Along with the right talent you need proper training which proves to be a stepping stone in career of journalism. The constant changes in the world and latest updates need to be conveyed to the viewers. Attending seminars and conferences with other journalist can help the journalist know more about the updates. You must need a degree from a reputed college can help you make your dream of being a journalist come true and you can utilize your knowledge in the field of journalism.
Education is must as proper education can help you face the challenges and gain knowledge as a journalist. A good mentor can also be of great help as you can get timely advice and taking decisions can be easy for a journalist. Apart from education you need experience in the field of journalism. Books can be of great help as reading books on journalism can give you detailed knowledge of past with articles and tips on different activities and moments. Books can help you get updates on advanced journalism. Books can reveal information about the happenings that you are not aware of regarding journalism.
The need for a good journalism is an important aspect which can affect society, people and entire world. Conveying the right message about a particular incidence, event or any other happening to the people is important. The qualities of a good journalist building good relationships with the sources available can help covering an incidence or a story easily. People avoid talking to reporters especially when it is a negative case like murder or any scandal, in such cases journalist should be able to assure them that the right information will be revealed.
The journalism can really be good and trustworthy if the journalist is good and honest enough to people. For example in a murder case if a person is giving some information about the murder incident and want to keep his/her identity hidden as it can lead him/her into trouble, in such cases journalist while writing the entire story should make sure that his/her identity should not be revealed. Writing skills really matter when we think of a good journalism as the content written is read by people across the globe and sending out right information is necessary. Journalist get news and information from different channels but filtering out and cross checking the information about facts and sources available is more important.
We need good journalist and good journalism to face our politicians. Cross checking the true facts and right sources are important and it is voice of common people so journalism needs to be good. We need journalist with the right approach. There have been many criticisms against journalism but we know journalism shows is like a mirror to happenings around the world. The media sometimes creates mess, can be wrong at times regarding the news and gossips are all around in such cases we can trust journalism for the accurate news and views. A good journalism can be an eye opener to all of us so supporting journalism can be beneficial to all of us.
Ever wondered what it takes to become a top-shot journalist. Is it only their passion that is the only ingredient of successful journalism, indeed it is the basic block but it takes much more to cover the Gulf War or sip “kahwa” in the Taliban camp. For those of you who are contemplating a career in journalism, like every other profession it requires that professional education, technical training, books on media theory and cultural studies, code of ethics, expert advice, competitive evaluation, a little bit of academic rigor and of course a good institute providing networking opportunities and legacy to capitalize on.
It was not until 1860’s that formal program for journalism education was introduced at Washington and Lee University, in Lexington, Virginia. It was only in the early 1900’s that major universities in the world started having a standard program for journalism studies.Today Journalism education is just not about books, theory or research, it is about competition, expression, professionalism, dedication, technicality, training, ethics and stretching your own boundaries.
When the question comes about the world’s best of “J-Schools”(Journalism Schools), it indeed has been a matter of great debate to agree upon centralized criteria to rank a College, but awards and decorations accumulated by the institutions definitely speaks highly of a school. Most importantly the quality of the graduates it produces helps keep the mantle high and reinforce the reputation for a long time in the industry. However it is regarded that the best Journalism-Schools in the world are in United States of America, a country renowned for its free and democratic press.
Like any other grad and post grad application to a top shot US university, a candidate has to write a competitive entrance test and spend hours of research on the application, personal essay and bag recommendations from people who matter. To name a few schools in the US that are regarded as the centers of excellence in Journalism education are, Columbia University’s Grad School of Journalism, Missouri School of Journalism, Madison School of Journalism and Communication, Medill School of Journalism, University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, University of North Carolina and UC Berkley Grad School of Journalism.
In Europe some of the prominent names that come are University of Kent’s Centre of Journalism established under the able leadership of ex-BBC chief editor Tim Luckhurst.Admission is very competitive and very high standards of academic rigor and and one-on-one teaching are maintained. Some of the other highly respected Schools in UK are School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University, University of Sheffield and London School of Journalism. Moreover Liverpool John Moores and Bournemouth have well-respected journalism courses. Shifting our attention towards the Australian continent, graduates and journalism fraternity themselves rate their institutions.
The top five journalism centers of education in Australia, based on alumni satisfaction ratings over recent years, are, Jschool Journalism College in Brisbane, University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, University of Western Sydney, Murdoch University in Western Australia and University of Technology in Sydney. If one is looking to do journalism studies in India, Asian College of Journalism, Chennai and Jamia Millia Islamia University are the top two names having produced ace journalists like Barkha Dutt who have made it big in the industry.
While it can be argued that some of the renowned journalists have shot to fame without any professional background but they had to stick it out “in the field” and had their “innate divine gift” to separate them from the mob. I am not at all saying that it’s the books alone that will only make you an ace journalist but it’s the educational experience, the people, the content, the legacy, the orientation that will broaden your world-view and give your journalism career the wings to embark on the exciting journey.
Title: A Look at Journalism Today
According to Wikipedia Journalism is the practice of investigation and reporting of events and issues to a wide spread audience. A look at Journalism today covers many Government Organizations, business institutions, cultural programmes, art, entertainment, sports etc. Journalists get education in various journalism field they are interested in. Newspaper and magazine features are composed by journalists who specialize in this form.
Lippmann described that journalism s role is of a translator between the public and politicians, the public cannot understand the complicated political issues. The journalist makes the information simple and passes it to the public. The journalist acts as a middle man.
Today is a jet age, Journalism today has taken a visual turn. Television journalism is leading in the market. Hundreds of channels being born with competition rates increasing and every news channel trying to make his channel forcefully accepted by the worldwide audience. Some channels are forcing their journalist to even manipulate the news, to catch an audience. Some of them exaggerate the scene. And there are many more non-acceptable schemes used by the media. But still Television media is ruling the
Newspaper and magazines are being read by few readers. Today s young generation depends on Television media. The news reaches the audience of the world very fast, but the news paper gets it covered on the next day. To build a market their newspaper editors are using different type of schemes of giving discount on the one year subscription plan. Journalism will never fade out because there is a need of some medium for news to travel.
Journalism courses are being carried out by many reputable schools and colleges. Many students are getting enrolled every year. If you search the internet you will find many colleges for getting an education in journalism. A journalist is taught his duties as a reporter. He should always be truthful and loyal to the citizens. His writing must be creative and interesting. He must write his feature in such a way that it grabs the reader s attention.
A book called The Elements of Journalism by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel is said to be
read by all the people connected to journalism. The Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Alex Jones in his book, Losing the News offers a probing look at the epochal changes sweeping the media. Author Glencoe McGraw-Hill in her book, Journalism Today provides students with instructions and tools to develop skills in journalistic media. It is a workbook which features writing assignment, to help students in a step to step writing process.
A journalist sometimes has to interact with sources, but has to keep the identity of the source confidential, according to an extension given in the freedom of press, giving a journalist a legal protection. Journalists who refuse to testify even when ordered by the court can be fined or jailed. Government has given many privileges to a journalist under freedom of press, journalists get access to public events, crime scenes, press conferences and take interviews of celebrities and politicians and big officials.
Journalism today is feeding the audience with its world wide information, reaching everyone in just seconds.
Have you considered a Career in Journalism?
In the era of growing need for information, journalism is a career option that many students are tending to opt for. This is a subject where students from any branch be it science, commerce or arts can make a fresh start in. The glamour quotient involved in broadcast journalism as well as the serious nature of print media, both in their own way attract people to pursue a career in journalism.
To make a strong foundation for a career in journalism the basic education degree that is required is the Bachelor of Mass Media (B.M.M.). It is a three year self-finance degree course that includes all the subjects related to the branches of mass media. In the third year of the course you can choose journalism as your specialization subject. The education course comprises of a 50 mark written test and 50 marks of project work for each semester. There are two semesters per year. For a post graduate degree in journalism you can do Masters in Mass Media (M.M.M.).
There are a number of interesting fields in journalism. Electronic journalism includes television talk shows, news telecasts as well as reporting or reading news bulletins on radio. Print journalism includes newspaper, magazines and tabloids. Here you can choose a career as either an editor or a reporter or as a column writer or even a correspondent writer. Apart from broadcast/electronic journalism and print journalism there are other fields such as photo journalism, radio jockeying, content writing and many more.
These fields require talented and energetic people who are confident and also of an extrovert nature as it is an important job criterion to mingle with the public so as to report the news. Curiosity and a thirst for information are very essential characteristics that a journalist needs to have. Along with the power a journalist holds in his hands comes a lot of responsibility. It is important that a journalist does not believe in hear say but does thorough investigation. Rumours and gossip are just a trivia that a serious journalist must avoid to maintain the dignity of journalism.
Some good books written on journalism are ‘A New Journalism’ by Tom Wolfe (1973), is a collection of examples of New Journalism by American writers, covering a variety of subjects from the light-hearted writings to the deadly serious efforts such as reports on the Vietnam War. ‘The Elements of Journalism’ by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel Crown (2001), ‘The Press’ by A. J. Liebling, ‘The News Business’ by John Chancellor and Walter R. Mears, ‘The Journalist and the Murderer’ by Janet Malcolm are some other books that are a very good read for aspiring journalists.
So if you have a good flair in writing and can ethically formulate an excellent news stories for the awareness of the public then journalism is the right career choice for you. To kick start your career in journalism, begin with internships in the field of your interest so that you can build your contacts. Sheer persistence and grit can move you forward in this fast paced profession.