Journalism is the art of presenting facts in an honest and unbiased manner to the people. Careers in journalism include reporter, copywriter, news anchor, columnist or even a video journalist. Whether you are working for print, television or online media, the duties are the same.
Journalist Job Description:
Depending on your role, you may be gathering the facts by interviewing people on a variety of subjects, or you may be writing copy for a publication or a television station. Journalists more often than not, are expected to work long hours. The ability to interact with people and cultivate sources is an asset. Journalists will be interacting with people, officials, and sources to build a story. Accuracy and the ability to meet deadlines are must for journalists. A journalist must have the ability to collect and compile facts. Journalists also attend events and news conferences. Verifying facts and statements is another important duty of journalists. Broadcast journalists are required to present the news live from locations. Depending on the nature of the job travel may be an essential part of the job description
Skills required of a journalist:
Time is of the essence in presenting news, and a journalist must be able to meet deadlines without missing accuracy. Good communication skills both oral and written, is necessary as the primary job of a journalist is communicating information. A general understanding of the happenings around you and a curiosity about what is happening is essential. The ability to look at the obvious and draw conclusions and the ability to come up with news stories is a definite plus. Multitasking and the ability to work independently or as a part of a team is also required. Familiarity with photography and videography equipment and editing skills are fast becoming a necessary qualification for journalists. Perseverance in following a lead to the end and an eye for detail are required. Several media houses have started insisting on a degree in journalism from aspiring journalists and some even several years of experience in the field.
The emerging online media requires additional skills for journalists to succeed. Grasp of online media and a keen understanding of social media is essential to achieve success. Knowledge of online production and web production programmes like HTML is required.
Employment opportunities in Journalism:
There are ample employment opportunities for a skilled journalist. Newspapers, Television stations, websites, magazines, radio stations all provide opportunities for journalists in various capacities such as a reporter or an editor. Freelance journalism opportunities are also available, but to sustain you may need to have contacts in the industry. There is ample scope for growth with a structured career path.
How to become a Journalist:
If you want to become a journalist, you should consider enrolling in a Bachelor’s Degree program. This will provide a solid foundation and impart essential skills like writing and editing. Enrol for internships to get a hands-on feel and gather invaluable experience. Build your contacts and hone your skills. With the acquired skills you can easily convince editors to hire you.