Monthly Archives: October 2014

Opening Up The Doors For A Journalism Career

These days, many people would want to get a journalism career because they feel that it is the easiest way to earn money. Some even think that this could be their gate to fame while others believe that nothing could be easier than this. No matter what your reason is, it would still be best to consider carefully your options so you won’t regret it in the end.

Paving the way

As an industry, journalism itself can be tough on those aspiring ones. Why? because this is a demanding job that only the “tough” ones are able to handle. Experts say that aspirants who are not tough enough to meet the demands of this strict industry should be thinking twice to even consider it. This is because the industry doesn’t only require one to have the superior skills in writing but would also require one to meet certain challenges for a paltry pay.

If you still want to have a journalism career despite all its pitfalls, here are some of the things that you need to do to open up the doors for the industry:

1. Find a good school and get a journalism degree. These days, students who were able to finish a journalism degree in reputable schools have greater advantages of getting a journalism career compared to those who did not. This is because the training that one gets in a journalism school may be enough to be qualified for the job and if he or she was able to finish a degree, chances are, he or she will be the topmost considerations when an employer accepts for the job. If you really want to land on a journalism job, it is best if you finish a journalism degree in school because here, you will learn not only the basic such as writing and editing but other aspects of media as well such as layout design, photography, and even desktop publishing.

2. Take an active role in the school paper. While in college, it is best to find a training ground for your future career. In journalism, the best training ground would be the school paper because here, you will be allowed to write for publication. You will also have the chance to experience all the things that happen in the real world or journalism such as beating deadlines and your work getting edited by the editor. If you can’t write for the college paper, find other venues where you can get your articles published such as the community paper, the college magazine, the school’s literary folio, the yearbook, and even an online publication where other students can access it and read your works.

3. Establish a good relationship with your journalism professors and even internship superiors. If you have a network in the journalism industry, it will be easier for you to launch a journalism career in the future. If you were able to establish a good-natured relationship with your professors who are media practitioners, they can help you land on a job in their current publication once you graduate. If not, they can recommend you to other editors they know and if you pass all the tests and the requirements, you might even get the job in the publication.

Your internship supervisors can also do the same job as your professors. All you need to do is to keep in touch and keep them updated about your life.

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Knowing If A Journalism Career Is Right For You

If you are eyeing for a journalism career just because of fame or money, you should know first if this is really the profession that would suit you. You can do this by conducting a simple research on how it is like to be a journalist. Try surfing the Internet for articles that are written by journalists themselves and find out their personal accounts on the profession.

These are the best articles that you should read when considering a journalism career because you will have an idea how it is like when they were starting. You will also get some tips from them in terms of applying or even writing for a certain publication. Aside from that, you can also get realizations from their personal experiences.

Real journalism world

Although a journalism career opens a lot of doors and opportunities like getting into different places and meeting people from all walks of life, some people—especially those who are not really cut out for it—might find these realizations a turn off:

1. There’s really no money. If you want to get rich, then a journalism career should be the least option that you should have in mind. Why? because writing as a profession does not really pay that much ever since. Imagine this, you will be writing several articles in one day only to find out that you have spent more time and money that what the company pays you for. Although some big newspaper companies give other journalists better pay, it is not always the case in medium-sized publications. So, if you are looking forward to great pay when you enter a journalism career, dream on.

2. Less room for promotion. Once you enter a journalism career, it is best to give up your hopes for any promotion. This is because unlike in other industries where there are so many stages and levels to get to the top, there is really no room for promotion in a journalism career. Here, you only have two options—being a journalist or a reporter on the field and being an editor who stays in the office and sits on a desk editing works and articles. Since writing does not have age limit, the only room for promotion that one has is if the editor left the position and transferred to another company or section or if the editor dies of old age!

3. Your life could be in danger. Journalists—especially the hard-hitting ones or those in the field at all times—have their lives at risk because of their job. If you feel that you are not the type of person who would be willing to sacrifice his or her life for the sake of truth and to bring people the news no matter what would it cost you, it’s time to cross out a journalism career from your options as early as now.

4. Prone to humiliation from editors. If you are not the type of person who have high tolerance for criticism in your works, then stop dreaming for a career in journalism. Why? because many editors could be hard on new writers because they feel that they have so much to learn. Many editors are hard on writers especially on their works because they feel that this is the best way to motivate them. For many, this strictness works but not on all cases especially if the person is not tough enough for a serious job.

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Jumpstart A Journalism Career

A journalism career is perhaps the coolest job there is. You get to try out new things and go on exotic locations while still doing your job and yeah also get paid for it. This is especially true if you have already established your name either in the daily newspapers or in the television. You have access to the coolest events in the metro and even get trips and freebies.

But while this seems cool, it also involves a lot of hard work. It is not easy being a journalist. Besides getting the appropriate education for it, you also need to update your skills every now and then just to keep up with the changing face of media. And before you can actually become a news anchor or even an editor, you need to first climb the media ladder and work your ass off even on weekends.

All the sacrifice is however worth it. Those at the top of their journalism careers will surely have all the privileges plus the less amount of work. After all, news anchors just report the news from an idiot board. They do not go out and gather the news. Their underlings, the news reporters are the ones who do the back breaking work.

If that is the case, what if you are not willing to do the work? What if you want the good life without going through the hard life? Is there a way for you to make everything easier and jumpstart a journalism career?

There is none. If you want to make it, you have to be prepared to work hard but this does not mean that you cannot do some things that will make the hard work a little bit easier. Below are some things that you can do to get some shortcuts for your career.

1. Know the right people
Knowing the right people will help open doors of opportunities for you. Of course, you cannot just rely on your connections to make your career flourish. You also need the talent, the experience and the hard work. Connections are only there to help you get past the front door and get an interview. After that, you have to do your own thing and make sure that you impress the big bosses.

2. Develop yourself
Studying does not end the moment that you got your degree. Learning is a continuous process and if you want to get ahead of the game and gain an advantage over other journalists who are also looking to further their careers, you need to constantly develop yourself. Besides, media is forever changing and you need to be up to date if you want to be on top.

3. Promote yourself
Doing the hard work will come to nothing if nobody knows that you are doing it. You also need to at least promote yourself and make sure that your bosses know that you are doing such a great job. Finding the balance between letting them know what you have done without really appearing to be bragging is the key to getting that much needed promotion.

In closing, remember that it is important that you also work hard. No success comes so easily. But by doing the three things that we have enumerated, you will at least make your climb to the top of your journalism career a little easier.

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Journalism Career In Broadcasting

If you are one of those who are eyeing for a journalism career but don’t know where and how to start, then now is the best time to reflect on your options and what you really want. Knowing how much do you really want a journalism career would help you realize all the things that you need to do and endure just for you to land on a certain job.

Journalism career would require the aspirant to be qualified for the job. In terms of qualification, the first thing that editors look for is the skills of the applicant in terms of writing for the newspaper industry and for the broadcast industry, the voice and the good register of the applicant’s face while on camera. For some editors, if the applicant has superiors writing skills or good projection skills, he or she is qualified for the job since this is the very basic thing that person would be doing.

Second consideration would be the credentials of the applicant. Credentials include a journalism degree from a reputable school or in the case of those who have previous journalism experience, the length of years they have been in the industry. This is of utmost consideration to some employers because this will help them gauge the skills of the applicant as well as his or her capability.

Broadcast journalism

Many people are dreaming of a journalism career in broadcasting because they will have instant access to fame. Why? imagine how popular can you get if people will be seeing your face everyday when reporting for news or specific story.

Although broadcast journalism has its perks, it also requires a lot of effort to be able to stay long in the business. To ensure that you will be doing the right thing once you are given the break in a journalism career for broadcasting, consider the following tips when on air:

1. Try to find a way to talk to people not in-groups but as separate individuals. Knowing that people would be seeing them simultaneously, broadcast journalists tend to speak to their audience in-groups. When this happens, there is a tendency to be monotone and boring. The best tip when on air is to speak to an audience like how you do it with your family members or friends.

2. Try to see your audience face in the eyes of your mind. Since you are pretending to talk to a huge number of people that are not really there, the best thing that you can do is keep an image of one person on your mind. Speak to that person according to his or her expected reaction because chances are this would be the same reaction that you will be getting from the majority of your audience.

3. Maintain eye contact. This can be hard to do in broadcast journalism but people who are aspiring for a journalism career in this field should master this. Occasional eye contact if very important because this will make your audience feel that you are talking not on a random number of people but to him or her directly. When airing, practice eye contact to the persons in that room which can either be the cameraman, the director, or even the sound engineer.

This is important so you won’t lose focus knowing that there’s really nobody there that you are talking to.

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Interview For A Journalism Career

Once you have finally decided that a journalism career is the career path the you would want to take, then you should start preparing your credentials and sample works as early as now. This is very important because your credentials will serve as your greatest “backer” in applying for any position in the field of journalism.

By this time, you should also be applying for various media outfits and hope that some of then would respond soon. And when that time comes, there will be nothing left for you but to prepare for the interview.

Paying attention to the interview part

To most employers, the interview part is very important because this will help them determine if the person they are about to accept is not only qualified for the job but can also follow the company’s regulations as well. Here are some tips that can help aspirants to achieve that most-coveted journalism career:

1. Try to find a way to sell yourself to the interviewer. Usually, editors are the hardest people to sell yourself to during the interview because they feel that your article would say everything about you. But since it is necessary, they don’t have a choice but to conduct it to applicants themselves. If you are scheduled to be interviewed by the editor, make sure that you don’t waste his or her time by being straight to the point. You can discreetly sell your good points without being too obnoxious. You can mention a few of your good qualities such as your diligence or even resourcefulness in making articles and mention examples right away.

2. Take time to research about the company. If you have knowledge about the company prior to the interview, then you will have an idea how things work there. Before the scheduled interview, you can get copies of the articles that were published and review them. By doing this, you will be familiar with its readers and the type of articles and stories that are being published.

3. Show your interest in the company. You can do this by asking if there are training for new reporters and how is the advancement works. If you inquire about these, the interviewee will think that you are interested to learn and you have intentions of staying in the company for a long time.

4. Prepare explanations for your sample works. More often than not, interviewees ask about the sample works of the applicants. Although it is not a common practice to ask for an explanation about those sample pieces, there are those who do that to test how prepared the applicant is for the journalism career ahead of him or her. For you not to miss this chance, make sure that you choose the best sample works you have and prepare an explanation for these days before the interview take place.

5. Keep your humor. If the interviewer has a good sense of humor, try to ride with it and be a good sport. Most of the interviewers tend to be difficult to push the applicants to the wall. They feel that this is the best training one could get if he or she is looking forward to a journalism career. If you encounter these types of interviewer, always keep your emotions low and think that there’s really nothing personal about it.

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How To Start A Journalism Career

Journalism is perhaps one career that pays lucratively right now, that is if you are one of those popular news anchors who define what we need to hear and know every morning or evening. The same also goes with editors of magazines and daily newspapers who help shape the opinions and needs of people. This is how powerful journalists can be. Well, those at the top of the food chain are.

Journalists who are however still starting out cannot look forward to the same paycheck. In fact, some journalists even take on extra odd jobs just to be able to make both ends meet. This career is actually a lot like being a movie star in terms of the pay. Salary gets higher as you climb the career ladder and ironically, when you are on the top you don’t even need the cash because everything will virtually be given free to you- freebies, foreign trips, events.

But you don’t get that high salary cap in just a flick of the hands. Journalism is hard work and you need to realize that before you really decide to get into it. Behind the glamour is work that needs dedication and commitment. And you need to get that in your head. Otherwise, you will only make it harder for yourself because of really high expectations which will only end up disappointing you. This is perhaps the first thing that you really need to do before you embark in a journalism career.

The second thing that you have to do is to examine your talents and then your skills to see if they suit the profession. A journalism career will involve a talent in writing and in interviewing, if you are getting into the daily newspapers and in hosting and broadcasting if you are aiming for television. When you go further in your career, you also need to develop the aesthetics for layout and formatting of shows for broadcast. You will need that as you climb the media ladder.

If you have the skills then the next stop is to gain the experience and the education for the job. You can do this by checking schools for degree programs and trainings on writing and interviewing. Colleges also offer courses on media and journalism. As for the experience, there are media companies that are offering internships and on job training for young professionals and students. Of course, getting into one will need some work but if you have the education and the skill, you can certainly get into the program.

When you have done all these things, then you can apply for a real job in media companies. Newbies often start as editorial assistants or news reporters. This becomes their stepping stone to a bigger and better position in the news organization or media outfit.

Getting a proper job will ensure that you will have better training. Having one will also give you the responsibilities and will expose you to the real world of journalism. That way, you can learn first hand what goes on behind the scenes.

What is great about a career in journalism is the fact that you can enjoy while working. Thus, work will not feel like work. You may not notice it but time will fly and you will find yourself eventually in a higher position.

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How To Start A Career In Broadcast Journalism

Looking at how cool their job is hosting on television and delivering the daily news each morning, a lot of people right now dream of becoming broadcast journalists. And who would not want to have a career in journalism? They basically have the coolest job in the planet. They are given access to the most exclusive of parties in the metro.

They talk with celebrities like they are long lost friends. They get to be on TV and get the perks of traveling and partying. They even sometimes get freebies and gifts from the events that attend. And all these they do while getting paid for doing their job!

But as glamorous as a journalism career is, it’s not all sweetness and light. In fact, when you really think about it, it can be such a bummer to go to parties and not be able to do just that, party. After all, you need to work. And I tell you, it’s not east work. Before a journalist can come up with an article or a report for broadcast, they must first interview a lot of people, they have to verify their sources and gather facts.

After that, they need to weave all those information into one beautiful and interesting article that is not boring despite all the facts that are in it. The article should not be something that one can read from the encyclopedia or from an advertorial. It must be written in such a way that is refreshing and inviting to the readers.

To do that, you need to be an exceptionally great writer. Notice that I did not use the word good, I used great. A great writing skill is needed to at least get your message across in the most creative and fun way. It can be crazy but still be comprehensible. In fact, what people call crazy may be something that is interesting to read and therefore will get more attention.

Of course, beyond the style, you also need to be able to write it well meaning with straight English and no grammatical error. That means that you also need to be well verse in the rules of English grammar. Aside from this, you also need to be able to write the article in such a way that is logical, coherent and factual. You cannot just write anything without basis. If you want to build a credible name in the industry, you need to ensure that you write only the truth and the verified.

Another important reminder in getting a career in journalism is to always be updated with the new and the fresh. You need to ensure that you are in close tabs with what is happening with the rest of the world. After all, journalists are expected to always be the first to know about the latest. How can they report it when they are the last to know?

But the latest information is not the only thing that you should be updated with. You also need to update yourself with the latest in the field. For instance, right now, online journalism is pretty big in the country. As a journalist, you also might want to update your skills in these areas so that when a big shift comes, you are well prepared for it.

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How Important is a degree for a Journalism Career

Before, many people enter journalism career without having to finish a degree on it. But now, industries are tougher that is why credentials when applying for a journalism career are somehow of utmost importance.

Many would say that if one has the innate skills in writing, there is no more need to finish a degree in journalism. This might be true before but now that the times have changed, getting a degree in journalism can be the best advantage one could have compared to the rest.

Finishing a degree in journalism does not only gives one the best credential to back him or her when applying for a position in a newspaper or certain publication but it can also help the person a lot in terms of growing and in enhancing his or her skills.

How? When one enrolls to a journalism school, all the subjects that would be taught would be about the industry and the writing as a craft itself. Here, specialized classes would be given to various journalism fields such as news writing, features writing, and editing. Other media related subjects would also be explored such as new media publishing, photography, and newspaper management.

If one is enrolled in a degree for journalism, he or she will be the most updated in terms of the newspaper industry because more often than not, the students are asked by their teachers or professors to monitor the trend of the industry. Here are other advantages why getting a degree in journalism is important these days for aspiring journalists:

– It gives you first-hand experience. If you are enrolled in a journalism degree, there is no excuse for you not to learn all about the industry because these are very topics that will be discussed inside the school. Being enrolled in a journalism degree is the closest experience that you can get if you are aspiring to work in the industry.

It is best that you have a good experience while in school because this will help you decide if you really want to pursue the job after. While in journalism school, you will have the chance to learn from good instruction from professors. You will also experience the beauty of computer-assisted reporting and you can also get a glimpse of how different journalism practices are in different parts of the world.

– It gives you the opportunity to meet and learn from the best journalists. This is one advantage that you will only get once you enroll to a journalism career. Since the best journalists are usually hired to share their experiences to younger students, you will have the chance to meet the journalist or writer that you look up to. During his or her class, you will have the chance to ask questions and can even ask that professor some advice on how you can have a successful journalism career. And if you are able to establish a good relationship from these media practitioners or experts, they can even help you to connect with other people in the journalism industry in the future.

– It will open you up to greater chances of being a journalist. Most journalism schools play a very big role in ensuring that their students would land a journalism career in the future. They do this by creating a network of people that can help their students in internships as well as keeping partnerships with various media establishments where they can hook their students up if there’s a vacancy.

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How Do You Break Into A Journalism Career?

For people who are looking forward to a journalism career, there are so many things that they can do to move an inch higher to their dream. For young people who were already to determine in themselves that a journalism career is really the profession that they would want to pursue, they can start gaining all they need to be qualified for the job.

Young ones should be arming themselves with the necessary skills in becoming a journalist such as writing. To do this, they should practice writing articles more often and monitor their improvement. To be more knowledgeable about the craft, they should also enroll in various writing workshops where the resource speakers are the ones who have been in the industry long enough to share their first-hand experiences. Aside from meeting famous writers and journalists, attending writing workshops can also help you improve your craft and will introduce you more into the technicalities of writing such as styles, structures and the like.

To widen your vocabulary, it is also a must that you read the newspaper regularly. Aside from current events and news, reading feature articles in magazines and even novels can help you be familiar with certain writing styles that can help you in creating your own in the future.

When you get to college, it is best to take up a journalism degree in a reputable school. Although this may seem minor, it would matter when credentials would be asked when you apply to a certain publication. Even if you think that you have the best writing skills in town, some employers are looking at track record to determine if you are really fit for the job.

While in journalism in school, you will be trained in all aspects of the field. Aside from training your writing skills, the school will open you up to other possibilities of the field such as the business side and other fields that may help you decide which field you are really suited to. Here, you will also have the opportunity to meet the “masters” in the field and you will also be able to use the school publication as the training ground for your future journalism career.

Getting the break

Some people are lucky enough to have a journalism career while still in school. These are rare cases and if you did not have that chance, you don’t have to feel bad about it. Probably, it is not yet your time. Instead of sulking into depression for not getting the position who have been aspiring for, it is best to create your own opportunity by learning how to market one’s self, coming up with a strong portfolio, and know when is the best time to break into the field.

1. Selling one’s self. This is a very important aspect because employers and editors would not believe you if you just say that you are good. During an interview for a position, try to mention some of your good qualities that can be assets to the company such as resourcefulness, creativity, and productivity.

2. Be willing to start small. If you are a fresh graduate, don’t expect that you will get the position you want right away. Since the journalism field is competitive, it is best if you will have mindset of starting small. Those who are enjoying their journalism career nowadays are the ones who underwent through the ladder of success.

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Freelance Writing As A Stepping Stone To Journalism Career

Knowing how to write is the most basic skill that one needs to launch a journalism career. However, not all writers—no matter how good they might be—are given the chance or the break that they need.

Some good writers opt to wait for that big break for a journalism career. Although this is the ideal thing to do, this is not the most practical option especially if one needs to earn for a living. So, what does the best option aspiring journalist have but to engage in freelance writing?

Where freelance writing could lead you

Freelance writing means that one is writing article for different publications. Usually, the editors of the publication give freelance writers assignments or topics to write about and are being paid per article submitted. While other freelance writers just write articles about random topics and find the suitable publication for their works all by themselves.

Experts say launching a journalism career can be difficult especially to newly graduates but they should not lose hope in getting their big break. Instead of waiting for that big break to come, what they can do is to create their own “break” by getting into freelance writing. The following are some of advantages of freelance writing and tips that can help aspiring journalists to get their dream job:

1. Freelance writing can help you create a network of people from the journalism industry. Submitting articles for various publications such as newspapers, magazines, and even online sites can help you meet people who are already in the journalism industry for a long time now. If you are able to keep in touch with them and establish a good working relationship with them, then there’s a greater chance for them to recommend you once a position in their media outfit has been vacated.

2. Join a network of fellow writers. Since you are working all alone, freelancing can be a depressing work at times. So, to keep you from getting bored and distracted, you can join network of other writers who you can keep in touch with. By joining networks or groups such as these, you are also opening yourself up to the possibility of meeting people who can help you launch your own journalism career.

3. Always be professional. Although you are not working for a certain media outfit full time, it is best to always maintain professionalism when conducting business. No matter what the size of the publication you are working for in any specific assignment, it is your responsibility to always meet the deadline so no person or business would suffer from your neglect. Always submit neat copies of the manuscripts or articles. If they have more demands, try to accommodate them for as long as you don’t suffer much.

4. Ensure that the communication lines are always open. Freelance writers are hired to ensure that the editor’s job would be easier. If you want to land on a journalism career by using freelance writing as a first step, always make sure that you keep your lines open so if there’s a query or clarification in the article that you have submitted, it will be easier to contact you.

If you make it a habit to keep your communications line open, editors will be easier to get in touch with you once there is an opening for a journalist or writer position in their publication.

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