Category Archives: Journalism

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.

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.

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.

College Preparation For A Journalism Career

Aside from entering a showbusiness career, many young people are dreaming of a journalism career because they think that this is one the easiest ways to be famous. While it’s true that a career in journalism would take one into greater heights in terms of popularity, it is not as easy as it seems.

So, to prepare yourself for tough road ahead, it is best if you start preparing and qualifying yourself for the position. Many experts in the field agree that journalism is a hard industry to break into. This is because aside from the credentials needed such as the degree and the skills that are required, people who are looking forward to a journalism career are expected to be creative, detail-oriented, and intuitive. Being in college is the best time to prepare for a journalism career, so it is best to:

Take a course related to journalism. Getting a degree in journalism is the best credential one could have if they are aiming for a journalism career. Although this is really not the only thing that matters, if one was able to finish a degree in journalism, it means that he or she might have the skills needed for the position. If it’s not possible for you to spend four years for a journalism degree, then you should consider taking up programs that can help you get started with it. Many schools offer classes for specific skills training such as writing and editing.

In fact, it is even easier and more convenient these days with the help of modern technology such as the Internet. Now, there are online classes that are related to fields of journalism such as news writing, feature writing, layout design, videography, photography, and even HTML because of the emerging market of new media. If you are able to educate yourself in different fields of media, you have greater chances of making that journalism career come true since you are now more knowledgeable and versatile.

Write for the newspaper inside the campus. Most of the best journalists out there have started their journalism career while still in college. This is because being a student can give them more freedom since they only have to think of what articles that would benefit their school community. If you are looking forward to a journalism career, writing for a college paper could serve as your best training ground.

Here, you will have your first taste of fame once you see your byline on the paper. You will also know how it feels like to get your work edited and will learn to be more versatile when writing. Being in the newspaper while in college will basically give you an idea how it is like to work for a real publication less the salary issues and other office political issues.

Try to get as many internships if you can. Internship is the next best thing to working for a certain publication. If you are able to secure an internship for several publications, you will have an idea how it is like in the real pressroom. Internships aim to give students a first taste of how it is like to work on the real thing.

So, if you can, while still in college, you should get as many internships as possible so you will have these experience to back you up once you start with your own journalism career.

Choosing The Right School For A Journalism Career

More and more people are getting into journalism career because they feel that this is one profession that would give them freedom in terms of work schedule, office attires, and even in speaking their minds.

If you are one of those people who are looking forward into a journalism career, it is best if—as early as—now, you would start qualifying yourself for the position. The best thing that you need to do is really know if the journalism career is really what you want to do. It is best to understand the industry very well first before you finally decide on it.

You can do this by conducting a simple research on how it is like to have a journalism career. You can find many articles—some of these are even written by prominent figures in the newspaper industry—and ask yourself if you are willing to take this path. Once you have decided, you now have to earn the credentials needed for it or that can help you to achieve that goal of having a journalism career.

To earn the right credentials that can help you a take a notch higher in realizing your dream, it is ideal to enroll to a journalism school. This is because enrolling in a course that is directly related to it can help you understand the industry better and would also help you to be properly equipped for it.

What to consider

Today, there hundreds of journalism colleges and universities that offer various programs that are related to a journalism career. For you not to waste time studying in a school that won’t really help you once you have finished, it is best to be meticulous in choosing the right school before you finally enter it.

1. Choose the one that will fit your needs and personal preference. This is very important in choosing a journalism school because it will help you realize what it is that you are about to enter. You need to know what are your needs in terms of skills training and find out if the school can cater that need. You should also take time to consider if you really like the school and its programs not only because of the name or the popularity but the structure of the programs offered as well.

2. Choose a school that would allow you to pick your own professors. In regular schools or courses, the school usually decides who is the professor who will teach you. But since a journalism course is all about hands-on experience, it is best to choose a school that would give you freedom to choose who will be the ones who will be teaching you. This is very important because you will be able to get the first hand accounts from them.

If you don’t have an idea who are the professors to choose, you can do a research on the faculty of the school. Look for the ones who you think are the best reference persons to you. Many of the faculty in journalism schools nowadays are into academics and they are not even media practitioners. Although they can be beneficial in honing your skills and knowledge, it will be better if you choose those professors that have experience in working as a journalist so he or she can help you start with your own journalism career.

Careers In Print Journalism

People only know that there are editors and writers in newspapers but when you check at the workforce inside news organizations, there are different kinds of editors and writers as well as a host of other workers that team up to bring fresh news to your doorstep every morning. Here are some of the different careers in print journalism.

1. Editor in Chief
This is the top honcho when it comes to the editorial work. All of the stories that come out in the paper will pass by his desk and get approved. This is why when a newspaper is being sued for libel cases, the name of the editor in chief is always part of the defendants in the case. This is because in the ideal sense, all articles should have been read and approved by the editor in chief.

2. Managing Editor and Associate Editor
These are the assistants to the editor in chief. They are not the ones who bring them coffee and should not be confused with the job description of a secretary. Often, managing editors are the second in command, along with associate editors. They are basically tasked to handle the writers and the contributors for the section. In smaller news organizations like in schools, they are also the ones who manage the day to day operations like the schedule and the budget.

3. Section Heads
In a newspaper, there are different sections. One for instance deals with lifestyle and the other one with news or with sports. To make the job easier for the top officers, there are people who are tasked to handle each of the sections. They are called section heads. They are the ones in charge of assigning work and coming up with different stories. For those sections that have smaller sub sections in them, there are journalists who are tasked to head those chunks and they are called sub-section heads. They are tasked to take care of their own sections along with preparing the materials and closing the page.

4. Writers
These people are the lifeblood of the newspapers as they are the ones who gather and deliver the news to you. These are the people who go to where the action is and see what they can write about it. Often, writers are assigned to different beats. For instance, one may be assigned to report about health while another writes about sports.

5. Correspondents and contributors
These are people who also write for the paper but are not directly under the company’s employ. They can write and submit stories to different newspapers and they are paid per story and not per month like with the in house writers. Contributors are often what we call freelance writers. And because they are not employed by the company, they do not get the regular benefits but they don’t also have to report to work.

6. Editorial assistants
These people are the ones who take care of the day to day operation of one section. They also write when needed but their function is to help smoothen the operations for the writers and the editors.

7. Copyreaders
These are people who check on the article to see if there are typos and in some cases wrong grammar that were missed out during the editing stage. These people basically check the whole article and correct any errors in them. Often, what they do is surface checking and nothing deeper like rewriting the whole article.

Applying For a Career in Journalism

Many people would want to have a journalism career because of the freedom and perks it gives to the person. Although it may seem easy to have one, it’s not always the case especially now that more and more people would want to become a part of the journalism industry.

If you are one of those who are eyeing for a journalism career, the best thing that you can do is earn the skills and the credentials needed for it. Writing skills and the “nose” for news should be honed as early as possible. This can be done by getting one’s self to read as many materials such as books, magazines, etc. as possible. By reading all these stuff, it will be easier for you to find your style in writing since you will be influenced by many writers. It will also help you widen your vocabulary that is essential for writing.

The next best thing that you can do is to earn credentials especially when you get to college. You can do this by taking up a journalism course or another course that can lead you to the profession. If you were able to finish a journalism course in college, it will be easier for you to apply for a journalism career when you finish since you already have the basic credentials to back you up.

While in college, you may also earn other forms of credentials aside from the academics by joining the school or community paper. When you do this, it will serve as your training ground while still studying. You will have an idea how the industry works and this experience will help you a lot once you finally apply for a journalism career.

It’s all in the preparation

Once you have all these, it will be easier for you to try your luck in applying in the nearest newspaper outfit or even in your dream daily broad sheet. Just like in applying for other jobs, many journalists today are required to bring in their resumes and samples of work. These are the basic things needed so the employer will have an idea if you are fit for the position.

So, it will be best if you start making your resume as early as now so you won’t be missing anything that is required of you. It is also best that as early as now, you should be choosing the sample of works that you may present to the editor or to the person in charge of hiring. It is best to choose your best works so you will have a chance in getting the job.

In choosing your sample works, consider those that are written very well and have reached a wide range of circulation. Although it is best that you choose these yourself, if you can, try to ask somebody to look at it. If they agree that one article is indeed the best one compared to the others, then you should take time to consider the suggestions.

Once you have all these you can start applying for a journalism career. It will be best to check if the newspaper outfits you are targeting have vacancies for the journalist or writer position. If you can apply online, try sending your resume as soon as possible.

But since your sample works would be a great reference, it would be best if you send everything—your resume and sample works—enclosed in an envelope via mail so the editors can see it right away.