Many aspiring journalists rely on practice & portfolio rather than a college degree. But with a journalism major and a real passion for reporting – you certainly have the upper hand.
Journalism is all about great stories, following the code of ethics, being credible and unbiased, and presenting information in a correct format based on the medium. Investigative journalism and photojournalism are even more fun if you’re nosy and creative.
To get your work published, you have to put yourself out there. With this in mind, here are six helpful tips which could help.
When Starting – Get ALL the Jobs
The media sphere is ever changing and evolving. Whether you’re in broadcast or print, it’s vital to get an inner glimpse at the industry by accepting most of the jobs that come your way. Writing generally makes you a better writer, and writing some complex stories out of your comfort zone will expand it and make you a confident journalist.
You can start working as an academic writer to gain some experience and provide a stable income to cover all your needs. Check out some reviews online and choose the best college paper writing service to work for. Try to look for journalism jobs on JournalismJobs or a service like Associated Press. If you pass the tests, you’ll be put work quickly. Many journalists today even start their careers on YouTube, or via monetized WordPress blogs.
As a Business Journalist – Study Basic Coding and Math
Eric Newton from Knight Foundation has stated that “Basic coding is the grammar of the 21st century.” Simple knowledge of HTML can go a long way in setting up your blog, or just knowing how websites work. No, you don’t need to take a full coding class. A little does go a long way.
Lots of economics journalists who pump out ten articles a day on Wall Street deal with numbers all the time. Political reporting also deals significantly in analyzing statistics. Working in that sphere might require boosting your math game and even learning Microsoft Excel. Never shy away from working with numbers as they are quite commonplace in reporting.
Although everything is centered around the internet these days, it’s unlikely that you will get a job at the Wall Street Journal working freelance. While a doctor can find a job anywhere in the country, a proper journalist must move themselves to a major city to truly impact their career.
All the major media companies are in New York, D.C., Atlanta, and San Francisco. Also, major cities outside of America like London and Hong Kong are great for journalism. However, in European cities, most major companies won’t accept English-speaking journalists. In Italy for example, you need a certain level of Italian and special permit to have a proper journalist job.
The greatest strategy for finding a journalism job with a substantial income is to move to a major city like New York. That’s where opportunities truly arise.
Find Inspiring Mentors and Role Model Journalists
Lester Bangs is a fantastic music journalist. He is a role model to many because of his vast knowledge of music. Bangs was out there; he went to gigs and knew the punk scene inside-out. Thus he created legendary interviews with people like Lou Reed.
Just looking at how great journalists accomplished their goals is inspiring. See if you can learn something from them, but never follow in their footsteps! All the greatest journalists have unique and individual approaches to their work. You know it’s a Lester Bangs interview from a mile away because of his distinct style. And so you should develop your strategy and voice.
Be Nosy In Interviews
The greatest journalists ask the pushiest questions. They dig deep for information. Take legendary music journalist Narduwar for example. He does insane amounts of research on his artists and is never ashamed to ask the most nosy questions. This makes all of his interviews intriguing to watch; there’s no journalist quite like Narduwar.
Usually, the details become the most exciting part of the story. So when you’re doing an interview, keep it cool and collected – and ask the nosy questions.
Be Competitive And Get Out There!
Journalism is one of the most competitive fields, similar to music and film. The journalists that land gigs are ones who get out there and create content daily. You need proper online traffic and a strong social media presence to support your work. So keep the stories flowing and keep the readers engaged.
Not one degree will guarantee you a job at a top media company. Many of these high-class journalists haven’t even finished college, relying entirely on their portfolio and hard work. To break through the bubble, you have to keep publishing and keep pushing.
Working in one of the most competitive fields will keep you busy day and night. A college degree in journalism and a history of writing blogs or scripts for YouTube videos will undoubtedly give you the upper hand.
Any journalist can get published if they have a good portfolio. And creating that portfolio means being nosy, studying the greats, and bleeding ideas and content.
We hope this article has been helpful and you can now kickstart your journalist career and get on top of the game!