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The Changing Face of Journalism

How to Get Jobs in Journalism

Tips for Getting Jobs in Journalism

Journalism has changed a lot over the last twenty years. Where once most journalists wrote for a newspaper or journal or were speaking on television and radios, now many journalists find themselves having to do both and maintain a solid online presence at the same time by writing online articles which are formatted with images and video and of course are well laid out. Journalists now run the gamut from travel journalists and high end writers and televisions personalities to those just starting out by writing blogs related to a news niche such as technology, local events and small time politics. The field has gotten a lot bigger with the advent of technology and yet at the same has gotten a lot smaller in terms of competition and the constriction between print and video. If you’re interested in journalism, how can you write and talk your way to a job?

Broaden Your Education

A master’s degree in journalism probably won’t cut it; you’ll have to take some extra time out on your own to learn additional software to become more enticing. Many programs won’t cover things like coding, infographics and data journalism along with the creation of apps and learning new media software, but you should learn at least a basic ground in anything to do with the software you’ll come into contact with and that includes older versions. Most of these programs will probably only take a week or two to learn, but they can give you a huge leg-up in terms of your job prospects. Take the time out to at least learn:

  • Shorthand
  • Basic coding (HTML in particular)
  • InDesign
  • DreamWeaver
  • Infographics
  • Data journalism
  • Apps creations (you don’t have to be able to make a great app, but you should know how they function so you can write on them and use related ones)
  • New media software

Again, each of these will maybe only take a week or two, so it’s good to get started early.

Have a Portfolio

You need something to show off and that means having a good portfolio. Getting a good media job faster means showing that you have your own projects. These can include side-projects, working while in university for good companies, even working in your university newspaper or with their online presence or running your own radio show. It’s also a good idea to be published in different platforms across different genres, including having your own blog, publishing a poem perhaps and writing for a newspaper, even if it’s just little. The more expertise and experience you show going into an interview, the better your chances will be.

Use Your Network

Journalism is all about information and talking to others and that means starting with your own network. Make contacts in university and keep in touch! Doing things like networking with your fellow graduates, talking to friends and family about what you’re looking for and keeping in touch with early job granters can be really helpful to you. You never know from where a job will come after all!

Keep Doing What You’re Doing

If you’re writing, keep writing; if you work in television-well, keep writing anyway! There’s nothing wrong with continuing to practice and hone your skills and all of these things help you to build up you portfolio and you can broaden your skills and range. Keep your fingers in by having your own blog, doing some freelance work, work on fiction or non-fiction projects, write poetry, keep a journal. Even ten to fifteen minutes of writing something a day can keep you sharpened. And always try writing new things-new genres, work from different angles and try writing in areas you know nothing about so that you can keep your research and writing skills top notch.

Breaking into journalism is hard and the field is highly competitive. If you want to stand out, it’s important to have a wide range of skills, a good portfolio, keep in contact with your network, and take any opportunity you can to prove yourself. It’s not easy, but with many perks such as travel, meeting and talking to a range of people and sharing the news around the world, it’s worth the effort. If this sounds good you, start early and good luck!

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