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How do I Become a Journalist?

By Bethany Keene
Updated: Mar 02, 2024

Journalism is a rewarding career that many aspire to. If you've decided you want to become a journalist, the first step is to receive an education. Most journalists have, at the least, a bachelor's degree in English, communications or journalism. An education is a necessary stepping stone to learn about journalism and to help you get your first job with a newspaper, magazine, or other form of media. Some schools will also assist you when searching for journalism jobs.

While you are receiving your education, it is a good idea to get as much hands-on experience as you can. This means working on your school's newspaper or radio station and taking at least one, if not more, internships during your years at school. Internships can be invaluable experiences and may even lead to getting hired when the internship is complete.

As you are completing your education and hands-on experience, you should be able to determine if becoming a journalist is the career path you want to take. Journalists have to be able to find a good story, and quickly. They need to be able to approach it from an interesting angle, as well as be able to communicate effectively with other people, especially if you wish to work as a reporter or a correspondent. The ability to write clearly and concisely without the need for a lot of heavy editing is another valuable skill to have.

You will also need to determine your specialty. There are many different ways to be a journalist, including becoming a newspaper reporter in print journalism, a foreign correspondent, a photojournalist, or a broadcast journalist. The type of career you wish to pursue depends on your skills, personality, and how much you wish to travel for your job. It is helpful to try different areas while you are still in college, to make it more likely that you will be satisfied in the career you eventually choose.

When you first begin trying to become a journalist, it helps to look locally. Local newspapers, radios or television stations are likely to have entry-level positions available for new journalists, and the experience will look better on your resume when you apply for other jobs. Freelancing is another option -- many journalists support themselves by freelance writing for various publications. Searching online for jobs is another option. Keep in mind that taking a less-than-ideal job at first, such as working as a proofreader, might get you in the door and be a great start to a journalism career.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon91225 — On Jun 20, 2010

this article can really help young or older people and give them advice on how to be a journalist.

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