If you want to see the level of progress a country has made in terms of freedom of speech and expression then one must evaluate the country’s journalism and media sector. The role of a journalist is highly diversified and there are a lot of specializations one can choose from based on one’s interests, skills, and educational background. Not only journalists are highly paid in a country but also enjoy a high level of recognition and respect from the general public.
Step By Step Guide
There are various steps which one must follow in order to become an effective journalist.
- Step I: Choose the field of journalism in which you want to make your career
- Step II: Identify the type of journalism you want to pursue
- Step III: Appear for entrance exams and undertake a bachelor’s course in mass media and journalism
- Step IV: Develop your skills by undertaking online certification courses or joining internships
- Step V: Post completing your graduation apply for vacancies advertised by various media houses
Various Fields Of Journalism
Journalism is a broad category. It consists of a variety of different fields which one can choose based on one’s interests and skills. The various types are:
1) Sports Journalism
We see reporters and media personnel engaged in:
- Covering major sports events like:
- Commonwealth games
- Winter games
- Asian games, etc
- Covering a game of football, cricket, basketball, baseball, etc
- Hosting different talk shows with prominent sports personalities
- Interacting with audiences who have come to witness a sporting event, etc
All this comes under the ambit of a sports journalist. A good sense of sports, the different analytics, and basic knowledge about the various terminologies used in various sports is an essential prerequisite to have.
2) Crime Journalism
Crimes like murders, aggravated robberies, rapes, and drug trafficking are quite common in any country. The primary role of a crime journalist is to prepare a report in relation to these crimes and get people aware of the same through various media platforms namely, newspapers, magazines, television, or youtube news channels. A crime journalist has to conduct investigation and research in order to muster facts related to the crime committed which makes this role a bit risky and intimidating.
3) Business Journalism
There are several companies in an economy, operating, employing people, and doing their businesses. Often a large section of the population is an investor in these companies and they want to know the true state of affairs of the company. The primary role of a business journalist is to evaluate a company’s financials and take interviews with the promoters and key personnel. In this era of rising frauds and dodging, the role of a business journalist is even more responsible and accountable.
4) Political Journalism
Elections, representatives, and political parties decide the fate of a country. In the events of presidential elections or maybe a state election, the environment in the entire country is quite electric, with everyone becoming a political pundit. The role of a political journalist is to host interviews with political candidates, their party leaders, and prominent political figures. One must have a thorough political knowledge in relation to:
- Major political events
- Major political parties operating both at the regional and national level
- General polity such as:
- Anti defection law
- Federal form of government
- Rules governing the elections
- Roles, powers, and responsibilities of a president, senator, and mayor, etc.
- The role, powers, and policies of an election commission regulating the entire election procedure.
In order to become a successful political journalist, one must have a good understanding of all the above subjects, along with having quick wits, an ability to generate quick counter-responses, and fluency in speech.
5) Celebrity Journalism
You must have seen reporters, photographers, and other media personnel clicking photographs of celebrated celebrities, taking their interviews, or simply spotting them at various locations. The role of a celebrity journalist is similar to that of a paparazzi along with taking their interviews as people are interested in their lifestyle and professional life. One aspiring for this role must have strong connections with celebrities along with good knowledge about a particular celebrity’s past, present, and future prospects in order to generate meaningful and engaging interview questions.
Various Types Of Journalism
Journalism is not limited to only appearing on television and simply reading out news or taking interviews. There are several types in this wonderful profession which one must explore based on one’s own preferences and priorities, such as:
1) Print Journalism
This is one of the oldest forms of journalism wherein news is delivered through various print media platforms such as newspapers, journals, periodical magazines, and mailers. In this era dominated by the latest technologies and equipment, one can argue that the scope of print journalists is limited and concise. But, in our opinion, there is still substantial interest in print media platforms with a huge number of households relying on this popular medium to satisfy their hunger for the latest developments and events.
2) Broadcast Journalism
Broadcast journalism basically includes two sub-items such as:
a) Television Journalism
This is the most common type of journalism, attracting and luring tens of thousands of media aspirants towards this profession. It primarily involves imparting valuable knowledge related to the latest developments through specialized television channels. A person aspiring to become a TV journalist must have:
- A pleasant personality
- Fluency in speech
- Ability to generate quick counter-responses
- Ability to frame consequential and relevant interview questions, etc.
The pay package is quite lucrative and a proficient TV journalist is also able to earn a significant amount of fame and fan base.
b) Radio Journalism
It won’t be wrong to say that there are still people listening and following the radio. Maybe not through radio boxes but through their smartphones. When a journalist hosts a news show on any designated frequency channel to deliver news and key developments, he or she comes under the ambit of radio journalism. It is still very much there, and if one has relevant skills, just go for it.
3) Digital Journalism
This is a relatively new kid on the block whose presence and domination are getting stronger and stronger with each passing day, thanks to the constant development in the technological field. The role of a digital journalist is to make people aware of the latest news by writing blogs, articles or shooting short videos to uploaded or published on various digital platforms such as:
- News-related mobile applications, etc.
More and more people are subscribing and opting to get themselves aware of the latest events through digital platforms. The scope of this field is already very wide and is expected to become mammoth in the coming years. If one has relevant interests and would like to write or take intervenes for these digital platforms then one must shoot an application for training and/or internship.
In order to become a journalist one must have at least a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication. One can couple it with various courses related to media broadcasting and a relevant training with a media house.
Skills To Develop
Journalism is a skill based profession, wherein you must have two primary abilities, that is to write efficiently and possess superior speaking skills. Both of these forms the basis of being an effective journalist. The various skills that a journalist must possess are:
1) Good Grasp On The Concerned Language
There are several languages in which a news reporter has to present the news. Along with English, one must have expert knowledge of at least one vernacular language pertinent to a particular region or area as people love to listen to news specific to their area in their own vernacular language.
2) Excellent Communication Skills
We can communicate our thoughts and views through two mediums that is, by verbal/oral communication and written communication. Since the primary role of a journalist is to express his thoughts and communicate with people, he or she must have proficient communication skills both oral and written. The best way to enhance both of them is by practicing and gaining huge work experience.
Be it the reporting of any committed crime or any major sports event, there are a lot of details to consider. In order to cover all the relevant facts and statements, it is essential that a journalist be meticulous enough to conduct a diligent audit of the information pool available to him or her.
4) Ability To Use Journalism Software
Nowadays everything is digital with computers and related technologies becoming an integral and indispensable part of our lives. Hence, it is essential to get oneself aware of the latest journalism software such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Stock, Getmail.io, etc.
5) Excellent Critical Skills
It is the most important skill, that a journalist must possess no matter what field or type he or she is operating in. Performing a critical analysis and generating a report post doing this, is expected from a journalist, which is later readout or published. The efficiency of this report would entirely depend upon your ability to criticize and point out flaws and defects.
After deciding the type and field of journalism, one must obtain a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication. Simultaneously, one must strive to improve and focus on the skills required to be an effective journalist. All of this will enable you to become a successful journalist and earn huge sums of money along with fame. If you like our articles then don’t forget to share them with your family and friends. Also, do let us know through the comments section below, how much you like our articles.
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Sandeep Bhandari is the founder of PrepMyCareer.com website.
I am a full-time professional blogger, a digital marketer, and a trainer. I love anything related to the Web, and I try to learn new technologies every day.
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