Career tips for aspiring journalists

Journalism has changed massively over the years largely due to technological advancements and the rise of the internet. These changes have opened up a wealth of opportunities for aspiring journalists. In spite of numerous changes, journalism remains a dynamic career and you can make your name in your chosen niche as long as you are willing to put in the work.

Most famous journalists such as British broadcaster Dermot Murnaghan started out at the bottom. Dermot began his career as a trainee reporter for various local newspapers before joining Chanel 4. From there he managed to work his way up the ranks, building his craft as he went along. He worked for BBC News and CNBC Europe among others before landing his current role on Sky News. For more insights on his work and thoughts, check out Dermot Murnaghan’s Twitter profile.

The truth is you have your work cut out for you as an aspiring journalist. Other than being dynamic, journalism is also incredibly competitive and you have to know how to recognize trends, interview people, conduct and organize research and present your content in an engaging way.

More career tips are presented below:

  • Decide on print or broadcast journalism.

Journalism can be broadly divided into print or broadcast journalism. The former includes reporting for physical or digital magazines, newspapers or websites while the latter mainly involves working for TV or Radio. You’ll need different skills depending on where you want to work although it’s a good idea to get a feel of both worlds.

  • Learn different skills.

You’ll require different complementary skills in order to make it as a journalist in today’s changing world. These days media houses seek journalists who can multitask by researching, interviewing, writing and taking basic photos. It is also a good idea to learn all you can about online media outlets and how to work with online web pages and content management systems.

  • Seek out internships.

One of the best ways to get your foot in the door is through internships. These can be paid or unpaid, full or part-time. The important thing is that you get the experience of working for different media houses and you get to network with people in the industry. This can be invaluable for your career.

  • Do some freelance work.

Freelancing is another excellent way for you to build your journalism career. You can do freelance work for both physical and online outlets to know how both work. The advantage of being a freelance reporter is the freedom it gives you to control the direction your career is headed.

  • Figure out your niche.

Journalism is a broad sector and it might be helpful to narrow down the niches you want to specialize in. For instance, you can focus on being a business, sports, science, environmental or technology reporter. Focusing on a particular niche will help you establish yourself as an expert in that area and you can build your career from that expertise.

If you want to succeed in journalism, you have to be assertive, courageous and persistent when chasing a story. Like in everything else in life, put in the hard work and your efforts will eventually pay.

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