How to Become a Journalist

A journalist has an interesting and rewarding profession. There are certain things that you must do to enter this profession, namely work hard and long hours and have an excellent scholastic background. Journalists must love to write. If you do not like to write then this is not the profession for you. Journalism is highly competitive. Journalists are always fighting for the lead story, or to break through to obtain that clutch interview. This position demands a huge amount of dedication. But if you are motivated, this article will explain how you can become a journalist and what to expect in this exciting field.

Educational Requirements  

  • College degree in English or Communication.
  • Journalism requires a mastery of written language, this takes practice. In addition, college classes present different writing styles.
  • The best degree to have is a bachelor's degree in journalism.

The Specifics of Journalism

There is not just one type of journalist. Journalists function within different realms. There are newspaper, photo, magazine, television, media and virtual journalists. Every type of category has a different salary and different daily tasks. Newspaper journalists are a dying breed because of the onslaught and rise of the Internet.

A Career Starter

The first thing you want to do, preferably when in college, is too apply for an internship. Most journalists working in the field interned with at least one outside enterprise. This can help you decide on what type of journalism you want to concentrate in. Most likely, it will offer valuable insight on what to expect after you graduate from a more theoretical to a more practical setting.

Obtaining that Coveted Position

  • Begin to market yourself in college, building up your professional contacts.
  • Make sure your virtual image is clean. For instance, do not have your friends post pictures of you on popular websites like Face book.
  • Use the Internet to power your presence. For example, maintain a steady blog or build a professional profile on growing business sites like, LinkedIn.

Don't Ignore Your Past or Present

Look close to home. If you attend a major university, there are probably job opportunities all around you. The competition is fierce, but work hard in school, promote integrity and impress some of your teachers with your zeal. A professor's letter of recommendation or phone call to the right office could be a door opener. Most likely, your professors have had journalist experience before they began instructing so what they have to say is crucial.

Finish Strong

A Master's degree can also help solidify your skills and help you find an internship. If you want to find a position, you can look at online job websites. There are usually a few openings for journalism vacancies. Apply to them; even a position that does not ignite your interest may be fascinating in the end. Getting your foot in the door is a big part of landing the right job.