There are no formal educational qualifications to enter a career in journalism; however, most employers prefer candidates with at least a bachelors degree. Degrees in journalism or mass communications are most related to the career, though some employers will be looking for journalists with specific degrees for certain sections of reporting such as economics, political science, or business. Typical coursework to prepare yourself for a journalism career may include classes in introductory mass media, basic reporting, copy editing, history of journalism, press law, and ethics. If you are looking to become a broadcast journalist, you should take classes in radio and television production. Print journalists should focus on writing and English composition.
You'll need more than good typing skills in order to become a journalist, though they will certainly come in handy. Strong writing and reporting abilities are important, but your biggest asset will be your investigative skills. Journalists must be diligent researchers, dedicated to reporting the news in an accurate and impartial manner. A qualified journalism applicant will show initiative, resourcefulness, have an excellent memory, and be able to deal with the physical and emotional stress of looming deadlines and irregular work hours.
Experience is essential to landing your first job in journalism. Gain practical experience by getting involved with school and community newspapers, magazines, and broadcasting stations. Also take advantage of any internship opportunities that may come your way. Getting published as a freelance journalist can be another great qualification for your resume.
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