What does a journalist do?
Journalists gather and present information about a variety of things such as news, current events, issues, trends, and people. They must present the information in a way that gives an unbiased viewpoint. They research the information or stories and put them in their own words to make it appeal to the targeted audience. They go to sources to get background information and obtain direct quotes. They also conduct background research using a variety of documentation formats. They often attend a variety of events to observe and gain information. Journalists disseminate information through newspapers, magazines, periodicals, television, radio, and the Internet. They write a variety of pieces from short new stories to long articles. They also write feature stories, how-to articles, travel reports, interviews, and opinion columns. They sometimes include photographs and other documentation in their text. Some journalists are responsible for editing content, checking facts for accuracy, and laying out documentation.
What kind of training does a journalist need?
Journalists usually need a bachelor degree in journalism, mass communications, or other related field. Coursework typically includes liberal arts courses and many journalism courses such as history of journalism, introductory mass media, press law and ethics, and basic reporting and copyediting. Some journalists have master or doctoral degree in journalism. Many journalists gain experience by working for school newspapers and completing internships with news organizations.
What are the prospects for a career as a journalist?
Employment of journalists is expected to have little or no change in growth, increasing 2% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The consolidation and union of the broadcasting and publishing industries will limit job growth.
Job prospects are projected to be fair with keen competition. Journalists that are talented with a broad range of skills will have the best prospects. The best opportunities will be with small companies and publications. Some job openings will result from the need to replace journalists who retire or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do journalists make?
As of September 2009, journalists with less than 1 year experience earned annual salaries between $27,022 and $33,573 and those with 1 to 4 years experience earned annual salaries between $28,760 and $40,900 (2).
A career as a journalist is a great choice for people interested in writing about current events, issues, trends, and people. Journalists must have good work processing skills and be able to effectively tell a story. Persistence, accuracy, curiosity, poise, and initiative are essential traits. Journalists must also have excellent communication, be well organized, be a visual thinking, and have social conscience.