Journalists write and assemble together news stories that will interest their audience. By gathering together a number of different sources and ensuring that all the arguments are represented, they keep their audience abreast of events in their world.
Bachelor's degree or post-graduate degree in journalism/mass communication is required to pursue a career in this field. Additional course work, specialized training or experience, fieldwork or internship increases one's opportunities in the field.
No course or training can claim to make one, a journalist. The courses train persons in the technical aspects only, to ensure one's success in the field one must have an inborn ability to write and produce new stories in correct, concise and interesting style.
Latest trend in this regard is that big groups of newspapers advertise the posts of trainees for which all graduates are eligible.
After conducting the entrance examination, suitable graduate trainees, with flair for writing are selected and employed. In other words, now the formal academic qualification for being a reporter, copy writer or correspondent is not essential.
Inquisitiveness, linguistic and inter-personal skills are the most important attributes a journalist can have. The practical skills include:
• Writing in shorthand
• Touch typing
• Being able to communicate with a wide range of people
• The stamina and flexibility to work long hours in different environments
• Good knowledge of the internet
• A willingness to travel
Over the five years to November 2019, the number of job openings for Journalists and Other Writers is expected to be average (between 10,001 and 25,000). Job openings can arise from employment growth and people leaving the occupation.
The (internet) vacancy level for Journalists and Other Writers is high. Annually, 11.3 per cent of Journalists and Other Writers leave this group, creating potential job openings (this compares with 14.2% across all occupations).
A good journalist will also be thorough in their research and have good computer skills, as well as knowledge of modern marketing and PR techniques. This will allow them to sift through irrelevant material, false accounts, propaganda, spin and PR-driven web content.
Taking facts, opinions, witness accounts and hard evidence, and bringing them together in writing in a way that will sell media requires not only a certain amount of intuition and judgement but also an ability to see both sides of an argument – the grey area between black and white.
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