What does a Journalist do?
Journalists work at newspapers, websites, magazines and other media outlets to share interesting pieces of non-fiction writing with their community. They generate ideas for stories and pitch them to an editor, then gather and fact-check details. They can write about serious political events, community interest stories or lighthearted features. Journalists can perform research by reading other articles or collecting their own primary sources. Journalists build relationships with various sources in the community and media contacts to ensure they have an accurate stream of information. They organize their ideas and use compelling language to turn their idea into a complete article.
Journalist skills and qualifications
If you want to be a successful Journalist, you need to possess the following skills:
- Research: One of the most important skills of a Journalist is having the ability to conduct extensive research. Journalists must know how to verify sources and check all the facts before they present the story to the public.
- Strong Written and Verbal Communication: Given that Journalists must write and are often required to present the stories they are researching, they need to have strong written and verbal communication skills.
- Storytelling: Stories do not write themselves. No matter how much potential a story has, it will not be well received if the story is not written properly.
- Ethics: Given that they have the power to influence and mobilize people over various issues and causes, Journalists must be highly ethical.
- Remaining Poised Under Pressure: Given the extreme nature of some news stories as well as the fact that they often work under strict deadlines, Journalists must be able to remain poised under pressure.
Journalist salary expectations
The average salary for a Journalist is $36.20 an hour. However, depending on their level of experience, education and employer, they can make anywhere from $11.55 to $74.40 an hour. Smaller news outlets tend to pay far less than major outlets. However, it is next to impossible to earn a position at a major outlet without extensive qualifications and experience.
Journalist education and training requirements
In order to become a Journalist, you will need to earn a bachelor’s degree in communications or journalism. You can also choose whether you wish to specialize in print or broadcast journalism. They also tend to minor is related subjects such as political science, environmental reporting, or economics. Additionally, Journalists typically need to complete at least one internship with a reputable media outlet to secure their position.
Journalist experience requirements
The main method of gaining experience as a Journalist is to get an internship and work at a media outlet. This is one of the top requirements for inexperienced Journalists. Additionally, they must have perfected the art of storytelling. Many employers request for candidates to include any stories they have worked on in the past. Additionally, employers occasionally make exceptions and hire those who have not yet obtained a bachelor’s degree. However, these candidates must have an extensive writing portfolio as well as some experience in the field to be considered.
Job description samples for similar positions
If you are somewhat interested in journalism but would like to try for a different type of position, the following are examples of similar positions: