Is A Journalism Career
Right For You?

When you first thought about writing, was having a journalism career your first option?

As you know, creative writing ideas are not part of a career as a journalist. You need to be focused on facts and getting the story right.

Although most journalists work for a newspaper, it is one of the most popular freelance writing jobs around, allowing for writers with many types of writing ideas and writing styles.

If you want to start your career in journalism, the following are some of the tips that can help you start right.

Many people who are looking forward to a journalism career are getting disheartened easily because the editors from various publications, themselves, say that this is one industry that is hard to break into.

Although there is truth to this because of the fact that one needs specific skills—such as superior writing skills and people skills—this doesn’t mean that the doors are firmly shut to those who want to be a part of the industry.



Get The Credentials That You Need

Not sure what they are? Take a look at The NCTJ Essential Guide to Careers in Journalism It can tell you what you need to work in any area of journalism that interests you.

Many people say that if you want a journalism career, it is not really necessary to take a degree and study is a journalism school. Although this might be true to older writers and to some privileged or lucky young ones, this won’t happen to ordinary ones.

So, if you really want to ensure that you will land on a career in this field, it is best to be educated about it. Getting a degree and studying is a reputable journalism school would definitely give you all the academic credentials that you need.

Aside from that, being in school will also give you the opportunity to learn from the best minds in the industry. You will also get the chance to practice your skills when you get involved with the campus paper that might publish your work.

When you major in journalism, you will be doing internships in various publications, which can open up your world to different options and possibilities. Who knows? If your internship went well, the publication might offer to absorb you right away after finishing college.


Get Experience

More often that not, the college paper is the best training ground for future journalists. But since there are many students and only a few slots available for the staffers, it might not be possible for you to get a slot.

If you weren’t able to make it in the student paper, it is best to get experience from other publications such as the community paper or even on online sites like Elance that hire freelancers for all types of writing jobs.. It's a great way to get your work seen.

If you need experience but are not sure how to find additional publications to work with, Literary Database is a tool for writers to help them decide which journals are best to submit their short stories, essays and poetry. It was designed by writers for writers. It is concise, selective, and has Hot Links to websites of each journal listed.


Learn the Ropes

The sooner that you learn the ropes in the field, it will be easier for you to start a journalism career. Learning the ropes mean that you should know all the technicalities of the field and what are the things that you and should not do.

If you really are determined in pursue a career in this field, you should know what publication to apply to, the ideal starting position, what to do bring such as your credentials and sample works and what to do during the initial interview.

It is also good to ask about the salary for starters so you would have an idea how much you should ask for. I like The NCTJ Essential Guide to Careers in Journalism It gives clear ideas about how to get the qualifications you need, and find the job that is right for you in whatever area your interested in.


Consider Other Options

One of the reasons why many give their dreams up in having a journalism career is because they did not get the position they wanted to right away. Fresh graduates should not expect to have the “reporter” or “journalist” position once they are hired in a newspaper or in any other publication since there are still many who are experienced enough for the position.

If there are no vacancies for the position that you are eyeballing for, consider other options that are close to it such as becoming a copy aide, a proofreader or a copywriter.


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