Being a Journalist

Side profile of a journalist typing on a typewriter

Writing is an art, and a way to express yourself. Being a journalist can help you pursue your passion. In order to be good at it, you need to work well under stress and tight deadlines. You have to search for the truth and verify your resources. You have a responsibility to report information correctly. It can be hard to keep your opinions and emotions out of the equation but if you can, that will get you the best overall results.
A college education to verify your skills as a journalist will go a long way when you apply for jobs. The bigger newspapers and other outlets for media information want to hire the very best. It can be useful to work related jobs during your college years and to pursue an internship. This will help you to understand the basics of how journalism works and the business end of it.
You will be given tight deadlines on many stories as the quest is always there to be the first source to provide the information. You will have to do well under pressure and still be able to get a very good outcome. You have to build your connections out there so you know where to turn for credible information.
Be ready for editing too because those in charge are going to come back with some revisions. Sometimes, stories you have worked hard on will get cut or they will get placed on a back burner. They have to decide what to prioritize and what will be read the most by their audience. There are plenty of dynamics that play into all of this so you need to be ready for them.
As a journalist, you will have opportunities to get exclusive stories and to conduct interviews. You need to have very good communication skills. Understanding when to listen, when to direct, and when to ask open ended questions will help you to do well with this type of career path. It can be very exciting with new developments all the time.
Most journalists narrow down the type of writing they want to do so they can be very good at it. When you try to cover all types of stories, it can be tough to formulate the information to fulfill the demands of the reader. It can take time though to decide the right niche you would like to write about. It should be one you are curious and passionate about so you will continue to be driven to find stories and give details.
Improving your technical skills can help you as a journalist too. Being a source people give tips to can help you to find stories that otherwise would have been ignored. Fast typing skills, be able to work flexible hours, and not being afraid to dig deep and to read between the lines can help you have an amazing outcome with the work you contribute to. The pay for this type of career depends on where you work and your qualifications.