How to Become a Journalist

photojournalist at work

Do you enjoy investigating stories and reporting your findings? If so, a career in journalism might be the right option for you. There are many different career opportunities that you can pursue after earning a journalism degree, from writing for newspapers to presenting your stories on television. However, it is important to know what else to expect if you want to become a journalist.

Start With the Right High School Courses

It is never too early to start taking steps toward becoming a journalist. If you are still in high school, look for courses that can help you get a good start. You will likely have to take English and social studies courses while in high school. These can help you build a great foundation in journalism skills. If you have the ability, try to take additional language arts electives to enhance your skills. Find out if your school has a newspaper, blog or any other form of news reporting that you can participate in. This type of experience will provide invaluable insight that will help you on your path toward becoming a journalist.

Practice Writing Whenever You Can

Working for your school’s newspaper is an excellent way to practice your writing skills and learn about diverse types of content. If your school does not have a paper or you are not able to write for it, then it is important to look for other opportunities to improve your writing skills and build your portfolio. You can look for writing prompts online for inspiration. You might also want to start your own blog. You can even seek out submission opportunities to gain professional writing experience. The more experience you have with writing different types of content, the more prepared you will be to take on writing and journalism courses in college.

Get a Bachelor’s Degree

After high school, earning a bachelor’s degree is the next step to becoming a successful journalist. Many different degree programs can help you gain the skills you need. Many students choose Language and Communications degree programs that have a strong emphasis on writing. These programs can help you improve your writing, research and reporting skills.

Look for Networking Opportunities

During your time in college, you will want to take advantage of any networking opportunities that might come your way. This is beneficial for meeting professionals in the journalism field and building relationships that can help you meet your professional goals in the future. You can try to reach out to local journalists that you admire to see if you can interview them or if they are interested in sharing any tips with you. The more connections you make, the better chance you will have of finding a great job after you graduate.

Apply for Internships

Look for internship opportunities with local news stations, newspapers and other media outlets. This will give you real-world experience in the industry and sharpened communication skills that can make you a more appealing candidate for jobs you apply for in the future. As a journalism intern, you might be responsible for developing and fact-checking stories. These opportunities can also help you build relationships that can lead to job opportunities.

Apply for Jobs

Internships can help you learn about different types of journalism, which will allow you to determine what types of jobs you want to pursue. You will need to decide if you want to get a job in print media, online journalism or broadcast journalism. After that, you can start looking for career opportunities. When applying to job openings, list your education, internships and any other relevant experience.

If you are looking for the right school to earn your bachelor’s degree, consider enrolling at Grand Canyon University. Our Bachelor of Arts in English program with an emphasis in Professional Writing is designed to prepare students for a career in many fields, including journalism. You can learn more about the College of Humanities and Social Sciences by clicking the Request Info button at the top of this page.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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