Journalism is an interesting field with many varied jobs. If you are thinking about pursuing a career in journalism, there are many different paths to pursue after graduation. With that said, some of the best journalists out there started by taking up an online master’s degree in journalism and going on from there.
Here are eight tips for building a rewarding career in journalism after graduation:
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Consider Taking Up an Online Master’s Degree in Journalism
If you’re already working, an online master’s in journalism can be an add-on for you. Online journalism programs are more affordable than traditional degrees. The flexibility in the format allows students to pursue their education while maintaining work schedules.
Online journalism degrees allow students to pursue a wide range of topics, from news writing and reporting to media ethics and law. There are also many options for students interested in pursuing careers outside of writing, such as social media management or digital marketing.
To build a rewarding career in journalism, you should study the areas of journalism that interest you. Journalism has many facets, so it’s important to know what areas of this field interest you and how to get started with it. Some examples of journalism-related topics include:
- Investigative Reporting: The purpose of investigative reporting is to uncover information that has not yet been discovered.
- Journalism in the Digital Age: Journalism in the digital age is a new way of doing things for journalists and news platforms. It is a process that involves using technology like social media to get your story out there.
- Political Journalism: Political journalism covers political events such as elections and government policies.
- News Reporting: News reporting is about reporting on current events on time so that people can stay up-to-date with what’s happening around them.
According to Indeed, the national average salary of a journalist is $36.26 per hour, while the national average salary of a news producer and a news editor is $46,900 per year and $47,686 per year, respectively. Many other career options available in journalism can help build a rewarding career in journalism.
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Join a Student News Organization
Joining a student news organization is an excellent way to gain experience and a great opportunity to learn from others and see how the industry works. Some organizations are affiliated with universities, while others operate independently. Both types offer valuable opportunities for students looking to get into journalism.
If you are considering joining a student news organization, it’s important to do your research before signing up. You will want to find one that fits your interests and offers opportunities that align with what you hope to accomplish in the future.
Find an Internship or Job Near Where You Want to Stay
Studies have shown that students who go for interns have higher chances of getting full-time positions and better pay in all fields. According to Zippia internship statics:
- 300,000 students do internships every year in the US.
- 70% of these interns get hired by the same company.
- 60.8% of overall internship programs contribute to paid positions. At the same time, 52% of these paid interns are more likely to get a full-time job.
An internship in journalism will help you get a better and more rewarding career. Make sure that the job or internship aligns with your interests, career goals, and skills development because you will be spending at least 40 hours per week there.
If you’re planning to move after graduation, look for internships and jobs near where you want to be. If you are moving home, look for opportunities closer to your family. If you have family in another city, ensure they are willing to help with housing costs or necessary transportation needs. If it doesn’t seem like a good fit from the beginning, consider finding something else, if possible, before committing yourself full-time.
Get Practical Experience Outside of School
There are a lot of different ways to get practical experience. One option is to work with a newspaper, magazine, or website. You can also work with a public relations agency, non-profit organization, or government agency. Another option would be to get an internship with someone working in journalism, like if you’re going into broadcast journalism and you want to do something like that as an internship. It’s important for students looking for jobs after school to become familiar with what people are looking for and how they can best prepare themselves to find the right job opportunities when they graduate.
Network as Much as You Can
Network with people in the field. The journalism industry is a tight-knit community; most of us know someone who knows someone else who works at our dream publication. Of course, the best way to make those connections is through networking events and conferences, but you can also meet and talk to people at local news outlets.
Network with people who are not in the field. It’s easy to get tunnel vision and focus on one area of interest, but that won’t help you broaden your knowledge or build a portfolio that shows off your skills outside of journalism, which might lead to burnout. If you want to stay fresh and engaged throughout your career, journalists need to branch out from what they already know. It means going beyond traditional networks like journalism schools, student organizations, or alumni groups at former colleges and universities where we tend to get our first jobs after graduation.
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To sharpen your skills and knowledge, there are several ways to do so. First, you can take a course or two at an accredited institution; this will allow you to gain more knowledge about the industry. You can also read books that will help improve your writing style, interview techniques, and general journalism skills. There are also many online tutorials available today that cover these topics in great detail and could help enhance your knowledge base.
Another way of developing new skills is through internships or volunteering activities related to journalism, such as attending conferences and seminars held by professional organizations like PIJA (Philippine Institute of Journalism & Arts). Here the experts share their knowledge on the latest trends in journalism practices.
You should also learn how to use social media platforms because they are needed in promoting a brand’s message online today, be it news organizations or individual journalists themselves.
According to a recent survey by Pew Research Centre, more than nine out of ten, around 94% of journalists, editors, reporters, and others working in the U.S news industry use social media platforms for their jobs. However, the websites the readers approach for news are different than those used by journalists and reporters. Therefore, a good journalist should know the ideal social media platform to place their news.
Be Willing to Accept a Less-Than-Perfect Job at First.
We’ve all heard the advice to follow your passion and get a job related to your interests. While this is a good starting point, it’s not always the most realistic option for recent journalism grads. Most students are saddled with massive student loans, which means they may have to take jobs that pay less than what they thought was appropriate or even positions in industries outside of journalism. But don’t stress. The experience you gain from these positions can help you when it comes time to search for positions in your field of interest.
The best thing you can do at this point is to be willing to accept whatever job you get offered, even if it doesn’t seem ideal at first glance, and work hard while performing well. That way, when the time comes around again, employers will be more likely to see past any shortcomings and recognize who they’ll be getting if they hire you as an employee.
The best thing you can do is to find your way and follow it, even if it means taking an unconventional path. Most importantly, you are passionate about what you’re doing and willing to work hard for it. Journalism has been around for a long time, but there’s no doubt that this industry will continue to evolve with the times and its workers.