Journalism is a daring profession and is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Exposing governments, private dealings, corruption and challenging the authorities at every step, this is a job that requires real guts and passion. Today, the media has transformed and celebrated journalists are going the digital way. But the point is, can you become a journalist if you don’t study the subject in your undergraduation? The answer is, Yes! However, you still need to get a certification before joining this field of work. Continue reading this article to know how you can become a journalist without formal degrees.
- Do an Online Course
Starting your career in journalism is not always about formal degrees and certificates. What matters is whether you have a keen eye for details and bring out investigative and human stories from around the world. To do that, you can easily enroll in one of the online courses. These are self-paced courses and will help you get all the theoretical knowledge on the subject.
- Go for a Short term Masters Degree
There are masters courses in media management and journalism, which allows students from all streams to participate. UCLA Extension is one such famous degree course that will teach aspiring journalists several techniques, including research and interviewing skills, developing your writing and communication skills, investigative reporting techniques and media laws. Once you can finish some courses like this, your basics of journalism will be clear and then apply for part-time/internship projects in the beginning to get an idea how the system works.
- Learn Digital Marketing in Depth
Digital marketing skills are essential for print media journalists. Today, articles are published in newspapers along with their online counterparts. So, you need to know things like keyword research and optimization, hashtags to use, providing a suitable meta description, headings and subheadings, tags, links, social media texts and several other advanced techniques that will drive traffic to your online page. This is because readers are shifting to the digital format and hence just writing a quality piece is not enough today, it must be optimized.
- Apply for Internships
Once you are done with the degrees, don’t immediately apply for a job. Being new to this field, start applying for a good internship opportunity for 8-10 weeks to get a clear idea and gain some experience in this field. This does not mean that you stop applying for jobs, keep sending your resumes everywhere highlighting your strong points.
- Choose a Specialization
Journalism has a large number of branches and sub-branches. Analyse yourself and choose an area that you can work with. It can be sports, films, environment, international affairs, public policy, finance, wars and conflicts or anything else which you find interesting. Gather as much knowledge as you can in most of these fields so that you can switch over if required on the later part of your career.
The quality of journalism has deteriorated in mainstream print and television channels due to a biased approach and lack of understanding of serious matters. Content is king, as we all know and reporting in serious issues needs a lot of clarity, background information and conviction to present it infront of millions of people. Instead of being a jack of all trades, pick up an area and write well-researched articles or discuss serious matters that will make your readers/viewers follow you on social media.
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