Journalism is a career that will allow a person the chance to see the world. They can travel all over and report important stories. This career may be hard for someone to break into. Helen Lee Schifter has a lot of respect for journalists. Schifter also has some tips for aspiring journalists so they can get a start in this field.
Master the Basics
While every journalist wants to write the next big story they cannot do this until they learn the basics. They need to have exceptional grammar and style. They will also need to pay close attention to the structure of their writing. It has to be interesting and engaging. They need to have others look at their pieces and analyze them. This will allow them to improve and perfect their style.
Learn New Tools
To make the piece stand out there are many news media tools that will help the journalist make their piece interesting. They need to learn about interactive graphics, video slides, and other visuals that will make their writing more interesting. They should look at their strength and use this to help move onto another skill they would like to learn. They can even join a group of aspiring journalists so they can share their skills and learn about advancements in this field.
Perfect Research Skills
Helen Lee Schifter wants to remind us that a good journalist needs to keep their facts straight. To do this they need to learn how to research and how to tell if a source is valid. This will allow them to report their story and make sure it is accurate. This is one of the most important skills that a journalist needs to have.
Learn About the Agencies
Most journalists have interactions with government agencies no matter what topic they are covering. They may also find themselves asking questions and comments from the police and the courts. The journalist needs to learn about these systems and they should become familiar with the way the government operates. They will need to know basic information. It will be helpful to study some political science courses for extra help with this.
A journalist is not going to have their pieces published in national papers such as the New York Times right away. This is going to take years. They should begin with a smaller paper in mind. They can write for their college newspaper or try to get in with the local paper. They can go online and post one of their writings so they can build up their portfolio. This will allow them to get some experience and will allow them to begin to build a following.
These are some of the tips that an aspiring journalist should follow to make a name in the field. If they need to stand out from the rest and put out information that people will want to read. With these skills, they will get noticed and break into the field of journalism.