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Journalism

A career in journalism requires for the individual to: conduct interviews whether in person, phone, or through email, collect and analyze information about newsworthy events in order to write stories for publication or broadcast, and organize material according to the level of importance or amount of emphasis assigned to that material. They verify factual information, and present the information according to prescribed editorial style and format standards. They can also become responsible for editing articles, videos, and assisting in broadcast. Journalists can be expected to be under constant pressure due to constant deadlines and can sometimes expose themselves to dangerous and hazardous environments in order to obtain their stories. Journalists are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in either one of the following three: journalism, mass communication, or broadcasting. They are also expected to have some computer proficiency, to have some familiarity with online databases as well as some sort of knowledge of news photography, video editing, and multimedia web design. All undergraduates must take lower division courses in: editing, journalistic ethics, reporting, feature writing, photo journalism, and communication while additional upper division courses are determined by the student’s entitled focused, whether they wish to pursue a career in : print or broadcast journalism. Individuals must either take courses to either strengthen their writing abilities or to obtain radio and television production techniques. For individuals wishing to pursue a career in online media, they must takes courses in which they learn; software, web- design, Photoshop, HTML and other valuable skills such as how to combine text with graphics, photo, and media.

The best form of education however is believed to be experience, to have as much experience with the spotlight and writing as possible. This can be done through Journalist Training Programs, which offer extra courses in mass media, advanced writing, news reporting, public speaking, and political communication. An inspiring journalist can get experience as early as high school; they can start by getting involved with their high school’s: drama department, broadcast station, or newspaper. In order to become a good journalist the individual must have great communication skills, both written and verbal, as well as people skills. As a journalist you will be forced to interact with numerous people with different backgrounds and from different walks of life, in order for them to open up one must come off as an understanding and easily accessible individual. When writing the reporter must be objective and have an unbiased attitude. However to become a successful reporter one must obtain a certain degree of formal education. Some of the best known Universities with credited journalism and communication major include: American University, Arizona State University, Auburn University, and Boston University. Individuals who wish to advance their knowledge in journalism may want to consider a graduate career or obtaining a master’s degree. Program requirements tend to vary, they typically consists of two through four semesters of intense course work that cover various topics such as research methods and blogging.

As mentioned before experience is a crucial aspect of a reporter’s career, individuals hiring aspiring reporters look for individuals with broadcast or publication experience whether at: a broadcasting station, their university, or through internships. The individual must show-case their best work through online or hard copy portfolios when applying for job in publishing, when pursing a radio or television career it is recommended to create an audio or video “ demo reel” that positions you as a serious and poised communicator who is highly knowledgeable about the topic being covered. Reporters usually begin their career by covering court proceedings, political meetings, writing obituaries, working in community publications, writing for their local newsletter, or local area newspaper. Anything that might get them published. Overtime they specialize in specific fields such as business, politics, sports, and court trails. Specializing in any of these fields require an extra emphasis on the topic they wish to continue pursuing. For instance, if one desires to become a sports reporter, aside from obtaining the required Bachelor Associate degree in either journalism, communication, or broadcasting, an individual pursuing a career as a sports reporter might also want to consider taking journalism courses such as: video, podcasts, graphics, text, and slide-show plays as well as some non- journalism courses such as sports management. Many employers would see it as an added bonus if as a reporter you have some form of background with what you plan on covering. For instance if you want to specialize in sports they would appreciate the fact that you might have been an athletic. After numerous years of experience journalists can and often do go on to become editors, producers, supervising reporters, and even station managers or publishers. Editors work with writers and are responsible for: reviewing, editing, and sometimes rewriting stories. They are also responsible for reviewing queries (story proposals) and assigning stories to their staff or free-lance writers. They can also become involved in the production of their publications which includes; designing a page layout and coordinating art and illustrations. Station managers can be thought of as the direct overseer at radio and television stations. They are responsible for: hiring, firing, purchasing, accounting and staff supervision. They also are involved with the revenue and problem solving at the station as well as; evaluating projects, analyzing literature to develop on-air content and making sure the station remains in compliance with FCC regulations while creating the internal protocols for station employees. As a publisher one can expect to interact directly with authors in order to revise and polish their work. It is also the responsibility of the publisher to determine what gets published based on their personal interests, professional expertise, and target demographics. They ensure the production process runs smoothly by; setting guidelines, submission deadlines, and thus ensuring all work get to the printer on time. Time and experience not only increases employment opportunities and promotions but freedom as well. They have a greater say in what stories are assigned to them, their opinions and beliefs are not as censored, and they gain a sense of respect amongst their collides; which enable them to write better stories due to a greater access to resources such as individuals who can be potential sources, access to locations and influential and newsworthy individuals.

According to two thousand and ten US Bureau of Labor fifty- three percent of reporters wrote and reported for: magazines, newspapers, and book publishers while twenty-one reported for television and radio. The news reporter annual income varies greatly depending on experience and employer. According to the BLS report the yearly median income for news reporter was 34,850, the median salary for reporters in publishing was 33,430 while the median income for reporters in television and radio was 37, 710. However the job market for reporters is changing rapidly due to the merging of large publishing and broadcasting firms, keen competition for jobs in large metropolitan areas with national newspapers, networkers, and magazines as well as to a lack of funding from a strained economy. The BLS predicts employment opportunities would drop by six percent in areas such as newspaper publishing, television and broadcast between the years 2014 and 2018 while experiencing an increase in online reporting. This change is believed to be due to the ever-changing availability and mobility offered by technology. They predict a transition from magazines, newspapers, and television to blogs and websites due to a decreasing number of television views and newspaper readers. This ever-changing market is both unpredictable and stressful. Many newspapers are cutting down staff and some are closing, forcing reporters to readjust to the changing market by transiting to websites or moving in order to climb in the bigger media market. Although the life of a journalist can be filled with uncertainty, instability, and unpredictability it is a life that is worthwhile. As a journalist you are exposed to numerous situations, environments, and individuals many people can only dream of. As a journalist, regardless of the approach, you become responsible for documenting political and social history. You uptake the responsibility of informing individuals about the world around them, what you say and how you say it can have an enormous effect on how society behaves, thinks, and interacts with one another. This amount of responsibility requires a journalist to uphold an honorably and unbiased demeanor.