Are you passionate about storytelling, uncovering the truth, and being at the forefront of important events?
If you’ve ever wondered how to become a journalist, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll explore the steps you need to take and the university degrees you need to study to embark on an exciting career in journalism.
What does a journalist do?
Before we dive into the journey of becoming a journalist, let’s understand the role of a journalist. Journalists are the eyes and ears of society. Journalists act as sentinels and watchdogs of all powers (political, economic, financial, social…etc), which coexist and shape a democratic society.
In other words, their work goes far beyond investigating, gathering and presenting information in an objective and truthful manner.
Journalists play a crucial role in our society that must be used to ensure transparency, accountability and the dissemination of stories that might otherwise remain hidden.
That is why, beyond writing, conducting interviews or transmitting information, we must be aware of the enormous responsibility that comes with becoming a journalist. The existence of professional journalists, free from manipulation, is the only guarantee of living in a fully democratic society with access to free and truthful information.
Types of journalism and opportunities
The journalism field is as broad as it is diverse and offers a wide variety of specializations. So, if you want to become a journalist, you’ll be happy to know that there are many options to explore:
- Investigative Journalism:
If you’re curious and like to get to the bottom of issues, investigative journalism may be the path for you. A form of journalism that involves having a vindictive nature, critical thinking, some intuition and a lot of research, as it focuses on uncovering and bringing to light information hidden or unknown to the public.
- Sports Journalism:
If you are passionate about sports, sports journalism will allow you to combine your love of the games with your storytelling skills. If you become a sports journalist, you will be able to cover live events, interview your idols, analyze strategies and statistics, and share your sports passion with others.
- Travel Journalism:
If exploring new places and sharing your experiences with others is your thing, travel journalism may be perfect for you. You will discover fascinating destinations, get to know different cultures and, in addition, you will have the opportunity to write about it. A real dream come true.
- Music journalism:
Just as with sports journalism, music journalism allows you to delve into a fascinating world and showcase emerging artists. If you become a music journalist you will be able to attend concerts, interview musicians and explore the latest musical trends. What can you ask for?
- Political journalism:
If you are interested in political issues and want to influence public debate, political journalism may be a good fit for you. Becoming a political journalist will offer you the opportunity to report on changes and decisions that affect society.
- War journalism:
This type of journalism involves working in conflict zones and covering events related to war and armed conflict. It is an extremely difficult and dangerous form of journalism, but it can play a crucial role in raising awareness of the horrors of war and protecting human rights.
As you can see, each area offers exciting opportunities and allows you to use your skills to inform and have a positive impact on society. So, if you are seduced by the idea, how about exploring the steps you need to take to become a journalist?
5 steps to become a journalist
By following these steps, you can set yourself on a path to becoming a successful journalist:
Choose a university degree to become a journalist
If you want to work as a journalist, the first thing you need to do is to get a college degree.
You can choose between a Bachelor of Science in Marketing Communication and Advertising or an Associate Degree of Arts in Liberal Studies.
In both cases, you will be able to specialize in journalism and learn the narrative and mass communication techniques that will allow you to excel in this field.
Start an internship program
Gaining field experience is essential to becoming a good journalist. In fact, doing your internship alongside other professionals in the sector, will give you a clearer idea of how the industry works, sharp your skills and allow you to start building your own network of contacts.
The CIS University internship program, for example, has more than 300 agreements with top-tier companies, including well-known media outlets, that will help you improve your future prospects in the field.
Be part of a university club
Joining university clubs related to journalism, such as our Creative Society or CIS Book Club, can provide you with additional learning opportunities and a platform to collaborate with like-minded individuals. And, on the other hand, participating in the Debate Club will allow you to improve your oratory and eloquence skills, as well as to hold a position and refute the contrary, essential skills if your goal is to be a political journalist.
Engaging with fellow students who share your passion for journalism, participate in workshops, and contribute to the university’s media outlets will allow you to gain practical experience outside the classroom.
Launch your own blog
They say that, nowadays, if you’re not on the Internet, you don’t exist. Therefore, if you want to become a journalist, what better way to do it than by creating your own blog. Having your own blog is another way to showcase your talent and writing style.
In fact, your blog can serve as your portfolio to attract potential employers. So you know, pick a topic and start writing!
Find a job
Becoming a journalist is not something that happens overnight; you have to climb the ladder rung by rung. The most common is to start working as an intern, collecting data or classifying information. But, if you have talent and dedication, you will gradually rise up the ladder.
In fact, at CIS University we have a 95% employability rate, which means that virtually all of our students find jobs during or right after completing their degree.
Ready to embark on this exciting adventure? At CIS University we are ready to set sail.
Dare to be part of our crew!