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How to become a broadcast journalist

Broadcast journalists work in television, radio and multimedia to write, produce and edit news segments. Completing a bachelor’s degree program and an internship are important steps to becoming a broadcast journalist; continue reading for information on how to enter this career.

What Does a Broadcast Journalist Do?

Broadcast journalists communicate information to large audiences through the mediums of television, radio and online media on the local, national and international levels. Their job is to report on news and events accurately and without bias in order to inform the general public. This typically requires them to research stories, conduct interviews and edit recorded content. In addition to strong communication and research abilities, broadcast journalists may need technical skills related to their specific career, such as an ability to work with online and social media platforms, or a knowledge of basic television production techniques.

Step 1: Research Broadcast Journalist Duties and Education

Many aspiring journalists first gain experience by taking high school journalism classes and getting involved in their high school newspapers or news programs. Broadcast journalism is a very competitive field because of the limited number of stations in each market. Learning the duties of each role in broadcast journalism, whether in front of or behind the camera, will provide the most flexibility in a career. The trends in online video and radio are promising for broadcast journalists and may mean more jobs and opportunities in the future. The minimum education required of broadcast journalists is a bachelor’s degree.

Step 2: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

Broadcast journalists typically have a bachelor’s degree in journalism, broadcast journalism or interactive media. Students take classes in production, scripts, newswriting, media studies and mass communications. In practicum courses, students frequently work in on-campus TV studios, radio stations and editing suites, where they practice all aspects of contributing to news programs. Understanding not only how to write, but how to edit, produce, research, operate cameras and perform other broadcast journalism functions will make graduates well-rounded. It’s also a good idea to understand podcasting and other online broadcasting initiatives.

Step 3: Complete an Internship

Most undergraduate broadcast journalism programs include a for-credit internship component. This allows students to observe and be part of professional television and radio shows. Usually internships are unpaid, but the experience they offer is extremely valuable. After graduation, some students participate in more internships in order to sharpen their skills and build their resumes. Again, experience in online broadcast technology is important; many traditional radio and television stations now have an online presence as well.

Step 4: Find a Job

Finding a job in broadcast journalism can be tricky due to the limited amount of jobs available in each market, resulting from lower levels of readers and viewers of traditional news. Online news sources are expected to continue rising in popularity in the future. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for all reporters and correspondents are predicted to decline by 12% from 2018 to 2028.

Big cities have bigger media markets and more job openings, but also attract more experienced applicants. New graduates may find it easier to secure employment in a smaller market or at a small station, according to the BLS.

Step 5: Learn New Skills

The nature of broadcast journalism is changing as more people turn to online sources of media. This means that the traditional broadcast journalism jobs may become fewer or change dramatically. Learning new skills and keeping up with popular online broadcast journalism trends and technologies is the best way to ensure future job security. Broadcast journalists should also stay apprised of trends in major media markets around the country to know when jobs become available.

Some broadcast journalists earn a master’s degree to advance their knowledge base and skill set. There are programs available that are focused on reporting in the digital age, teaching you how to use the newest digital technology, and you might be able to choose a concentration in an area like online reporting, sports reporting, political reporting or international reporting.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Aspiring broadcast journalists might also want to consider related careers that require the same level of education and training. One such option is print journalism, where reporting and analysis is done through the written word. The training acquired through a media-related bachelor’s degree program is also suitable for students who want to become public relations managers or other professionals working in media and promotions.

Students who are more interested in writing-based degree programs could also consider becoming scriptwriters who provide entertaining content for a wide range of purposes, such as for television shows or radio broadcasts. Another possible career path is becoming an editor for written publications, like magazines and newspapers, a position which requires impeccable grammar skills and a strong grasp of the English language.

All of these positions could expect comparable or slightly more favorable employment growth.

What does a broadcast journalist do?

Broadcast journalists research and report the news across broadcast channels, such as TV, radio and online. You may be working behind the scenes as a researcher or producer – finding out background details about a story or interviewing people – or you may be in front of the camera or on the radio as a reporter or presenter.

You’ll need to work to tight deadlines, reporting breaking and unfolding news as well as investigating your own stories. You may be working indoors or out in the field. You’ll need to be able to use recording equipment such as microphones and cameras, as well as being able to edit material. It’s a highly competitive job, for which you’ll need excellent English, communication and IT skills.

How to Become a Broadcast Journalist

What do I need to do to become a broadcast journalist ?

There are a number of different routes into broadcast journalism. You could train on the job as part of a trainee or apprenticeship scheme, or you could do an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in journalism.

To get on a relevant degree you’ll need five GCSEs A-C, including maths, English and science and three A levels. There are no specific subjects required but relevant ones include: English literature, English language, media, psychology, sociology, communication studies and law.

A level 3 vocational qualification in media studies would be relevant for this work. Check with universities regarding acceptability

The Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC) website has a list of accredited degrees and postgraduate courses in broadcast journalism. Check with colleges or universities for their exact entry requirements.

Life as a broadcast journalist can lead to a life of adventure. Journalists in this field travel all over to cover the news for huge audiences to see. Go and report about the FIFA World Cup from the sidelines, or fly to Puerto Rico to cover the aftermath of the devastating hurricanes that hit. If traveling out of the country sounds like too much, then stay right in the states. Report live from the White House in Washington D.C. (you’ll probably find something to talk about—right?) If delivering information, excitement, perspective and comfort from your spot in front of the camera sounds appealing to you, consider broadcast journalism.

Here’s how to become a broadcast journalist.

What does a broadcast journalist do?

What does it take to become a Broadcast Journalist?

Before the camera starts rolling, obtain a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Once you start taking classes in journalism (or a very closely related major), you can choose courses or tracks that get you experience with filming, speaking in front of the camera, editing and writing scripts for mass media. Remember, just because broadcast fixates on visual media, you still need to write like a boss.

In this field, experience comes over everything. From interning at local news stations to writing for the college newspaper, you’ll gain respect for those who use the tools you learn in a classroom without a helpful professor nearby to troubleshoot and use them during a live broadcast. Pro Tip: make a reel/portfolio video of your ability as a broadcast journalist to really wow future employers.

What Should I know about becoming a Professional Broadcast Journalist?

1. What income will I earn as a Professional Broadcast Journalist?

Let’s be honest: You won’t make six figures right out of college in this field and if you do, props to you. The average journalist makes about $44,000 a year. Compared to other careers, the money aspect sounds like a hard NO (understandable). But hear me out—would you rather sit in an office for the rest of your life or go out for an adventure for stories that you can tell your friends, kids and grandchildren about?

2. How much will I be expected to work as a Professional Broadcast Journalist?

Nobody knows what will happen in the news day in and day out. “Slow news” days happen and they may seem boring. But you will see the blessing they come with when that breaking coverage hits the studio and no one dares sit still for dozens of hours at a time. More often than not, the average day of a journalist can work up to 13 to 14-hour days and that sometimes includes holidays. Some of the biggest stories happen on holidays and you’ll need to deliver.

3. What will my work environment be like?

The traditional office work environment depends on what you get assigned day to day. The main anchors in broadcast journalism work in the studio every day, but on-scene reporters go wherever the story takes them. One day you could go to the crime scene of a shooting and then later that day sit at a press conference with the mayor. You write your script or just freestyle while on the scene. No days go exactly the same way, but that’s what makes this lifestyle super fun. Who likes consistency?

4. What do I need to know about the future of the Broadcast Journalism profession?

Like any professional field, it changes and evolves. The way things get done now in broadcast media don’t get done near the same way they did 20 years ago. “The changes in technology have caused the industry to grow. Social media has changed how we consume media and now everything is available wherever and whenever. This has lead to new jobs being created and old jobs disappearing. It’s just how the industry goes,” Temple University journalism Professor George Miller said. The future for the industry shines bright and the world will always need a steady supply of young reporters.

3 Key Skills to become a broadcast journalist

1. People skills

Your interpersonal communication will come in handy when directing your camera and taking direction on camera and when interviewing. You’ll also have to ramp up the charisma on camera so the audience at home doesn’t reach for the remote as you drone on.

2. Writing skills

Broadcast journalists are not news-delivering ventriloquy dummies for some writers in a back room of the studio. You’ll have to write your own materials sometimes and use clarity and concision.

3. Computer skills

Once you wrap up filming, you can’t throw the footage into another back room with a bunch of eager editors. While every position has different requirements, a well-rounded journalist can see their footage all the way through from conception to the final cut.

Reviews

“The job is not glamorous. There will be lots of long days and there is a lot of tedious work that goes into it. It’s not your typical 9 to 5 job where you sit in an office and work on a computer. You go out and experience the world as it happens and you are the one in charge of letting the rest of the world know. It’s a huge responsibility,” former ESPN broadcaster Jayson Stark said.

“You won’t come out of college and jump right into a job in New York or Philly or Chicago. Chances are you will end up somewhere that nobody has even heard of. I came out and started at a small town in Kansas. But be patient and perfect your craft and it will lead to a big job. None the less whether in a small town or in a big city the adventure is there and I promise when you visit family you will have a ton of stories to tell them about,” MLB Network broadcaster Robert Flores said.

“Everyone says that it takes time to be good at a job. Well in broadcast, don’t get deterred if someone says you suck. Trust me, I was told that a million times and anyone else in the field will say the same thing. You may think you are incredible and know everything but you don’t. It will take a few times being pulled off a show by your producer before you really start to get a feel for things. Stick with things and just learn as much as you can. Each day will be a grind and very busy but in the end its all worth it. I truly believe that in this business you never work a day in your life because it’s incredible and I am more than happy in my career. When you are happy, it makes getting up for work every day a lot easier,” Phillies Radio Play-by-Play announcer Scott Franzke said.

To become a broadcast journalist, a good way to begin is by knowing what interests you, where your skills lie, and what your passions are. Perhaps you are interested in delivering the news to a local audience, or maybe even a national audience, via television, the radio, or the Internet. Maybe you love to travel and would like to report the news from exotic locations around the world. Or your love of online media could turn into a job as a professional blogger or social media manager. Spend some time thinking about what would fulfill your career aspirations.

What steps should I take to become a Broadcast Journalist?

1. Start Small (and Local)

It’s a good idea to begin your experience by working at small locations, often with no pay. The national audience is very attractive, but very few start out there. Internships at local stations or newspapers are often available to journalism students. Here are a few other ideas to help you get started:

  • Volunteer to write for your school newspaper
  • Edit your school’s yearbook
  • Write a blog in an area that interests you
  • Volunteer to contribute to a friend’s website

All of these provide great real-world experience that you can draw on later.

2. Pursue an Education

Determine how your experience may best be complemented by a degree that will make you a competitive candidate for application. Research the best degree and coursework that matches with your interests and experience. No matter what level of experience you have, a solid education is a must.

3. Decide on a school

Request information from journalism schools offering degrees in your chosen niche. Compare schools, get program details, online degree availability, and ensure that the degree is aligned with your broadcast journalism career goals. You will have the opportunity to speak directly with a representative from each school to make sure you get your questions answered.

4. Apply at a school

Apply and enroll in a school of your choice. Determine if it would be better for you to find related work experience while obtaining your degree online, or if you would rather attend a traditional campus location.

5. Build on your education

Continue to pursue relevant experience while you’re in school. Online publication, whether in the form of a blog or your own website, is an easy way to build on your experience so that you are more ready for the workforce when you graduate.

Obtaining your broadcast journalism degree will help you reach your goal of becoming a broadcast journalist. This education, combined with the experienced you’ve started to build, will help qualify you for entry-level positions at TV or radio stations, newspapers, or online publications. This is supported by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, who states that job prospects will be best for applicants with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Broadcast Journalism, or a related field, combined with relevant job experience.

Related Career Interests

Your education in broadcast journalism can easily transfer into other journalism careers, such as:

  • sports journalism
  • foreign correspondence
  • communications
  • social media
  • freelance writing
  • marketing
  • public relations

Working as a Broadcast Journalist

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a Broadcast Journalist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $30.69 an hour? That’s $63,829 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow -10% and produce -5,100 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Broadcast Journalist Do

There are certain skills that many Broadcast Journalists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed Communication skills, Computer skills and Interpersonal skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a Broadcast Journalist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 25.1% of Broadcast Journalists included News Stories, while 12.1% of resumes included Public Affairs, and 4.5% of resumes included Forces Network. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

How To Become a Broadcast Journalist

If you’re interested in becoming a Broadcast Journalist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We’ve determined that 44.6% of Broadcast Journalists have a bachelor’s degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 22.6% of Broadcast Journalists have master’s degrees. Even though most Broadcast Journalists have a college degree, it’s possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a Broadcast Journalist. When we researched the most common majors for a Broadcast Journalist, we found that they most commonly earn Journalism degrees or Communication degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Broadcast Journalist resumes include Business degrees or English degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a Broadcast Journalist. In fact, many Broadcast Journalist jobs require experience in a role such as Internship. Meanwhile, many Broadcast Journalists also have previous career experience in roles such as Reporter or Public Affairs Specialist.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we’ll match you with the right jobs to get there.

How to Become a Broadcast Journalist

What is a Broadcast Journalist?
Broadcast Journalists research and report news across a variety of channels, to include: TV, radio and online. Some Broadcast Journalists will be centre screen, working as presenters and reporting on the news in front of the camera, or on the radio. Other Broadcast Journalists will work off screen, researching story details and interviewing people. Often Broadcast Journalists will specialise in a particular type of news, for instance sports or politics.

A Day in the Life of a Broadcast Journalist
Although the role of a Broadcast Journalist varies by experience, we have put together a a brief summary of the things you should expect in your role as a Broadcast Journalist:

  1. Research – A large part of your role will include finding and researching potential and existing stories as well as leads and subjects for interview using the internet, historical archives and other repositories.
  2. Interviews – If you are in a front facing Broadcast Journalist role you will also be expected to record live and pre-recorded interviews and reports. You may also be expected to write up these pieces and help create online content.
  3. Press Briefings – Attending press briefings may be another requirement where you will need to be prepared to ask questions, take notes and work to tight deadlines.
  4. Out of office – As a Broadcast Journalist much of your time will be spent travelling to different locations to cover stories. Due to the sporadic nature of the job role, you could often find yourself being called to a job at the last moment to cover a breaking story. Dedication is key in this job role and you must be prepared to work long and irregular hours.

How to Become a Broadcast Journalist

Key skills

  • Good research skills
  • Good verbal and written ability – able to speak clearly and effectively
  • Ability to work under pressure and to deadlines
  • Creative
  • Work effectively in a team
  • Good communication skills

How to become a Broadcast Journalist
There are multiple routes to becoming a Broadcast Journalist. Academic entry would require attaining a degree in Journalism or a related subject, or you could join a training scheme. Related subjects could include: English, History, Media Studies and Drama. Failing this, you could start out as a Print Journalist or have experience working on local radio stations.

Become a Broadcast Journalist today
If you are ready for the next step in your career, why not take a look at the latest Broadcast Journalist vacancies on our jobs board? You can view our latest vacancies here.

How to Become a Broadcast Journalist

Once the reserve of highly-skilled, specialist cameramen, rapid developments in modern technology and news gathering means that every journalist must now be well-versed in the use of broadcast equipment. But how do you become a broadcast journalist?

From filming to editing, b-roll to voiceovers, a modern reporter is expected to possess the ability to go into the field alone and shoot a video at any time.

Top tips for getting into broadcast journalism from Sky News presenter Tom Macleod

Does the video fit the story?

Make sure your story suits video. While video is a crucial asset is the digital age, it mused be used well for maximum impact.

Protests, demonstrations, events and physical activities are often the best for video, with lots of action and energy to shoot.

Other stories may not lend themselves to the visual medium as readily, and may require more forethought and planning to illustrate correctly.

How to Become a Broadcast Journalist

Sportsbeat’s Adam Richards going the extra mile

Keep it simple

Whether shooting for a website or for a broadcast TV station, it is always best to keep your video package as simple as possible.

As long as your voiceover is informative, your interview concise and your b-roll visually engaging, your video will do its job perfectly.

You’re not shooting a Hollywood blockbuster or an art school project, so fades, snazzy graphics and pop music are all unnecessary.

Ensuring your interviewees are well-framed and your voiceover is clear is far more important, and will be what a broadcast video is judged upon.

Top tips for getting into broadcast journalism from BBC News Intake senior broadcast journalist Narinder Kalsi

Know what you’re shooting

Before you jump into your car and head off to shoot your news report, make sure you know what you want.

Will you be filming somewhere quiet? Will there be enough natural light? Do you have permission to film there?

Whenever you film, it is important to be well-prepared and have a clear plan for your package.

In such a fast-paced industry, being able to quickly and effectively plan, shoot and execute your ideas is an essential skill.

Keep it short and sharp

After shooting four interviews and hours of b-roll, it may seem an impossible task to trim it all down into a three-minute video.

Yet extensive research shows how quickly attention spans can drop after the first minute, especially if your video is for the internet.

Be ruthless, be focused on your subject and don’t convince yourself the video has to be ten minutes long.

Looking for the best mobile journalism editing apps? Click here.

You might also like to read:

What are your top tips for getting into broadcast journalism? Let us know in the comments!

Join the Community

How to Become a Broadcast Journalist

To become a broadcast journalist, you should seek out opportunities to work in radio or television organizations in order to gain practical experience in journalism. You should also, if possible, complete a degree in journalism through a college or university. Depending on the type of work you wish to do and your previous education and experience, you may wish to pursue additional training to improve your writing, knowledge of the subject matter that you wish to report on, and public presentation skills.

How to Become a Broadcast JournalistAspiring journalists may gain experience working at a radio station.

Broadcast journalists work in the areas of television or radio programming. If you are a high school student, you may be able to begin your quest to become a broadcast journalist by participating in broadcast journalism activities through your school. Some schools have radio or television shows that are produced on campus. If your school does not offer broadcast journalism opportunities, you may still wish to participate in print journalism by volunteering for your school’s newspaper. Other courses that you may wish to take would include broadcasting, advanced writing courses, and possibly even drama.

In general, someone who wishes to become a broadcast journalist should complete a university degree in journalism. Choose a university that offers a journalism degree with a broadcast journalism emphasis and that has its own student-run radio and television stations. While you are in school, try to get part-time work or internships at local media outlets. In general, having real-world experience will be crucial if you are to become a broadcast journalist. When choosing non-journalism courses, try to choose a wide range of courses that can provide you with a sufficient breadth of knowledge that can help you become an accurate reporter of different types of news.

As much of broadcast journalism takes place in a live format, you may wish to work on developing poise and spontaneity through taking acting classes or studying improvisational comedy. While your school may offer courses in these areas, in many communities professional acting and improvisational comedy schools often teach classes to amateurs who simply wish to improve their presentation and speaking skills. In some cases, it may be to your advantage to obtain an advanced degree in journalism, particularly if you plan to move into management or want to work at an elite news outlet. If you feel that you want to specialize in a specific topic, you may wish to obtain an advanced degree in that area instead of or in addition to an advanced journalism degree.

Table of Contents

  • What Is a Broadcast Journalist?
  • How to Be a Good Broadcast Journalist
  1. All Jobs
  2. Broadcast Journalist Jobs
  3. How to Become a Broadcast Journalist

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Do you think that merely engaging in some kind of activities like snapping a picture at an accident scene with a cell phone or creating a blog site for news makes one a journalist?

Well, sometimes it does but, there is a clear distinction between acting as a journalist and ‘being a Journalist’; The difference is in the end result.

Actually, practicing real journalism is easy and highly lucrative. It involves a step-by-step process and you can learn that right in this article.

A journalism career opens the door for a wide array of skills that can prepare one for many different careers. It also offers numerous opportunities for individuals to showcase their talents.

So, if you are an Indian aspiring to become a journalist, you need to connect with the right institution that will help create a smooth path for your career.

As you read further, you will learn more about the journalism career in India, and even connect with the best journalism programs in the country.

  • Who Is a Journalist?
  • Why Be a Journalist?
    • Love for Writing
  • Fame
    • Discover New things
  • What Does a Journalist Do?
    • Writer
    • Reporter
    • Photojournalist
    • Editor
  • What Skills Do I Need to Become A Successful Journalist?
  • How to Get Into Journalism In India: Step-by-step guide
  • What Schools Have the Best Journalism Programs In India?
  • How Much Does it Cost to Become a Journalist In India?
  • How Much Do Journalist Earn?
  • What is the Job Outlook of a Journalist?
  • Conclusion
  • How to Become a Journalist in India-Frequently Asked Questions
  • Reference
  • We Also Recommend

Who Is a Journalist?

Exercise increased caution in India due to crime and terrorism. Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.

This is a recent news headline from the India Travel Advisory and was put together by a Journalist.

Every day there is some story from around the world ranging from education, career, lifestyles, politics, science, sports to technology. Without a journalist, it is impossible for these stories to reach the masses.

That said, a journalist according to wikipedia.org, is a person who collects, writes, photographs, processes, edits, or comments on news or other topical information to the public.

Why Be a Journalist?

People enter into journalism for various reasons; some of which includes the following;

Love for Writing

The major group of people who make their living from writing are journalists. Although writing news reports and writing articles have two separate formats, the zeel to be a great writer can be found in an aspiring journalist.

Fame

A journalism career allows you to meet and interact with people from all walks of life. Through this, you have the opportunity to hear their stories. However, seeking to be famous is not bad but it shoud not be the primary reason for being a journalist. I say this because a good journalist does not care about impressing people but serving their needs.

Discover New things

Journalism makes one versatile. As a journalist, you have to seek facts and backup with a enough data. So, part of your job will be to inquire new information and ask “why?” questions to find out more.

There are many other motives why people go into journalism like pursuing an excited career and maybe lucrative career as well but, money and fun shouldn’t be the primary focus right?

Well, you will get a better understanding if you learn more about what journalism or maybe what journalist do.

What Does a Journalist Do?

As earlier said, a journalism career opens doors for a wide array of career options. Let’s look at the most common and specialist tasks for journalists.

Writer

The are different types of writing in journalism; Feature writing and Specialized writing.

Feature writers work for newspapers and magazines, writing longer stories which usually give background to the news-according to thenewsmanual.net. The person in charge of features is usually called the features editor.

A specialist writer is someone who is employed to produce personal commentary columns or reviews. A specialist writer is experience and has the ability to write well.

Reporter

The job of a reporter is to gather information and present it in a written or spoken form in news stories, feature articles or documentaries.

Some reporters specialized in some certain areas like sport, politics or agriculture but General reporters cover all sorts of news stories.

Photojournalist

Photojournalists tell news using photographs. They often work with the reporter to cover events or take photographs to illustrate the written story, or attend news events on their own, presenting both the pictures and a story.

Editor

For the editing task, we have the Sub-editor, the News-editors and then the final editors.

The sub-editors usually do not gather information themselves. They arranged the stories written by reporters and put them into a form which suits the special needs of their particular newspaper, magazine, bulletin or web page.

News-editors are in charge of the news journals. And, the editor checks what is included in the newspaper or magazine.

Although there are opportunities in this field, it is competitive. However, with hard work and passion, a career in journalism can be very fulfilling.

What Skills Do I Need to Become A Successful Journalist?

To excel in the journalism career, you must learn a skill that is suitable for the profession.

  • Reliable: This is one of the qualities that will announce you in a journalism career. Your employer and your audience rely on you to do your job.
  • Good communication skills: The ability to communicate well will help you to connect with the audience and enables them to make their point well.
  • Digital Literacy: To succeed as a journalist in today’s world, you need to know how to use modern technology like social media, websites, apps, smartphones, laptops, tablets, and any other broadcast mediums.
  • Ability to solve problems: You must be able to find the best possible solution to any issue that might pop up during work.
  • Investigative skills: As a journalist, you must be persistent and committed to finding facts and information and that entails you being aware of current affairs.

How to Get Into Journalism In India: Step-by-step guide

Now you understand what journalism is, if you consider it as the best fit for you, the following information will help you to get started.

How to Become a Broadcast Journalist

Broadcast journalists research and present news stories and factual programmes on TV, radio and the internet.

Salary range: £13,000 to £80,000

How to become a broadcast journalist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
  • graduate training scheme

University

Most broadcast journalists enter the job after doing a degree or postgraduate qualification in broadcast journalism.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

More information

  • equivalent entry requirements
  • student finance for fees and living costs
  • university courses and entry requirements

You could start as a production assistant or runner with a broadcasting company and work your way up.

Volunteering and experience

Volunteering is a good way to get experience of what it’s like to work in the media and will help when you apply for courses and jobs.

Organisations offering work experience opportunities include:

Direct application

Some broadcast journalists move into broadcast journalism from print journalism.

Other routes

You could apply directly to broadcasting companies like the BBC who offer graduate training schemes. Places are limited and competition is strong.

More information

Career tips

You could create an online showreel to show potential employers examples of your work.

Further information

You can find out more about careers and training in the media through the Broadcast Journalism Training Council.

You can get more information on working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

  • knowledge of media production and communication
  • knowledge of English language
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • customer service skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • following story ‘leads’, or generating story ideas
  • researching stories, using the internet, archives and databases
  • writing scripts, and website or social media content
  • preparing and conducting live and pre-recorded interviews
  • presenting in TV or radio studios or on location, and recording voiceovers for recorded material
  • asking questions at briefings and press conferences
  • directing a small camera or sound crew, or operating recording equipment yourself

Working environment

You could work at a TV studio, from home, in an office or at a film studio.

Your working environment may be you’ll travel often and outdoors in all weathers.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a studio-based presenter or a special news correspondent.

You could also move into programme making, producing, or management.

Do you think you have what it takes to be a broadcast journalist in the Army Reserve? What about the active component? Either way, we can point you in the right direction. Read below to see if this job looks like something you would be interested in. Contact us to learn more.

Already have a degree in Videography or Communications? The Army has a loan repayment program that may help you with your school costs – you can even enlist at a higher rank because of your education.

46R – Broadcast Journalist

Public Affair Broadcast Specialists are primarily responsible for participating in and supervising the operation of audio or video news for Army units or Armed Forces Radio Television Service (AFRTS). Some of your duties as a Broadcast Specialist may include:

  • Research, prepare and disseminate information through news releases, radio and television products
  • Perform as broadcast writer, reporter, editor, videographer, producer, and program host in radio and television productions
  • Perform operator level maintenance on assigned equipment and maintenance on assigned vehicles and generators

Training

Job training for Public Affairs Broadcast Specialists requires nine weeks of Basic Training, where you’ll learn basic Soldiering skills, and 12 weeks of Advanced Individual Training. Part of this time is spent in the classroom and part learning hands-on how to operate a video camera and program a 30 minute disc jockey show. You’ll also participate in a live-to-tape television newscast where you’ll work as anchor, control room operator, director and cameraperson. Some of the skills you’ll learn are:

  • Videography and video editing
  • Voice skills for anchoring television news and performing as a disc jockey
  • Writing news, feature and sports copy for radio and television
  • Radio and television programming and production
  • Public speaking
  • Media relations

Helpful Skills

  • An interest in English, journalism, speech and communications
  • An interest in video, television and radio
  • An ability to meet deadlines
  • An ability to speak clearly in front of audiences
  • An interest in researching facts and issues for news stories
  • An ability to write clearly and concisely

Related Civilian Jobs

The skills you learn as a Public Affairs Broadcast Specialist will help prepare you for a future with wire services, radio and television stations, and other visual information opportunities. You’ll be qualified to pursue a career as a newscaster, disc jockey, writer, director, producer, editor or correspondent.

How to Become a Broadcast Journalist

Journalism is, in most respects, the backbone of the media industry. Therefore many media jobs require some aspect of journalism. The type of writing a journalist does depend largely on the subject they cover. Another thing which affects a journalist’s job is the outlet they produce news for TV, the Internet, a newspaper, etc.

That being said, a “traditional” journalist reports the news. What does that mean? Well, it can mean various things. The standard image of a journalist and one often portrayed in ​movies is of someone working a beat for a newspaper and finding stories. Which begs the question: What is a beat?

Working a Beat

A beat is a media term for the area, or topic, a journalist covers. So a beat could be anything from local crime, to national news to Hollywood movies. Beats can be very specific, or broader, depending on the kind of publication you’re working for. A mid-size daily newspaper, for example, will have reporters covering everything from local police goings-on to local sports.

Why You Need a Beat

A journalist’s job is to report the news. To find the news, you need to understand the subject matter and the people you’re writing about. Let’s say you’re working a crime beat for a newspaper in Chicago. One morning the police report that there’s been a murder in a posh neighborhood of the city. Now, in order to write about that murder, you need to know what’s been going on in the city. Is this an isolated incident? Was there a similar crime two weeks ago? Two years ago?

People always discuss the five pillars of journalism or the Five Ws — who, what, where, when and why — and, the “why,” section can only be filled out by someone with a background and knowledge of their beat. If, for example, you were asked to write about the aforementioned murder in Chicago, and didn’t know anything about the city or the recent criminal activity there, you wouldn’t be able to cover the story in the best way. Because let’s face it, the story is very different if it’s a random act instead of a potential sign of a crime spree or, let’s say, a serial murderer.

Developing Sources

The other big reason journalists work beats, aside from developing a deep knowledge of the subject they’re covering, is to develop sources. Sources are people you talk to report a story. Now some sources are obvious. If we continue with the example of working as a crime reporter in Chicago, you would have regular sources in the police department.

Now some would be obvious — you would likely speak to a spokesperson for the department whose job it is to handle reporters (a kind of publicist) — but other contacts might be developed from relations you foster over years of covering a beat.

A journalist often refers to their sources — everyone knows the saying, ‘I can’t reveal my sources’ — because these are people they turn to get inside information, or perspective, on a story. Now that bit about “revealing” sources points to an instance when a journalist gets an important piece of information from a person who does not want their identity revealed.

If, for example, you’re working on that story about the murder in Chicago and you get information from someone in the police department that the murder looks like it might be the work of a serial killer, that officer might not want his name given out. After all, he’s giving you information that might get him in trouble. So, when you write the story about the murder, you wouldn’t name your source or reveal his identity to anyone. (If you did reveal his identity, no one would ever want to give you secret information, or information that people in the business refer to as stuff that’s “off the record.”)

When a journalist works a beat over time they develop a multitude of sources. This means that they know who to call when something happens and they know the people who will talk to them. A good journalist establishes solid relationships with his sources so he can turn to them to get information.

Although people don’t always like talking to reporters — especially when the story is about a scandal or something negative — a good journalist will have sources who recognize that there is a positive in getting a story out and getting it out correctly. In other words, a good journalist will develop a respectful relationship with his sources.

How to Become a Broadcast Journalist

Broadcast journalists research and present news stories and factual programmes on TV, radio and the internet.

Salary range: £13,000 to £80,000

How to become a broadcast journalist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
  • graduate training scheme

University

Most broadcast journalists enter the job after doing a degree or postgraduate qualification in broadcast journalism.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

More information

  • equivalent entry requirements
  • student finance for fees and living costs
  • university courses and entry requirements

You could start as a production assistant or runner with a broadcasting company and work your way up.

Volunteering and experience

Volunteering is a good way to get experience of what it’s like to work in the media and will help when you apply for courses and jobs.

Organisations offering work experience opportunities include:

Direct application

Some broadcast journalists move into broadcast journalism from print journalism.

Other routes

You could apply directly to broadcasting companies like the BBC who offer graduate training schemes. Places are limited and competition is strong.

More information

Career tips

You could create an online showreel to show potential employers examples of your work.

Further information

You can find out more about careers and training in the media through the Broadcast Journalism Training Council.

You can get more information on working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

  • knowledge of media production and communication
  • knowledge of English language
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • customer service skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • following story ‘leads’, or generating story ideas
  • researching stories, using the internet, archives and databases
  • writing scripts, and website or social media content
  • preparing and conducting live and pre-recorded interviews
  • presenting in TV or radio studios or on location, and recording voiceovers for recorded material
  • asking questions at briefings and press conferences
  • directing a small camera or sound crew, or operating recording equipment yourself

Working environment

You could work at a TV studio, from home, in an office or at a film studio.

Your working environment may be you’ll travel often and outdoors in all weathers.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a studio-based presenter or a special news correspondent.

You could also move into programme making, producing, or management.

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Five year job forecast

“LMI for All” supplies our salary and employment status information. “Oxford Economics” supplies job forecasts and employment figures.

What’s it like?

You would investigate news events, speak to the people involved and present the stories on television, radio or the internet to tell people what’s happened.

You’d need to work quickly to put together sound and pictures to make an accurate story that informs the public. You could present it as either as recording or speak live in the studio or from an outside broadcast.

As a journalist on national TV, radio or an internet news service, you would research and report on UK and international stories. You might specialise in a particular type of news, such as political or sports reporting. In regional TV and radio, you would focus on local news.

  • Follow story ‘leads’, or generate story ideas
  • Research stories, using your contacts and sources such as the internet, archives and databases
  • Visit locations and decide on the best way of presenting a story
  • Write scripts, website or social media content
  • Prepare interview questions and conduct live and pre-recorded interviews
  • Present in TV or radio studios or on location, and record voiceovers for recorded material
  • Ask questions at briefings and press conferences

You would direct a small camera and sound crew or possibly operate recording equipment yourself.

Then you’d edit stories to fit scheduled timings. You might decide on the best running order for bulletins and make changes to programmes as new stories break.

You’d need an understanding of what makes a good news story. Having a creative approach with the ability to improvise when necessary would also be important.

In many jobs you would be part of a production team. This could include other journalists, researchers, editors, broadcast assistants and producers.

In small commercial radio stations you might run a newsroom single-handed.

Seen from an outsider’s perspective, the situation might seem a little desperate: an elitist, dog eat dog profession, inaccessible without the right connections. Yet the fact is that 90% of journalists don’t even have a degree in Journalism. The profession is thus more accessible than it would appear…Is there a chance to make your dream reality? Only if you have the patience of a saint and nerves of steel.

How to Become a Broadcast JournalistHow to Become a Broadcast Journalist

1) Possess some basic skills
You will be required to write impeccable English (except for jobs in TV and radio obviously) and to have a basic sense of management. Most of the time, you work alone. The joys, the stress, the independence (even editing) are all yours alone. You have to be bursting with ideas, have an active imagination, organisation skills and, crucially, useful contacts in all lines of work. Nothing less than superhuman basically!

2) Possess some specific skills
Journalist colledges consist of a majority of teacher’s children, from the middle class, wealthy and exceptionally unexceptional. The profession is really lacking knowledge in: finance, economics, science, administration, industry, etc. Not very glamorous? Granted, but in geopolitics or literature, you are up against those already over-qualified for the profession. Instead, take the different paths: it is among these that you will find a job.

3) Start little or local (or online!)
For a while, without connections, you’ll have to accept anything. Your local council’s paper or that of the company around the corner… anything to build up your CV. You might think you risk burying yourself in this type of work forever, but soon you will find yourself at the same events as regional journalists, or even national: then it’s time to build your network!

4) Or, start with a blog
You’re a hip hop or theatre fan…like thousands of other journalists. You’re just going to have to be better than them, ultra-special, imaginative, unbeatable. Or have an exceptional writing style. To make yourself stand out, a blog can work really well. But it means you have to have a decent job in the meantime…so reserve this strategy for your true passion!

5) Build up a network
Address books are obviously the key. The more journalist friends you have, the quicker you will hear about good plans, especially when one of them is promoted to the top! But don’t go thinking that the mileu is armoured with people who are motivated just by ambition: journalists can be nice and love to go out for a few too many drinks. Don’t forget to return the favour when you can !

6) Looking for a job
You will undoubtedly have the chance to occupy the less popular jobs: editorial secretary, community manager, image seeker for unknown magazines…All these are good to take. Anything that will help you to get a foot in the door; start by photocopying for a paper and you may just end up writing for it.

7) Become a freelance writer
The beginning of a path of wonders. But not the end. Even on a channel like France 3, you’ve got to have several years experience before being given a permanent status. Goodbye holidays, welcome to the jungle. Welcome also to a world where you don’t need to wake up in the mornings or rest on the weekends! You will earn something similar to an author’s income. The minimum wage for a freelance writer is around £50 per sheet (1500 characters). You will be asked at least ten times, mostly on the internet. It’s up to you to manage the workload.

8) Knowing your rights
Think about joining a union to will help you with this. Take note that commissioned work is – to the work relations boards, it’s for your employer to prove that he hasn’t asked anything of you. The law is on your side, know that! People cannot get away with treating you however they like just because you’re a freelance writer.

9) Becoming a freelance writer for the long term
It’s not unusual to still be a freelance writer at 75. That’s the joy of the job. Generally, you work with a regular pool of employers who will ask you again and again to collaborate with them, until that sacred day when you suggest they hire you. To be at the top of the freelance writers, you should always return your articles on time (most colleagues tend to hand things over days or even weeks late) and behave politely (but don’t suck up). Having ideas is also useful.

10) Signing your contract
Picking up a pen and crying over the ten, twenty, thirty years of insecurity, you have left behind you. Not too soon, eh? Thanks to this contract, you will at last be able to stop squatting on your aunt’s sofa. You will become an adult. And don’t forget to marry another journalist in order to pay homage to the formidable profession endogamy. That is important.

How to Become a Broadcast Journalist

TV news anchors are the people who present the news at the various television stations and networks. You know these people—the ones sitting behind a desk or out on the beat telling you what happened in the world that day. Whether broadcasting from a small local station or manning one of the broadcast network’s primetime news shows, TV news anchors compile news stories and deliver them.

The Skills You Need

Being a news anchor requires a number of skills, the first of which is a comfort level in front of the camera. An element of show business comes with the job of a news anchor—not only do you need to be comfortable in front of the camera, but you need to connect with the audience so that people want to watch you as opposed to your competition. Feeling comfortable speaking to the camera is not a skill most people are born with, but you can acquire and hone it.

Excellent verbal, written, improvisational, and interviewing skills are imperative. Add to those qualities persistence and objectivity, physical stamina, being a team player, projecting a professional image, and having a knowledge of social media.

News anchors also need to be able to think on their feet. While many anchors read scripts off of a teleprompter or notes on their desk, information can also be transmitted aurally. If news is breaking, a producer may feed the information to an anchor on the spur of the moment. The anchor needs to be able to absorb the information that’s coming in and then relay that information to the audience in a clear and concise manner.

The Downside

While news anchor jobs come with a lot of visibility and fame, the position also comes with long hours, hard work, constant deadlines, and unpredictable natural and world events. These range from political scandals to school shootings to terrorist attacks. Anchors need a stomach for negative stories and the ability to remain objective and unemotional in the face of disaster.

Educational Requirments

Television news anchors must have a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism or communications, relevant internship experience, and work experience in smaller cities. Learning the craft in small markets provides necessary training if a broadcast journalist wants to work their way up and become successful. While not required for employment, completing a master’s degree program provides students with additional training in the field. Master’s degrees are available in broadcast journalism and communications. Candidates with graduate degrees typically have a competitive advantage when seeking job opportunities or advancements.

Salaries Vary

Salaries vary greatly depending on whether or not you work in local news (in a smaller town like Poughkeepsie or a bigger market like Chicago) or if you’re a network anchor. For example, according to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, a news anchor at a Phoenix TV station earns between $30,000 and $35,000. For those who make it to the big leagues (like ABC, NBC, CBS, etc.), salaries can range from $18 million to $37 a million a year—the salary of former Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly, who reportedly was the highest-paid TV news personality before leaving Fox in 2017.

The News-Gathering Part of the Job

The amount of reporting involved in an anchor’s job depends on where the anchor works and what type of broadcast they work on. Some anchors, especially at local news stations, report their own stories, perhaps with the help of producers. That’s because budgets are tight and many local stations keep a slim staff. Local anchors may also write their own stories, in which case they are functioning more like reporters. The general newscast delivered from behind a desk is usually not written by the network anchor but rather a staff of writers who work for the show. The well-known exception to this rule was the hard-hitting Dan Rather, who also served as the executive producer of his nightly newscasts on CBS-TV.

How to Get a Job as an Anchor

Aspiring anchors need to spend time in front of the camera. Most people get jobs because they have a tape of their work on-air. Before you look for a job as an anchor, complete an internship at a local station (if it affords you some air time), or study communications in college. American journalism schools have both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. At school, you can at least create a sample tape to send to TV stations.

Once you have a tape, start looking for jobs at local stations. There are also myriad opportunities on-air at various cable news channels.

How to Become a Broadcast Journalist

Journalists write and edit news reports, commentaries, feature articles and blogs for newspapers, magazines, radio, television and websites, including online publications. Journalists usually start as cadets and report routine events. In newspapers and on radio and television, most reporters are expected to be ‘generalists’ who are able to cover almost any topic of interest. With experience, and sometimes further training, journalists may perform a variety of tasks according to their area of specialisation.

Personal requirements for a Journalist

  • Able to write clear, concise, objective and accurate material quickly
  • Good general knowledge
  • Interest in current events
  • Aptitude to learn keyboard and shorthand skills
  • Able to speak clearly when working on radio and television

Education & Training for a Journalist

To become a journalist you usually have to complete a degree in journalism or in a related field with a major in journalism, followed by a one-year graduate cadetship involving on-the-job training. Alternatively, you can become a journalist by completing a three-year cadetship, during which you receive instruction and gain experience in practical journalism under the supervision of senior journalists. To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education with English. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

Additional information

Cadetships are offered by national, regional and local media organisations. Entry requirements vary, but you will need to demonstrate a passion for journalism and a flair for writing. Competition is very strong. Contact the organisations you are interested in to find out about their cadetship program and application process.

Duties & Tasks of a Journalist

  • Gather news and information by interviewing people and attending events
  • Undertake research to provide background information for articles
  • Assess the suitability of reports and articles for publication or broadcasting, ensuring they are within an established style and format, and edit as necessary
  • Write articles that comment on or interpret news events, some of which may put forward a point of view on behalf of the publication
  • Present news on air (television and radio).

Tasks

  • Making decisions about the specific content of publications in conjunction with other senior editors and in accordance with editorial policies and guidelines.
  • Writing news reports, commentaries, articles and feature stories for newspapers, magazines, journals, television and radio on topics of public interest.
  • Reviewing copy for publication to ensure conformity with accepted rules of grammar, style and format, coherence of story, and accuracy, legality and probity of content.
  • Critically discussing daily news topics in the editorial columns of newspapers and reviewing books, films and plays.
  • Collecting and analysing facts about newsworthy events from interviews, printed matter, investigations and observations.
  • Writing advertisements for press, radio, television, cinema screens, billboards, catalogues and shop displays.
  • Researching and writing technical, information-based material and documentation for manuals, text books, handbooks and multimedia products.
  • Determining advertising approach by consulting clients and management, and studying products to establish principal selling features.

Working conditions for a Journalist

All journalists are required to understand the laws of defamation, contempt and copyright. They may have to work long and irregular hours and are often under pressure to meet deadlines. Journalists may work indoors and carry out interviews by telephone or may have to work outdoors in all kinds of weather. Travel is often required.

Employment Opportunities for a Journalist

Most journalists work for country, metropolitan and suburban newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations. They may also work for press agencies. Due to changes in the industry, it is common for journalists to work on a freelance basis. Others move into publicity roles in government departments, work as press secretaries for government ministers or work in related fields such as advertising, marketing and public relations.

Specializations

par – Journalists usually start as cadets and report routine events. In newspapers and on radio and television, most reporters are expected to be ‘generalists’ who are able to cover almost any topic of interest. With experience, and sometimes further training, journalists may perform a variety of tasks according to their area of specialisation. They may also work as editors or progress to the role of editor after several years of experience. See the separate entry for Editor.

Columnist

A columnist writes a regular segment within their particular interest category (creative arts, politics or technology, for example), often incorporating a personal view or opinion.

Feature Writer

A feature writer writes detailed stories or presents commentaries on specific news topics.

Leader Writer

A leader writer discusses news topics in the editorial columns of newspapers or magazines.

News Reporter

A news reporter reports on day-to-day news events (crime, education, health or sport, for example).

Roundsperson

A roundsperson reports on and discusses a specialised area (politics, economics or education, for example).

Journalist

Journalists write and edit news reports, commentaries, feature articles and blogs for newspapers, magazines, radio, television and websites, including online publications. Journalists usually start as cadets and report routine events. In newspapers and on radio and television, most reporters are expected to be ‘generalists’ who are able to cover almost any topic of interest. With experience, and sometimes further training, journalists may perform a variety of tasks according to their area of specialisation.

The income potential of a broadcast journalist may not be very high in the initial years so it requires patience from the side of candidates who wish to make their mark in this field. Here is more information about salary in this profession.

The income potential of a broadcast journalist may not be very high in the initial years so it requires patience from the side of candidates who wish to make their mark in this field. Here is more information about salary in this profession.

Lots of hard work, creativity and technological knowledge can help you to make your mark in broadcast journalism. But that is not the only attraction in it, the salary of a broadcast journalist can be pretty high, if you have the right temperament and attitude to make your mark in this field. The industry thrives on change and it has been a phenomenon in the recent years. Age-old radios and TVs are being replaced by more sophisticated technologies, both in hardware and software. The Internet and web are becoming the dominant markets. Broadcasting is not only limited to TV and radio now. Broadcast journalists of this era need to be able to integrate all aspects of this industry, be it the old or new and they must march ahead to attain success. Consumer and audience behavior have seen transition from their old norms. There is a demand for creative shows and still there are people who want to see broadcasting of news and stories in the traditional, simple and old style. There is no limit to creativity and challenges in the field of broadcast journalism. All it requires is a passion in you to stick to this field and prove yourself.

If I Become a Broadcast Journalist, How Much Can I Earn?

Salaries in journalism are not dependent on one parameter. They are never just about right education and being in the right company. Many times, it is the market conditions that dominate the earning potential. Nevertheless, when we consider salaries, some very obvious factors that play vital role are the work experience, educational qualifications, job location area and type of employer.

To understand it more clearly, let us consider work experience. Generally, a fresher is always paid the least in his chosen industry relative to other employees of same educational level because of lack of experience. In the initial years of work as a broadcast journalist, an individual has the potential to earn anywhere between US$15,000 to US$55,000. Generally, this may appear a salary range with quite a drastic difference. Well, again this range covers many factors like type of employer. If you are fortunate to land up in large-scale television networks like the BBC or CNN, it is obviously, you will start with a better salary relative to others in the industry.

Several sources regarding salary data state that the salary of a broadcast journalist to be anywhere between US$60,000 to US$100,000. Salaries also depend on the way career of a broadcast journalist takes shape. Journalists who have vast years of work experience can move on to own webshows or similar ventures, even on the Internet! Given the way web world is penetrating our lives, all TV networks have a web presence, giving way to many employments, right from journalism field to technology stream. The city where a broadcast journalist works also determines salary as market size is a major factor that affects the pay scale in a state. Places like California and New York are known for a wide network of TV channels, radio stations and communication agencies. This creates options for better job opportunities and equally high competition in the broadcasting field.

Broadcast journalism careers are going through an overhaul, from being analog to digital. While it is a time for change in the broadcasting industry, the need of efficient journalists who can create interesting content, cover national and international news is set to rise in the coming years. Candidates have to be patient with respect to money and success in this field as it requires hard work to prove oneself in this industry. Traveling to even risky places to cover news is another challenging aspect of this career. Fame and popularity can also be a part and parcel of this profession, as you can be on the TV to inform citizens glued to their television about incidents occurring thousands of miles away from their residence. So if you have bachelor’s or master’s degree in journalism, you can try to make a career in this traditional field of journalism.

If you want to become a journalist, you’ll need to determine your career goals and ambitions.

If you’re interested in a dynamic career that allows you to express creativity, interact with people from all walks of life, and you have an interest in current events, you may be well suited for a career as a journalist.

Below we’ve outlined what you’ll need to get into this field. We’ve also included helpful information for a journalist career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!

Education Needed to Become a Journalist

If you want to become a journalist, having a proper education can be crucial to your future success. You should begin the process of obtaining your education by choosing a university or college with a great communications or journalism program.

You’ll want to select a program that offers a wide variety of communications and journalism courses, and one that offers you an opportunity to connect with professional journalists.

Once you enter the communications or journalism program, make sure that you select your elective courses carefully. As a journalist, having a broad knowledge base in a variety of subjects will be extremely valuable; choosing the right elective courses will ensure that you exposed to different subjects that you may be writing on one day.

It should be noted that there are not standard educational requirements to become a journalist, although most employers prefer journalists who have a bachelor’s degree in journalism or communications.

However, some employers may hire applicants who have a degree in a related subject, such as English or political science, if they have a sufficient amount of relevant work experience.

Experience You Might Need

Journalism is a highly competitive field, and many candidates don’t stand out from the others. Above all else, those who hire journalists look for candidates with experience in journalism. A great way to get experience while you are a student is to get involved with the student newspaper, radio or television station on campus; this can prove to be invaluable experience if you want to become a journalist.

Another great way to gain experience for your future journalism career is to volunteer with a community journalism group. Not every group will be interested in having you help out, even if it’s for free, but for those who are lucky enough to be accepted it can prove to be incredible career experience and will pay off in the future.

General Job Description

Journalists are charged with the task of researching, investigating, interpreting and communicating news and information concerning public affairs through print, online or broadcast media.

Typical Job Duties

• Make arrangements for interviews either for research or for radio or television news program purposes

• Conduct interviews and conduct investigation to collect local, national or international news

• Prepare news stories for broadcast or publication

• May write editorials and commentaries on topics of current public interest

• Ensure to express the views of the publication or broadcasting station being represented

• Prepare regular feature columns or stories on specialized or assigned topics

• Research and report on developments within specialized fields, such as technology, politics or medicine

Salary Level of Journalists

The actual wages and salaries of journalists can vary greatly, typically depending on the following factors:

• Their level of education and experience

• The amount of responsibility inherent in their job

• The type of publication for which they work

• The size and type of their employer, or whether or not they’re self-employed

• The region in which they work

Salary of Journalists in Alberta: According to the 2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, the average salary level of Albertans working in the “Journalists” occupational group is $61,112 per year,.

Salary – British Columbia: According to WorkBC (Province of British Columbia), those working in the “Journalists” occupational group earn an annual provincial median salary of $57,990.

A love for people and places and a strong desire to unearth the truth; a disciplined and passionate person would make a good journalist.

A love for people and places and a strong desire to unearth the truth; a disciplined and passionate person would make a good journalist.

How to Become a Broadcast Journalist

Like any other profession, journalism too requires certain types of people, not everyone can become a good journalist. There are certain qualities that a person must possess in order to become a good journalist. Some qualities can be worked on, but mostly a certain personality would be more suitable for the high pressure job of a journalist. I have seen a lot of different people in this field, some live up to the image of the conventional journalist that we have in mind, while others are a stark contrast, nevertheless, they are pretty good at their job. So, what qualities does one need to survive in the competitive world of journalism, here is a list:

Accuracy

There is no room for errors in news, a journalist must make sure he gets accurate information. No guesses should be made, all the information should be double checked. As the popular slogan goes, ‘Get it first, but first get it right.’ A journalist needs to have an eye for detail and accuracy.

Speed

In journalism, speed is as important as accuracy. Someone may be a very good writer and may able to write an excellent story in a day. However, a journalist is required to write within the deadline, which may sometimes be not more than 15 minutes. There is always a deadline, if one cannot write in this pressure, then he is definitely not suitable for the job.

Curiosity

It is extremely important for a journalist to be curious, or else he will fail to spot a potential story. He must always be curious to find out as much as he can. He should have a wide range of interests and must be eager to learn about people, places and events. In addition, a keen interest in current affairs is a must.

Wide Range of Knowledge

A journalist must be a well read person, he does not have to be an expert, but he must possess a wide range of knowledge. This is important, because he will be informing people and this is not possible if he is not well informed.

Researching Skills

It is not possible for a journalist to know everything, however it is important that he must be able to research well within the given time. Each story requires a certain amount of research, a journalist must be able to make the most of the available resources to add depth to his story.

Writing Skills

A journalist must be a good writer, he must be able to express himself clearly. He must have good knowledge of grammar and must be able to write in a way that is easily understood by people. In addition, he must have good spellings and punctuation.

Interviewing Skills

A journalist primarily gets his information from people. He meets a lot of different types of people while covering a story. He should be able to ask relevant questions at the right time and should not be intimidated by a big personality. He should have a pleasing personality, or else people will be apprehensive to talk to him. In addition, he should be a good listener and must listen patiently to people irrespective of their age and background.

Objective Thinking

A journalist must be objective, no matter what the situation is. His story must be free of any prejudice and be reported as it is. He may have his own choices with regards to political parties and leaders, etc. However, he should keep them aside when covering a story. Moreover, he should be open to new ideas and views, he should not cover stories with any preconceived notions.

Networking Skills

A journalist must have the ability to build contacts. He must have a long list of acquaintances and friends from different walks of life. It is these contacts that can serve as a source, when a story breaks. Moreover, he should be able to gain the trust of people, so that they call him/her when they have some news.

Detached Attachment

A journalist must report a story in such a way that he is detached and attached to it at the same time. A certain amount of involvement is required to get a good story, but at the same time he should not get so attached that the final story is colored with his beliefs.

Commitment

A journalist must be very committed to his job, or else the deadlines and long working hours will get to him. Very often a journalist is required to sacrifice his holiday, to cover a breaking story. He must realize that he might have to sacrifice some of his personal life for the job. Hence, a journalist in general, must be committed to the basic human and democratic values.

Discipline

A journalist must be an extremely disciplined person, to be able to work constantly under strict deadlines. He must be punctual or else people will not be able to trust him with information. A disciplined person would give people confidence, to trust him with news.

Passion

A journalist must be a very passionate person, who is enthusiastic to get information, uncover scandals and inform people. Someone who is laid back and has a casual approach, will get bored of his job very quickly. Only a passionate person will be able to do the job every single day with enthusiasm.

Sense of Humor

Journalism can be a very ruthless field; covering tragedies and scandals so often may be depressing for many. A sense of humor would come handy during stressful times and keep a journalist going.

In addition to the above mentioned qualities, it is always better if a journalist has expert knowledge of the beat he intends to cover. He should also, always be in the good books of the police. Journalists are not made in classrooms, they are self motivated people with a fire in their belly. People who aspire to make it big in the world of journalism can certainly try imbibing these qualities. So, if you have most of these above mentioned qualities, then give the media a try, it might be your calling!

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Job Market

What you do in the job?

Broadcast Journalism is the collection, verification and analysis of information about events which affect people, and the publication of that information in a fair, accurate, impartial and balanced way to fulfil the public’s right to know in a democratic society. This involves a variety of media including television, radio, the internet and wireless devices. Broadcast Journalists working in television work in a variety of genres including news, current affairs, or documentaries. They may be employed by broadcasting companies, or work on a freelance basis.

The role of a Broadcast Journalist is to turn information into pictures and sound, both reporting and producing live and/or recorded packages as well as researching, preparing and reading bulletins. You will be responsible for generating content from a wide range of subjects. You will be encouraging new contributors and developing their ideas as well as your own. You are likely to be working as part of a team, generating your own stories and bringing on board new ideas.
You will be initiating and producing a wide range of news and current affairs material and will be expected to carry out in-depth research to a broad brief, write material for programme scripts, bulletins etc and at all times exercise excellent editorial judgement and adhere to legal and good practice guidelines.
You may carry out interviews and reporting duties, in both recorded and live situations, in a studio or perhaps on location. You can expect to be involved in originating and developing programme ideas to support forward planning of material and future programmes and provide briefings for reporters, camera crews and other resources staff and contributors.
You will need to operate broadcast equipment: in radio, portable recording equipment, self-operating outside broadcasting vehicles and studio equipment in television, to direct camera crews on pre-recorded and live coverage, to oversee editing and operate gallery equipment.
You may be responsible for programme budgets, ensuring effective use of money and resources, supervise the work of Broadcast Assistants and most certainly, as a Broadcast Journalist you would need to develop and maintain local and perhaps national contacts and fulfil a public relations role.

What qualities are required?

You will need to be an experienced journalist with strong editorial judgement and organisational skills, with a first class news awareness and judgement. You must be able to work as part of a team and you will also be able to work with minimal supervision, be brimming with ideas, and a creative self-starter. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are a must, including skills and style when it comes to interviewing.
One of the key qualities is a voice for broadcasting, together with knowledge of radio production techniques and broadcast equipment.
Of course, a passion for radio, current affairs and a real grasp of the subjects that interest audiences are a must.

Key Skills include:
excellent verbal and written communication;
ability to work under pressure, to tight deadlines;
excellent interviewing and listening techniques;
excellent content editing skills with basic picture and sound editing abilities;
precise attention to detail and advanced analytical skills;
excellent organisational abilities, initiative and problem solving skills;
ability to see the broader picture and focus in on any niche angle the programme requires;
self management abilities combined with effective team working, and self-discipline skills;
diplomacy and sensitivity when working with members of the public and colleagues;
personality, and excellent interpersonal skills at all levels;
ability to build a rapport with interviewees without losing objectivity;
current knowledge of the relevant legislation, regulations, and associated procedures, including Libel and Contempt, Copyright, Data Protection, Public Liability, etc., and how to comply with regulatory requirements;
knowledge of the requirements of the relevant Health and Safety legislation and procedures;

How you start and where you can go with it?

Broadcast Journalists should have successfully completed a BJTC accredited Undergraduate degree, a Postgraduate Diploma or MA in Broadcast, Bi-Media, Multi-Media, TV or Online Journalism. IT and word processing qualifications are also required.

Broadcast Journalists may begin their careers working as Researchers or Newsroom Assistants, progressing to become On Screen Reporters, Special Correspondents, News Presenters, and Bulletin or Programme Editors. They may also move into Programme Production or Management roles, or become Journalists, Newspaper Reporters or Writers. Some Broadcast Journalists may also start their careers working as Newspaper or other Print Press Journalists.

As a Broadcasting Journalist, jobs are available across a range of functions, requiring different skills, knowledge and experience. Initially, a recognised journalistic qualification or substantial practical experience in journalism (say 3 years plus) is a starting point. A special interest, for example in sport, entertainment, fashion, health, arts etc, with a good all round knowledge of current affairs would also support your career as a Broadcast Journalist.