Do you keep a journal where you write down all of your thoughts and ideas? Are you someone who is interested in contemporary culture and society? Do you like to research the facts about what is going on in the world and share what you find with others? If so, then you should consider one of the many careers in journalism. Already a writer at heart? Then take our course, Break Into Freelance Writing With No Experience, where you can “learn how to start making money within 90 days!”
Though we will look at writing jobs first, the career opportunities in journalism go far beyond writing, in fact they are myriad. Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, a writer or an artist, if you are passionate about creatively expressing your ideas, journalism has something to offer.
The Scoop on Writing
If you love to write and are good at it, and you have a particular interest in people, places, and culture or in specific niche such as sports, fashion, or travel, then have you ever considered writing about your interest for a living?
Consider some of the basic skills of writers and see if they apply to you. Good writers are multidimensional. They have the ability to recognize topics that appeal to their target audience and to see those topics from as many levels as possible. Good writers can speak their minds and stand behind their words, even when others disagree with them. A really good writer knows what to say, when to say it, and how to say it effectively. In other words, all of a writer’s qualities must come together in order to create compelling copy.
Maybe you really like writing, but don’t feel like you have enough skill to do it professionally. If this sounds like you, then start with the basics. In our course, Quality Paragraph and Essay Writing, you will learn the art of writing an essay. “An essay is a short discussion of any nonfiction topic or idea. The writer crafts it, shapes it, and gives it voice.” Once you have mastered paragraph and essay writing, you can expand them into anything you want to write, such as an article or a book.
Perhaps you have more of a flair for storytelling, but lack the knack to put it on paper. Our course, the Novel Writing Workshop, will help you “turn your idea into a published novel, step by step.”
In this day and age, if you have a particular interest in a subject, there is most likely a magazine – or several – dedicated to it. The realm of magazine journalism is open to all kinds of writing, from trade journals and consumer magazines to fashion, sports, and even tabloid magazines. If you love to research and can creatively communicate what you find, then this is an excellent route to take. Magazine writers now write for both print and online magazines, researching and writing articles and features that are considered newsworthy.
Sound like a good match, but feeling under-experienced? If you want to “quickly and easily master magazine article writing,” then take our course, Writing for Publication, “designed for both new and experienced writers who want to learn how to get their Creative Muse to help them quickly and easily write and sell magazine articles.”
Do you constantly hit the news sites to see what is happening in the world? Do you find that you love to dig into the facts – deeper and deeper until you find that something that makes you say, “Ah ha!” Do you really get into sharing what you have found and talking about it with others?
Newspaper writers are persistent, daring, and courageous, doggedly investigating and writing up stories, either locally, regionally, or internationally. This is a job for those who are really interested in current affairs. Newspaper journalists are finders of the facts that no one sees; makers of the connections that no one thinks about; and the bringers of revelations that change the world. Think Woodward and Bernstein and Watergate.
Do you have patience, attention to grammatical and thematic detail, and good communication skills?
Behind every good writer is a fantastic editor! Copy editors make good writers great writers. Editors in any field will make sure the writing is completely prepared for publication by correcting grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors and ensuring the copy has a consistent flow and the meaning is clear. In addition, an editor will make sure the text is in the publisher’s or publication’s agreed house style. Editors can also be cross-checkers, making sure that quotes and references are coordinated properly; captions and pictures correspond correctly; and finally, checking for possible legal issues, such as libel or breach of copyright.
Are you famous for clever one-liners? Do you love pop-culture? Do you understand the psychology of what people are looking for when they make a purchase? Then perhaps you should, “Just do it!” Look into copywriting.
Advertising copywriters are also called “the creatives”. They produce all of the copy for advertising in a variety of mediums: print, radio, and television.
A good advertising copywriter has an exceptional business sense, not only for what sells, but also an intuitive understanding for why something sells and how to sell it. They come up with slogans, text for ads you see in magazines or leaflets, or the catchy jingles you can’t get out of your head. Think “Plop-plop, fizz-fizz, oh what a relief it is.”
As a copywriter you might work with a team and an art director. You may start with an image and then build an advertising message around that image, based on the client, the product, and the target audience. Once the idea is ready, then you would present this idea to the creative director and account team. You may also participate in casting and scripting for advertising commercials. If this sounds like a path for you, then why not take our course, Copywriting 101: Start making money from home!, and “learn how to become a freelance copywriter and start earning money from home, less than two months from now!”
Other Careers in Journalism
Are you creative with a well-developed visual sense? Do you have a knack for spotting or intuiting changing commercial trends and then quickly adapting to them? How about an interest in graphic design? Maybe you are an art editor at heart.
Art editors are responsible for making magazines and other print materials visually appealing. It takes creativity and vision to ensure all aspects of layout, design, and photography match the personality of the publication. An art editor is responsible for the image of a publication and must be able to adapt that image to the ever-changing trends. Take a look at this picture of The New Yorker magazine to get the idea.
Arthur Brisbane said “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Anyone whose heart has ever been moved by a picture understands this. A good photojournalist is able to tell a story with pictures. You can study to become a photojournalist, where you will “learn how to control your camera so you can make artistic compositions instead of snapshots.”
If you are not experienced enough to work projects on your own, initially you might work with reporters and producers in the production of news or production images and videos. If you love taking photographs, but need to learn some essentials skills, then take our course, The Fundamentals of Photography, where you will learn to “take better pictures every time by understanding the four foundational principles of every photograph.”
Do you have a good speaking voice? Ever dreamed of having a career like Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, or Walter Cronkite?
Broadcast journalists typically investigate, research, and sometimes, present the news for television. Their platform can be anything from television news broadcasts to documentaries and fact-based programming.
Web Content Manager
With the emergence of local, national, and international news sites, web content managers can now be included in the realm of journalism. This job would be similar to the editor of a magazine, but you would need additional experience in both web content and site management, and possibly, in graphic design as well.
Web content managers are responsible for developing the voice and image of an organization’s website. You would work closely with writers, project teams, and web developers to coordinate the site and to ensure that it serves its target audience. You may also be responsible for site promotions, email marketing and newsletters, and online outreach campaigns. Because web content managers work with all levels of an organization, good communication skills are essential. In addition, good organization skills, an attention to detail, and insight into marketing and design is also helpful.
Have we piqued your interest? If so, then why not try our course, Journalism Masterclass, designed to “provide both working and aspiring journalists with core news writing skills that will enable them to write for the world’s leading newspapers and magazines.”