Your ambition to become a journalist means you are likely to have a number of personal qualities. Among them are tenacity, persuasiveness and a general interest in the world around us.
As a journalist you will work with stories. It will be your job to find stories, package them in a certain format and communicate them to an audience through a variety of media. These may include television, radio, print or online. It can also mean monitoring stories after they are released, updating them or replying to comments.
We can prepare you for life as a journalist here at City, University of London. You will benefit from our strong connections with industry professionals and the proximity of our central London location to world-leading media organisations.
What can I expect from a career as a journalist?
What you can expect as a journalist depends largely on your chosen type of journalism, or what type of journalism chooses you. Different types of journalism demand different skills.
Journalism jobs include:
- broadcast journalist
- newspaper journalist
- magazine journalist
- magazine features editor
- online content manager.
As a broadcast journalist your role depends on finding stories and quickly presenting them in a clear and engaging way for television, radio and online audiences.
Different types of journalism roles exist within broadcast journalism, but most media organisations ensure that staff are multi-skilled.
Many journalists work both as a studio newsreader and as a reporter in the field, sometimes operating cameras as well as conducting interviews. Different roles include:
- presenter or news anchor
Becoming a journalist on a local or national newspaper will be a different experience to becoming a broadcast journalist.
As a junior newspaper reporter, you usually write stories allocated by the news desk, which are passed to a news editor before being given to sub-editors. Correspondents specialise in a specific subject or location and features’ writers cover topics in greater depth using a less formal style.
You will be expected to have or develop multiple skills including design layout, social media, photography, video and sub-editing, as well as writing stories.
Magazine journalists can produce articles and features for multiple publications including including:
- Consumer titles for general interest and specialist audiences
- Popular magazines sold on the high street, in supermarkets
- Specific trade publications, or business-to-business magazines.
Related courses at City
Whatever your level of interest in becoming a journalist, City's courses can help you take one step closer to a career as a journalist, develop specialisms that'll set you apart from the field or broaden your horizons with study in related subjects.
Who can I work for as a journalist?
You can work as a journalist for organisations including:
- Radio and television broadcasters
- National, regional and local newspapers (print and online)
- Magazine publishers
- Media and broadcast production companies
- Creative digital media agencies.
Although there are many opportunities, competition can be fierce when trying to find a job in the media and job security is never guaranteed. Many work on a freelance basis for different clients, often on short-term contracts.
What about journalism work experience?
Journalism work experience is extremely valuable. If you can build a strong journalism work portfolio containing examples of relevant experience this will prove your worth and give you the best chance when it comes to finding work.
Student newspapers, magazines, radio or podcasting can all offer useful media experiences. There is no obstacle to publishing your own blog in attempt to develop your own personal writing style or releasing a podcast to help find your voice.
Have no fear about being direct and enthusiastic in seeking work experience. Confidence is an asset as a journalist. You may find opportunities by contacting production studios, radio stations, magazines and newspapers.
What are my prospects as a journalist?
After a few years as a general reporter on a regional newspaper, you may advance to become a senior or chief reporter, or a specialist writer. You may transfer into news management by joining the news desk, or production as a sub-editor.
If you gain substantial experience in broadcast journalism, you may specialise in different areas. You could concentrate on a senior broadcast journalist role, or you may prefer to focus on production.
No two journalism career paths are the same and the pressured pace of modern media means the future is hard to predict. Equipping yourself with skills in emerging digital media can help to maintain your journalistic value but there are many forks in the road when you may choose a new route.
Journalism skills can transfer to fields such as publicity, marketing or law.