When we read stories about someone writing a story, we are unsure if they are journalists or citizen journalists (bloggers) unless we end up on a major news networking website where tons of stories about political and current events are located for viewing, commenting and sharing across the social media platforms. If you have an inspiration for journalism, here are some tips you can consider before making the final call:
Look at all different forms of journalism and pick the one you have the closest ties with. In other words, if enjoy writing about sports, become a sportscaster or sports writer.
After you select which section of journalism you would like to work as, do your research and find other journalists in that particular area. If some of them are alive and active on social media, send them a message and ask for their advice.
Step three, create a blog and write about those events you’ve attended with a particular writing style. Sports has one way of reporting which team won/lost while investigative news pertains to crime.
As this cannot be stressed enough, participate in internships and extracurricular activities that relate to your particular field of interest.
Live and learn from these opportunities. Don’t let them come by and slip away. Experience from these events will help open the doors for you in ways that yet you cannot imagine.
No matter what grade level you are in at this point, if you need to grab more journalism experience under your belt, reach and snatch for more opportunities as quick as you can. Do not expect the opportunities to come your way. Relying on luck and family connections do not guarantee you instant opportunities. You must have previous experience in journalism (writing & reporting news, photography and video skills) to continue.
In all honesty, if you want to be a journalist but are introverted, communication is key. Work in retail for a few years and you will learn how to associate with customers, coworkers and your supervisors. The reason for retail? Because it will help you enhance your ability to speak with the public. Here are some opportunities you can snatch while on summer break:
Attend concerts and conventions where you will meet famous people. Interview them about their work and you will get an idea what they are about. Blog about your experiences and what you have learned from attending these events.
Partake in extracurricular activities at your school. For example, join the newspaper and yearbook committees. Learn about these clubs and how they communicate with teachers and students differently.
Make sure you go the extra mile and intern at a local newspaper where you will write stories, snap photographs and deliver newspapers.
Lastly, when you find a story in your hometown that was not covered, jump on it immediately and begin the interview process after gathering information in regards to what the story is about. Write your story, edit it and you can do one or two things with this story (A: Ask your local newspaper if you can publish an article) or (B: Blog about the story before anyone else publishes it).
Journalism isn’t always about writing and reporting repetitive stories five days a week. In fact, you choose a particular topic in the journalism field you are experienced at and go from there. When I mean “particular journalism field,” this can be defined as what stories do you have experience in? What are your strengths and weaknesses for writing these types of stories? How can you improve?
Here are some examples down below to help you identify what journalism field hits you close to home: