In today’s culture of accelerated app usage, instant gratification, and clickbaiting for page views, journalists need to keep one underlying directive in mind: adaptation. There’s ever-growing competition for attention playing out in the digital space, with social media, legacy publications, and new media all battling it out. Hence, those who can integrate their journalistic acuity with tech proficiencies will get the best journalism jobs.
Do you have an inquisitive mind? Are you a good writer who isn’t afraid to ask tough questions and do the legwork? Do you enjoy delving into datasets to extract the right information? Then you may want to jump into a journalism career. Your daily schedule will have you pitching story ideas; researching documents and archives to synthesize facts; making calls to gather quotes or schedule interviews; hitting the field to observe and report; strapping yourself to your desk to pump out articles on-deadline; and working with your editor on revisions before going to press.
Since you’ll eventually be engulfed in the media world, page through our massive selection of media jobs to expand your options. Or you can narrow your search to these related roles:
Many aspiring journalists obtain a bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, or English. Depending on the type of beat you’d want to cover, you could instead major in history, economics, or political science too. While at school, you can take a staff position at your college newspaper, magazine, or media website. If you’re going for the broadcast route, you can look for openings at your school’s radio and TV stations. Classes for journalism majors include:
Although it’s not necessary, a master’s in journalism will allow you to further specialize, whether you’re interested in investigative reporting; health, science, and environmental issues; domestic politics and foreign policy; sports media; social justice; or arts and entertainment.
In-the-field experience is key for journalism jobs. During an internship or entry-level job at a magazine, newspaper, radio station, TV, or online media organization, you’ll gather valuable clips for your portfolio and garner experience with recording and editing audio and video, online writing and social media, and website design and coding. You’ll also learn to hone your communication and writing skills while translating what you observe into cogent copy.
Recruiters for journalism jobs will be looking for a particular set of accomplishments on your resume, so make sure to highlight the following:
If you’re already concentrating on any specific fields or subject matter, give some examples of how you’ve applied your expertise. But if you’re still feeling jammed, read through our reporter resume sample. You should also include a magnetic cover letter that outlines your journalistic ethos—everything from your storytelling approach and aptness for uncovering stories before others to your ability to protect sources and hold corruptors accountable. Get some pointers from our journalism cover letter.
With all journalism jobs, you’ll be doing a lot of interviews yourself, so you can likely anticipate what editors, news managers, and publishers may want to ask you during your own interview. To prep, review Monster’s suggestions on how to win over job interviewers, and check out these examples below:
Your pay will depend on the type of journalism role you take on. For instance, the median salary for a reporter is $41,329, while it’s $20.86 an hour for a radio/television announcer and $61,389 a year for a web content producer. You can search for specific pay details for journalists in your area by using Monster’s Salary Tools.
You love storytelling. Stamina, perseverance, and tenacity are your fortes. And journalism is your life’s purpose. Break into the field (or advance your career) by creating a profile on Monster to instantly connect with recruiters and receive custom job-alerts.