J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Guest Post by Sheryl Wright

I frequently feature guest posts by various authors in order to give them a chance to get published. Here is another. This one is interesting because it discusses writers. Thanks to Sheryl Wright for her contribution.

Five Tips for Young Journalists

Photo by Mustafa Husnii from Pexels

The media industry has transformed in recent years with the emergence of new trends. The old-fashioned TV and newspaper media platforms have seen their once-dedicated crowd fragmented by the emergence of internet-based media. As a result, job opportunities for newsroom-based media have decreased. As a young and ambitious journalist, to prepare yourself for the competitive job market, you should stay updated, gain experience, and sharpen your expertise.

According to Forbes, citizen journalism is gaining traction in modern society, and as such, emerging stories are told even before they reach newsrooms. Therefore, media institutions are looking for journalists who can help their institutions become agile and lean. Today, the media job market is interested in all-around journalists. In turn, you need to improve your skills, experience, and knowledge to cope up with the current market demands and remain competitive.

Below are tips that can help you become a successful young journalist in the media industry.

Look for Internships to Gain Hands-on Experience

Journalism is a highly competitive career in the media industry, and as an upcoming journalist, you need to utilize each opportunity to gain experience. For instance, volunteering at a media station or taking an internship is a perfect way to gain hands-on experience. Besides, this can help you create connections to help secure a job in the future. You should take internships for a short while to gain experience and weigh if the organization will employ you permanently. If there’s no likelihood of getting hired, then work as an intern for a few months and move on to start looking for better opportunities.

Master New Tools and the Basics in Journalism

As a young journalist, you require skills to write, read, and analyze information sources. Therefore, you should master basic language rules such as grammar, tone, and punctuation. By practicing such basics, you will enhance your skills and competency.

Apart from mastering the basics, you should also familiarize yourself with the latest software and tools used in the industry. For instance, you should learn about the investigative transcription tools to become an expert at everything related to your career. Moreover, you need to create connections with other journalism students of similar interests to exchange knowledge and skills. Since there are several fields, joining a specific community can help you learn from others.

Build an Online Portfolio

Building a professional online portfolio can be helpful when searching for job opportunities. Remember to include professional details like your resume, contact information, social media accounts, and links to various works you have completed in your portfolio. Additionally, include a bio that emphasizes your career interests, work experiences, and qualifications as a young journalist.

Build a Network

You should start building your network by tracking fellow journalism graduates from your college and contacting them. If you don’t have contacts from college, you can join online groups of journalists or expand your network through internships. You can always submit your work directly to different magazines and newspapers to expand your portfolio and get your name out there. Having a vast network can be helpful when searching for job openings. Your contacts can recommend you or suggest a job opening for you to apply. Besides, you can network with senior journalists who can mentor you to become a top-class journalist.

Acquire New Skills

As a young journalist, you should be curious, enthusiastic, and ready to develop new skills. For instance, if your specialization is photography, try learning about writing. If you are a reporter, develop new skills in video shooting. There are tons of online learning opportunities for those who want to learn photo or video journalism. Don’t forget about the endless opportunities for travel writing as well. Even if you are going on a personal vacation somewhere, it can be an opportunity for you to write a travel piece and add that to your repertoire of skills and topics in your portfolio. In the end, acquiring new skills can make you an all-round journalist and a valuable asset any media station would want to have.

Concluding Remarks

Journalism is a highly-competitive career that requires unique skills, expertise, and experience for you to succeed. Therefore, you need to become a versatile young journalist to progress in your career. A few skills you need include engaging in internships to gain hands-on experience, building networks, and mastering new tools and journalism basics. You can also build a professional online portfolio and acquire new journalism-related skills. With these tips, you can revitalize your journalism career to become a world-class young journalist.

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