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What Are the Reasons to Become a Journalist?

Journalists collect and share information about people, events, and trends, as well as write about sports, business, politics, or art. This career is very flexible and offers several specializations. For more information on the reasons to become a journalist, read on.

Careers Flexibility

As a journalist, many different tools and mediums are at your disposal. You will most likely choose one specialization and pursue training and education in that field. If one of the following types of journalism interests you, then you may have found a journalistic calling.

No matter what you're interested in - food, art, politics, business, sports - you can probably find a job that relates to your passion. Keep in mind, however, that the field of journalism is a competitive one; before you can cover your favorite topics, you may need to become experienced and prove your journalistic worth.

Important Facts About Journalists

Required Education Bachelor's Degree
Job Outlook (2019-2029) 11% decline (for all reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts)
Work Environment Office Setting, with occasional trips into the field
Similar Occupations Editor, News Anchor, Freelance Writer

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Broadcast Journalism

If you'd like to be a part of radio or television, you could get involved in broadcast journalism. In this field, you can work on air as a reporter or behind the scenes as a researcher. Even though you might not appear on camera as a researcher, you'd create the news stories for on-air personalities to read and comment on.

Photojournalism

You might consider photojournalism if you enjoy telling stories with pictures. As a photojournalist, you capture a story through images, sometimes writing or working with other journalists to provide captions or articles to accompany the chosen pictures. The purpose of photojournalism is to make a relatable and objective narrative.

Print Journalism

Magazines, newspapers, and other print media need journalists to write stories for their audience. In this career, you could find freedom through freelance positions, although being able to commit and meet deadlines is a must.

Multimedia Journalism

If you can't decide on a medium, or you want to incorporate technical, computer-related skills into your journalism, you might enjoy multimedia journalism. This specialization is growing rapidly and involves keeping Internet news and information outlets up to date. You might post videos, audio clips, photos, and news stories online, thereby making the news widely available.

Natural Abilities

Journalistic mediums and topics can vary, but if you already have a range of core personality traits that are helpful to journalists, you may do well in this field. You'll need confidence, curiosity, and tenacity to discover the key facts of the topics you're covering. Enjoying active communication, fact analysis and research can be helpful as well. Honesty and integrity are vital parts of the journalistic makeup; you'll need these to remain impartial while reporting.

Salary and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), reporters and correspondents received a mean annual salary of $66,000 as of May 2020, while writers and authors earned an average of $78,680 the same year. The BLS also notes that the states with the highest income for journalists as of 2020 included the District of Columbia, New York, and Georgia, depending on their official job titles.