Journalism Studies

Journalism studies encompass publishing, broadcasting and news media, as well as public relations and advertising. Read on to learn more about journalism degree programs and career options.

Is Journalism Studies for Me?

Career Details

Journalism studies is typically a concentration within a journalism or mass communications degree program. Students can pursue journalism studies at the associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree levels. Graduates can pursue a variety of journalism careers.

The undergraduate curriculum covers print and electronic journalism, composition, newspaper writing, conducting interviews, ethics in journalism and photojournalism. Graduate students take similar courses and study journalism theory, research methods, the impact of social media, journalism history and analysis.

Specializations

Additional classes in journalism studies are electives or specializations that can provide experience in specific types of journalism and writing. They include travel writing, technology and science writing, photojournalism, non-profit public relations, magazine writing and sports writing.

Employment Information

Changes in the broadcasting and publishing business are causing some journalism occupations to decline. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts a 14% decrease in jobs for reporters and correspondents from 2012 through 2022, along with a 2% decline for editors (www.bls.gov). However, for writers and authors there should be a 3% increase in employment during that same time. The median annual salary for reporters and correspondents as of May 2013 was $35,600, for writers and authors it was $57,750, and for editors it was $54,150.

How Can I Become a Journalist?

Education

According to the BLS, most employers require that journalists have a minimum of a bachelor's degree, preferably in journalism or communications. Journalism programs typically include a combination of research and writing, providing pupils with hands-on training and practical experience. Some journalist programs require that participants work for the school paper and some courses may have publication requirements. Graduates train to become journalists or other professional communicators, including authors and editors.

Master's and doctoral degree programs in journalism tend to emphasize research methods and communication theories in addition to writing skills. This training could lead to a career as a college professor or opportunities in advertising and public relations.

Related Experience

Although it's not required, a background in business, law, science, fashion or sports can lead to additional career opportunities. In addition, someone with training in photography may be able to submit photos with their articles. In any kind of writing, publishing credits are important. Any writing experience that learners can acquire by working at a school paper, interning or freelancing can lead to career opportunities. The BLS adds that some people can gain experience by creating, maintaining and updating a blog.

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