Good journalists gather information by conducting detailed research about specific events, people or topics. Journalists may conduct interviews with witnesses, participants or subject-matter experts to gain additional insights. To tell a complete story, journalists may use charts, photos or quotes from interviewees to educate and inform readers and viewers. Journalists actively pursue all leads that help tell a detailed story.
Journalists should complete college-level coursework in reporting, journalism ethics, interviewing, public speaking, newswriting, feature writing and copy writing to sharpen reporting and research skills. Internships and entry-level newswriting or copywriting jobs help journalists increase their ability to identify and develop compelling stories that readers, viewers or listeners find interesting. Good journalists spend much of their time researching, interviewing and preparing stories that contain accurate and truthful details. Additional coursework in business, finance, information technology, medicine or other fields can help journalists advance in their careers.
In addition to detailed research, good journalists also know how to tell a compelling story through words and images. Journalists should know how to present a story through different types of media, including print, television, radio and the Internet. Knowledge of web or graphic design can help journalists select the proper images for print, television or Internet reporting.