Q:

What are the requirements for being a journalist?

A:

Quick Answer

Journalists typically need at least a bachelor's degree in journalism as well as experience writing and reporting. Journalists should also be flexible, independent, motivated, and skilled at research and communication.

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A bachelor's degree is typically the minimum requirement for even an entry-level journalism position. There are also graduate programs for journalists seeking higher-level positions. Although it's uncommon, journalists sometimes hold degrees in related fields such as English or political science. Journalists also need experience writing for print. For rookie reporters, interning at a newspaper or working on a school paper can provide good sources of experience. Freelancing for print or online publications is another source of experience.

Journalists need to be extremely skilled at both written and verbal communication. They need verbal communication skills to ask incisive questions that get to the core of a story and writing skills to present the story in a compelling way. Excellent research skills are also important in order to gather information for stories. Knowledge of word-processing programs is also a requirement for modern journalists.

Journalists need to be extremely flexible and dedicated to their job. A career in journalism often entails last-minute deadlines, long or unpredictable hours, and a stressful work environment. Journalists also need to be highly motivated and self-directed, because their work is often completed independently.

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