Become a Journalist

Becoming a successful journalist takes intelligence, attention to detail, good luck, and an extra large dose of perseverance. A growing number of those getting into the journalism profession today in America get both an undergraduate and graduate degree, often taking them up to six years of study.

Upon graduation, fresh journalists face a fierce job market, with a limited amount of jobs. It is often suggested that students in journalism seek out freelance writing jobs as soon as possible to begin building a network of professional contacts and portfolio of work that they will need to enter the job market post graduation.

Once graduated, the typical path to becoming a journalist a newspaper is either trough field reporting or editing. A field reporter typically moves up the ranks through a series of promotions, until he becomes a correspondent and eventually a bureau chief. Most news from the lower reporters goes through a correspondent or bureau chief before the story sees the light of day.

Those remaining in an office doing editing work mostly start out sub-editors, can then be promoted to night editors with less than wonderful hours, and can end up as assistant editors. Editors of papers are generally those who actually own the paper.

Sub-editors often get the task of fact checking, or making sure what is reported does not conflict with other facts. This job can be tedious, but is absolutely necessary to maintain the integrity of a story.

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