Journalism is an exciting subject best suited for those who are creative, investigative and curious about the world and what happens in it. Journalism students tend to love writing, and enjoy writing copy, may like to get creative and create their own Youtube videos, blogs or integrating the neighbours.
Journalism is part technique, and part talent – it takes a lot to know what questions to push, but also how an article should look.
Journalism degrees tend to ask students to have English, media or communications A-levels to set a decent foundation. Journalism students need to have excellent grammar and writing skills to survive and pass the course, as well an understanding of the media and how it works.
Each university will ask students for varying prerequisites. Therefore, individuals are encouraged to research their chosen courses and universities to understand what they need to get accepted onto the course.
Students will be able to study a Bachelor’s of Arts (BA) degree in Journalism, or if they wish, as part of a combined or joint degree which offers two similar and connecting subjects to be studied at the same time. This combined degree suits individuals who want to explore and study two areas while at university – it’s essential choosing a degree course that suits the student’s personal needs.
Subjects that complement journalism are; Media, Communication, Politics, Finance, Creative Writing, Art, and Film. There may also be options to study a particular area of Journalism, such as studying Multimedia Journalism, Financial Journalism, Print or Online Journalism, Sports Journalism and a Broadcast Journalism degree. Each degree within the areas above will focus on this type of Journalism throughout the course and is well-suited for individuals who have a direct career path in Journalism in mind.
It will involve an array of practices, techniques and assessments. Students will have to investigate and source their own stories, interview people and write a great article that people want to read (sounds easier than it is!). Journalists need to be aware of the area around them, what events are occurring, and what information people want to read in the news.
Studying journalism will offer individuals a chance to become a part of different projects, from radio, print, television and magazine journalism and the opportunity to create front page news, feature article, or a news bulletin on a radio show.
Students will be assessed through written coursework and assignments through the submission of articles, features, plans, proposals, briefs and transcripts. Candidates may also be assessed within practical elements through radio shows, interview techniques and creation of a magazine or feature design. The way institutions assess the course will vary, hence why choosing the right university and course is important and it’s incredibly important to visit university open days to get a feel for the institute (Learn more – View and book upcoming open days via the open day calendar).
Students tend to focus on a research project/area or investigative piece during their final year.
Studying within this area offers candidates the chance to gain skills in communication, writing, grammar, investigation, as well as social skills from working with others and interviewing sources. Individuals will learn how to work towards a deadline and how to organise their time effectively, which will prove helpful later on in life.
Journalism is ideal for those individuals who want to be in front of the camera or those who write the big headlines, or even the persons who crack huge open cases such as the phone-hacking scandal in England a few years ago. Journalism is perfect for those who want to seek the truth and to give it to the people.
However, even those journalists seek, to tell the truth, and to expose lies, should be noted that journalists still have to study and work within regulation, ethics and laws – which in some cases may change the aspect of journalism.
Some students go into internships, gaining work experience to add their CV (Learn more – Writing a student CV) or complete a postgraduate qualification to specialise their training, or even seek employment through securing a job or being chosen for a graduate scheme.
Journalism is a tough area to find work in after graduation, as many companies, newspapers and news corporations want candidates with experience, creativity and a bag of ideas.
The techniques, rules and regulations will help you find a job as it shows that individuals are not only dedicated to the job but have gained experience.
Graduates may find themselves writing copy for websites, writing content for regional newspapers, online magazines, weekly national magazines, or on a graduate scheme with a big corporation hoping to gain experience and networking effectively.
Students can study further after graduating with a bachelor’s degree, from a Master’s of Arts (MA) in Journalism, Broadcast Journalism, Print Journalism, Online Journalism, Sports Journalism, Financial Journalism, Multimedia Journalism, or Journalism and Media.
Postgraduate options offer students the chance to specialise solely in one area that they wish to become an expert in and aid their employment thereafter.
Greg Kinnear, an actor, known for his roles in Little Miss Sunshine, You’ve Got Mail, and As Good as it Gets received a Bachelor’s in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Arizona in Tuscon. Also, Documentarian, Michael Moore, famous for his movies: Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11 and Capitalism: a love story studied journalism at the University of Michigan-Flint, where he grew up. Brad Pitt enrolled at the University of Missouri in 1982, choosing to major in journalism, and two weeks before earning his degree left to move to Los Angeles where he decided to take acting lessons!
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