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Why Get a Degree in Journalism – Careers Available After Graduation

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What is journalism?

Journalism is a career that deals with the gathering, assessing, creating as well as presenting news and information to the public. Journalism is an indispensable career in a democratic society as it gives a detailed information of what happens in society or its government.

The purpose of journalism is to ensure that the members of the society get up-to-date news and information. News helps us to keep abreast of changing events, characters and issues happening in the society or the wider world. The information one gets helps him to make the best possible decisions about life, community, society and the government in charge.

The person who does the job of journalism is called a journalist. Today, journalist and reporters are more creative due to the ubiquitous nature of the internet and the contemporary face of journalism. They now ask compelling questions, write exceptional stories and uncover truths that are hard.

Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism

A bachelor’s degree in journalism arms the student with a variety of skills which include interviewing, writing and editing, filming and editing footage. Students are required to enrol in journalism as a course in order to acquire the basic skills (research and reporting) required for the publication of information, both online and offline.

A degree in journalism could be acquired either through on-campus (as a full-time study) or online programmes (as a part-time study). The on-campus programme equips the students with more opportunities to have a one-on-one interaction with course mates and professors. Online programmes are obtained through live online lectures or chat services. Students are advised to apply only to schools they could be comfortable with attending. Do not go for status, but for schools that would give you fulfilment. Applying to four to six schools can only drain you financially.

Admission Requirements for Studying Journalism

  1. Application. Most schools are applied to through their online portals.
  2. Transcripts from high school are necessary. This could require a little fee before getting it.
  3. Letters of Recommendation. The recommendations letters are majorly acquired from previous teachers or employers who can attest your distinct character and academic performance.
  4. Test Scores. SAT or ACT are majorly required by schools and average test scores are provided by schools, of which you must meet before applying for admission.
  5. Application Fee. this is the fee required for your application to be processed. It is usually non-refundable; however, students who demonstrate a strong financial need may be waived from paying the application fee.

Fees for Bachelor’s in Journalism

In a typical public institution, the tuition fee could be as low as $4000 per semester and $25 500 for the four-year programme.

Students in private institutions could pay up to $13 500 per semester and $100 000 for a four-year programme.

Jobs and Careers Available to Students of Journalism

Studying journalism opens door to a variety of jobs where graduates of journalism could showcase their professionalism. The following are what students should expect from studying a bachelor’s degree in journalism:

  • TV/Radio Presentation. A TV or radio presenter records audio or video footage, interviews on camera and also produces a segment.
  • Convergence Journalism. Multimedia skills are taught to students in order to grow beyond just writing. Social media, podcast recording and numerous technological innovation are avenues to be utilized by students in the contemporary world in order to adapt to a changing environment.
  • International Reporting. Foreign correspondents are taught about international reporting. Foreign reporters learn how to focus on global issues and this is basically studied abroad. Also, a knowledge of a foreign language is an added advantage.
  • Investigative Journalism. Documents are acquired through the computer, open record request or human beings. This is beyond the normal stories or breaking news.
  • Broadcast Journalism. The role of a broadcaster is to research, investigate and bring current stories to the public through the radio, television or the internet. Factual programmes like documentaries, news bulletins, and the likes are the interesting ways they present news to the public. Broadcast journalists could be editors, reporters, news anchor (presenter), producer or correspondent.
  • Editorial Assistant. Editorial assistance requires excellent grammar, communication and publishing skills. The editorial assistant supports senior editorial staff in all administrative duties like commissioning, planning and producing different publications like books, journals, magazines, publicity materials and online materials. He or she must have an eye for details in order to be able to point out mild or serious mistakes as well as effective management of time.
  • Writer. Writers are involved in the researching, creation, organisation, and production of both fiction and non-fiction works. Different forms of writing like poetry, novels, non-fiction, articles, scripts, web content, life writing, among others are expected of a writer to produce for the organisation. Most writers are self-employed and could work from home.
  • Political Risk Analyst. A political risk analyst examines issues crime, governance, government stability, humanitarian and human rights issues, cyber securities economic conditions, regulations and so on. The focus of the political risk analyst could be on a country or region, certain issues of national concern, an industry or an economic sector.
  • Publishing Copy-Editor or Proof Reader. The skills required of this job include grammar and spelling skills, as well as the ability to complete a task on time. a proof reader or copy-editor ensures that the work done is clear, devoid of errors, consistent, complete and reliable. Different publications like books, newspapers, magazines, journals and websites are the areas of focus.
  • Newspaper and Magazine Journalists. Journalists are required to interview people, investigate, research and write stories that are accurate and time-bound. They write stories for the national, regional and local press. Politics, sports, events, entertainment, business, science, arts and culture, and so on, are part of their routine jobs.
  • Web Content Manager. A web content manager combines both organisation and writing skills, as well as a piece of technical knowledge to produce an accurate, well-structured and easy to access jobs. They manage the company’s CMS, work with developers and editors to meet the organisational needs. They also train staff, analyse data, write and edit web copy, and so on.
  • Others include advertising copywriter, digital copywriter, market researcher, multimedia specialist, public relations officer, translator, and a host of others.

Top 10 Reasons One Should Study Journalism

Journalism is one of the jobs that will never become extinct as time progresses. It has been part of human civilization and has offered us connections and diverse ways of learning both locally and globally. There are always new occurrences in the world and today, information is one of the key powers of the world. Journalism helps to bring out the hidden information to the limelight. The following are some of the reasons one could delve into journalism as a profession:

  1. Journalism increases one’s inquisitiveness: A journalist is a very ‘nosy’ person as he or she is inclined to acquire information from any possible means. Their curiosity helps them to easily elicit information out of people.
  2. A journalist could work remotely: As a freelancer, you do not need to get an office space before you could work. You could work from home or any point as long as you are connected to the internet and have your writing pad handy.
  3. Journalists often get the first-hand information before others: They are advantaged to know what happened, how and why it happened.
  4. Journalism helps to polish one’s speaking and writing skills: Journalists know how to find a combination of words to write a masterpiece. They discover new words every day and naturally build their vocabulary.
  5. Journalism introduces one to a variety of new places or things through event coverage: You get out of your comfort zone to enjoy new foods, see exciting and interesting places, meet people of diverse backgrounds and races. As a result, you can cross your paths with people under certain circumstances that could challenge your mindset about life and teach you interesting lessons.
  6. Journalism allows one to pursue his passion for writing and related areas: As a result of different careers in journalism, one can delve into any area of interest and perform at the optimum.
  7. Speaking the truth: Journalism is one area of human interest that upholds the truth. Journalists are trained to present accurate information to the public which could influence their perspectives about life.
  8. Journalism can help you to navigate other fields: Due to diverse skills, one acquires as a journalist, he or she could branch into other related fields to hone his or her skills. For example, a journalist could teach the English language in a secondary or tertiary institution.
  9. It gives one a competitive edge: Journalism is highly competitive and could help one build diverse contacts that could project one for a better career.
  10. It gives one a sense of ethics: Journalism is a course that emphasizes work and professional ethics. Graduates of journalism are taught the nine principles of journalism which include tenets that focus on obligations to truths, the discipline of verifications, loyalty to citizens, and so on.

Top 10 High Paying Jobs in Journalism

There is a range of options available to those pursuing their career in journalism. The writing and communication skills journalists acquired helps them to navigate into several alternatives in the industry. Some jobs you can get with a journalism degree include:

  1. Content Writer: A content writer produces print content, video scripts, website articles, advertisement copy, social media posts, email newsletter, product pages, online articles, and others. Research skills are needed in developing contents, work with the laid down rules of the brand, as well as check marketing metrics. They could also work with editors, web designers, content strategists and so on, for brainstorming and briefings.
  2. Freelance Writer: A freelance writer works based on contracts with a range of companies and organisations. They create contents like articles, presentations, brochures, social media posts, web content, and so on for the brands, according to guidelines.
  3. News Producer: This job requires the gathering of news and selecting stories for broadcasting. News producers conduct interviews, approve news scripts, write news copy, as well as produce contents that are interactive and suitable for social media. In addition, they shoot and edit news audios and videos and also commission news graphics.
  4. News Editors: All the necessary processes put in place for publishing are required by the news editor to make it a reality. Media firms, organisations, publishing houses, online companies, and so on all need a news editor to add some finishing touches to their works. News editors, in addition, implement required strategies for both online and offline communications strategies, as well as a draft press release. Furthermore, they could be involved in writing headlines, create and check the style and consistency of contents, make required adjustments (editing), and so on.
  5. Digital Strategist: This job works hand in hand with a content developing, marketing and social media management to develop digital strategies. The digital strategist keeps current and emerging trends for the organisation. They also identify the target audience for the organisation and reach out to them with informative, alluring and updated marketing contents. User engagements and open communication channels are increased using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategies.
  6. Corporate Communications Specialists: The corporate communications specialist is involved in the management of a company’s internal and external communications. Press releases and other promotional media are crafted by them to promote the company’s visibility. Furthermore, they perform the duties of attending conferences, seminars, meetings and so on with investors in order to get them attracted to the company.
  7. Journalists: Primarily, journalists identify, investigate and report happening events. They ensure that stories or news that are brought for public consumption are analysed and properly interpreted. Nowadays, online publishing, programming and social media skills are required for journalists to remain atop the happenings and get connected to their sources of information and audiences.
  8. Product Marketing Manager: a product marketing manager works together with various teams like products, sales and marketing teams for the development of marketing strategies in respect to the promotion of the company’s products. They also conduct research to understand the positioning and comparative advantage of the products. In addition, compelling stories are created by the product marketing manager to attract their target audience and get them to purchase the company’s products.
  9. Copywriter: A copywriter is involved with the development of creative concepts and strategies that help in writing a compelling and persuasive copy that attracts the attention of the readers.
  10. Social Media Manager: a social media manager simply manages a company’s social media page. In addition, he or she is required to plan, execute and manage the social media strategies for the company’s brand promotion. They execute paid advertisement for the company’s brand promotion in order to attract customers, investors and partners to the company.

Available Courses in Journalism

The courses in journalism will help to improve the techniques, skills and principles that are required for career development. Both amateurs and professionals can take these courses The following are available courses one could offer in journalism:

  • Introduction to journalism
  • Photography and photojournalism
  • Radio and television (broadcasting) programmes.
  • Journalism and literature
  • Fashion journalism
  • Media writing and editing
  • English for journalism
  • Applied data science course
  • Introduction to mapping and GIS for journalists
  • News algorithms
  • News media
  • Activism and citizen journalism
  • Gathering and developing the news
  • Visualization for data journalism
  • Reporting and editing for prints
  • Investigative journalism for the digital age
  • Introduction to mobile journalism
  • Introduction to digital journalism
  • Python for data journalists: analyzing money in politics
  • Building bolts for journalism
  • Video production for journalists in the digital age
  • Interviewing: professional journalism techniques
  • How to be a journalist: the complete guide to journalism
  • Mobile video journalism: pro iPhone video editing course
  • Storytelling for film and television
  • Adopting social media marketing
  • Advertising
  • Dynamic public speaking
  • Media and entertainment business
  • Instructional design: digital media, new tools and technology

Best Universities to Acquire a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism Schools

The following are the top ranking schools to acquire a journalism degree:

  1. Northwestern University
  2. University of Missouri, Columbia
  3. Boston University
  4. Syracuse University
  5. UT Austin
  6. New York University
  7. Arizona State University
  8. American University
  9. Emerson College
  10. Ohio University
  11. University of Sheffield
  12. Leeds University
  13. Newcastle University
  14. Loughborough University
  15. Cardiff University
  16. Nottingham Trent University
  17. Lancaster University
  18. Strathcyle University
  19. Southampton University
  20. Swansea University

The Worth of a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism

Journalism is one of the courses that offer graduates a variety of career options to choose from. Students are equipped with a sense of financial security after graduation. Networking is one of the means of acquiring a job in journalism. Students who network while in school are been advantaged over those who do not. Journalism schools teach students strategic ways of networking by inviting different speakers who teach students to practice public speaking and also invite them to public events.

A degree in journalism teaches students useful skills that will help them to navigate to other fields like communications and marketing. It also makes the student a better reader and writer.

Scholarships Available for Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism

  • Romania Ministry of Foreign Affairs International Awards (Fully Funded)

The scholarship programme is offered to foreign citizens (Non-EU students) by the Romania State through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is fully funded and available for both undergraduate and postgraduate studies.

The benefits of the scholarship include free tuition fees, accommodation, monthly stipend, 65 euro per month for undergraduate students, 75 euro per month for master’s students, 85 euro per month for doctoral students.

  • Orange Knowledge Programme, Netherlands (Fully Funded)

The Orange Knowledge Programme is aimed at contributing to the sustainable and inclusive development of the society. It is available to both undergraduate short courses (not more than 12 months) and master’s studies (not more than 24 months) at Netherlands universities.

  • Australian Awards Scholarships for International Students (Fully Funded)

The Australian Awards Scholarships are open to students from developing countries to partake in a full-time undergraduate or postgraduate studies at the participating Australian universities and Technical and Further Education (TAFE).

The benefits of the scholarship include full tuition fee, return air travel, establishment allowance, living expenses, overseas students’ health cover, and so on.

  • Strathclyde Prestige Award for Excellence in Diplomacy and International Security, UK

The programme is funded by the university of Strathclyde, merit-based and established for the recognition of academic excellence of applicants.

The benefit of the scholarship is a grant up to 5000 pounds for the duration of the course.

  • GIJN Fellowships for Young Promising Journalists from Developing and Transitioning Countries

The Global Investigative Journalism Network announces the GIJN Fellowships for candidates to learn and enhance their skills using the state-of-the-art tools and techniques. The course could only be accessed online for registration by all nationalities of developing countries.

  • Dean’s International Undergraduate Scholarship at the University of Strathclyde in UK

The scholarship is available for students from China, Chile and Egypt. The award of the scholarship is up to 3 500 pounds per year for the duration of the programme.

  • David W. Ewald Journalism Scholarship

The scholarship is a one-time non-renewable award of $1000 per year to an outstanding student from US who pursues a career in journalism.

  • Edward J. Nell Scholarship

The scholarship is established to assist the aspiring students of journalism at the University of Iowa. The worth of the award is $500 for the funding of the student’s higher education.

  • Guy P. Gannet Scholarship Fund

The scholarship was established to assist graduates of Maine high school who pursue journalism as a course. The amount for the scholarship is based on the availability of funds and recommendations of the selection committee.

  • National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Scholarship Programmes

Awards ranging from $1000 to $2500 are made available by the NABJ to undergraduate students of journalism. Applicants must be active members of NABJ.

Conclusively, studying journalism is a degree worth delving into as there are comparative advantages students have over those who did not study journalism. Skills learnt in journalism can help to take the student far in life.

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