Career Choice

WHO IS A JOURNALIST?

Kareem LaTouche, Youthlink Coordinator

A JOURNALIST is a person who collects, writes or distributes news or other current information to the public. Such storytelling has been a way of communicating to the masses since the beginning of time, from hearing or seeing an event unfold and running to tell neighbours, sending smoke signals, beating drums, sending a telegram, to our now modern-day technological means of gathering and disseminating news on events.

Journalism is always a form of relating an event based on true facts and information. Depending on their specialty, journalists can be writers, radio or TV reporters, photo or video journalists. As a journalist, you are required to identify important topics and then to come up with well-researched stories on those topics.

Areas of specialty of journalism include entertainment, lifestyle, tech, politics, sport, and many more.

WHAT THE WORK INVOLVES

A typical day for a journalist might involve:

• Travelling to locations to cover events.
• Interviewing people.
• Researching background information.
• Presenting written or spoken news stories.
• Editing and proofreading.
• Reading and rewriting press releases.
• Liaising with editors, subeditors, designers and photographers.
• Creating stories, feature articles or documentaries.
• Taking photos and videos.

Journalists often spend a good portion of their day in front of a computer, writing and/or researching.

As a journalist, you typically work in a fast-paced environment in which the work is regularly done on tight – usually daily – deadlines. Work does not stop for public holidays and you will also be scheduled for weekend work and different shifts. News happens every day and needs continuous coverage.

This job can be very time-consuming and stressful, but also very rewarding.

WHO IS THIS CAREER FOR?

As a journalist, you need to be a people person and you must be interested in the world around you. It is also a must to master the English language, whether spoken or written.

Being determined, curious, persistent and reliable are also good qualities to possess.

WHAT CAN I EARN?

As a journalist, you can earn a median-level salary, but salaries may vary in different institutions and the area of journalism in which you are specialised.

HOW DO I QUALIFY?

A bachelor’s degree in journalism, communication, English or any other related field is required.

WHO OFFERS TRAINING IN JAMAICA?

• The University of the West Indies
• Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication
• Northern Caribbean University
• University of the Commonwealth Caribbean.

Continue reading for more on exciting careers for now and the future. Send your comments and suggestions on what you want to know more about to Angela deFreitas, general manager of CHOICES Career & Education Advice. Email: info@choicesonlinejm.com

Section: 
Email Youtube Instagram Twitter Facebook
@youthlinkmag