Displaying traits of inquisitiveness or being a conversationalist doesn’t mean you will do well as a journalist.
There are requirements to how you become a journalist especially in the UK.
They are part of what you will find in this article to help you build a promising career.
Journalists in the UK choose their preference and stay glued to making sure they don’t lose the taste of being in that profession as they move deeper.
Kindly, navigate through the table of contents to have an overview.
What Is Journalism?
Journalism is a career involving the collation of information about a specific event and relaying the findings to a broad audience through either the print, digital, or broadcast media.
There are different forms a journalist can report the information. They are features, investigative report, columns, reviews, and news.
While the feature and investigative report articles are longer and more detailed, the news columns and reviews are shorter and address a particular topic without having to give so many details.
Why Become a Journalist in the UK?
There are a lot of reasons one would choose to become a journalist especially if you have a flair for writing and meeting people.
Journalism in the UK borders on the core skills needed to equip you for a career in print and online.
Apart from the fact that journalism gives you a placement in almost all firms that are literally connected with spoken and written words, you will find some other reasons outlined below.
At the time of practising as a journalist, there are skills you gain which stay with you for as long as you remain in the profession and even after you moved over to something else.
They are as follows
Opting to become a journalist means you have dedicated a major part of your life to travelling.
There are situations that would need you to make short trips either locally or internationally to cover events and bring back reports.
That is why a career in journalism is one of the best career choices for someone who doesn’t enjoy being attached to a particular environment for so long.
What Are The Features Of A Journalist?
Because journalism involves the discovery of events regardless of what it is and prompt delivery of reports to the audience who may need them, there have to be specific attributes journalists are known for.
Let’s see some of them in the list below.
Types Of Journalism
There are different specializations in journalism where a journalist can choose from and perform in that area.
This involves in-depth research on a topic to uncover evidence and deliver results to a larger audience through a comprehensive report.
There are different tactics to which information about investigative journalism can be gathered.
This type of journalism could either be broadcast or print media.
Watch Dog Journalism
The intent following this branch of journalism is keeping guard against any illegal activity in a society.
Although there is a similarity between this and the former in the sense that both are intended towards uncovering wrongdoings but, this helps maintain that societal powers are held accountable for their actions.
This involves the narration of a report with a related video playing in the background.
It could be reports about weather, traffic, news, sports, and entertainment.
The political journalist covers different areas of political activity ranging from the political processes to talking about the elected officials and of course, how much they have achieved.
Here, the public will be fed the information about the political ongoings.
The sport journalist focuses mainly on subjects of athletic news and sporting events.
It can either be print or broadcast media.
Also, commentating during a sport event is a form of sports journalism.
Step-by-Step Guide On How To Become A Journalist In UK
For a fresh graduate who is much interested in storytelling and wants to hone your writing skills, below are the easy steps to become a journalist in the UK.
Obtain Your Bachelor’s Degree
Kick-starting your career in journalism has to do with going for a bachelor’s degree in journalism, mass communication, or any other related field.
These major areas will help give you a broader view or a better perspective from where you can understand journalism better.
At the end of your baccalaureate degree, you can either choose to further attend a school of journalism or apply for an entry-level job where you gain advanced knowledge of what journalism is all about.
Develop Your Writing Skills
In the UK, performing greatly as a journalist requires that you write extensively through a wide range of topics.
You can achieve this in either of the two ways listed below
- Writing as a freelancer or
- Developing your voice in a blog as a writer
This enhances your professional growth.
Initiate Relationships With Reporters
In a communication-related field where meeting with distinct personalities is unavoidable, ensure to reach out to reporters and establish a relationship with them.
Undergo An Internship With A Media Organisation
This is about the most important step in your journey on how to become a journalist in UK.
What internship does is that it opens you up to the reality of what it looks like being a journalist.
Your duties as an intern will include fact-checking stories and helping you with the final editing before the publication process takes place.
Apply For A Job
This is where you get to apply all you learnt throughout your days as an undergraduate, intern, and your days at the school of journalism.
Also, it prepares you for further career advancement and greater opportunities.
Other Journalism Entry Requirements
Journalists in the UK find it easier to gain placements across private and public sectors.
They can feature as sub-editors, reporters, proof-readers, copy writers, web editors, Public relations personnels, etc.
So, other requirements may include: A-level requirement in English language or literature, 32-34 points in your baccalaureate requirement, and the IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 or not lower than 6.0.
Where Can I Study Journalism in the UK?
To find the schools that offer the best journalism courses in the UK, we have used the Guardian University Guide ranking to bring you the top ten universities.
You can visit any of these schools for a worthwhile study time and for better results.
How do I Become a Journalist without a Degree in the UK?
There are 5 ways to become a journalist without having to undertake a media-related degree course.
How Much does a Journalist Earn in the UK?
According to the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ), the average earning for a newspaper journalist is about £27,500.
Depending on whether you are starting out as a trainee reporter, your salary could range from £12,000 – £15,000.
Also, journalists with up to five years’ experience earn about £25,000 – £30,000.
PayScale posits that the average salary for journalists in the UK is £24,271.
Additionally, due to the intensity of journalism jobs in the UK, BLS says that jobs for reporters will decline by 12% between 2018-2028 while jobs for editors will decrease by 3%, and jobs for photographers decreasing by 6%.
So, to have an edge over others, garner as much experience as you can carry in this field.
How Much Does It Cost to Become a Journalist in the UK?
The cost of tuition you spend at the time of acquiring a program in journalism varies but, it ranges between £19,00 t0 $20,000.
Tips On How To Become a Journalist in the UK
For you to build a long-lasting career in journalism, it is best you follow these tips.
Frequently Asked Questions
The average salary for a journalist in the UK is about £27,500.
These schools where you can get an education on journalism in the UK are:
Oxford Brookes University
The University of Strathclyde
The University of Sheffield
Nottingham Trent University
The University of Lincoln
The key skills a journalist should possess are Critical thinking,
Curiosity, Accuracy, Thinking well on their feet, etc.
If you follow this easy guide on how to become a journalist in the UK, you are close to making a wholesome career in journalism.
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