I want to become a journalist but everyone keeps telling me I haven't got a chance. What would be the best subjects to study? And how do I get into it? It's the only thing I want to do so any information would help.
It's great to hear that you are so focused on the career path you want to take. Journalism is quite a competitive field, but that's not to say that you don't stand every chance of becoming one yourself.
The area you decide to work in will affect the qualification levels that you need. You may not need them in a specific subject, but you may need to gain a certain amount of points to get into your chosen arena.
It might be worth speaking with your education provider's careers advisor. Your school, college or uni should have a careers advisor or careers centre to help you with guidance with your CV, course choices and job applications. They should be able to help you work out which courses to take to give you the optimum opportunity to get into journalism.
Which subjects you choose to study might also depend on the type of content you want to write about. There are many different subjects covered by journalists such as sports, politics, food and music, so have a think about which direction you want to follow.
You might find a course in English gives you a good basic understanding of the English language's many rules, such as spelling and grammar. At degree and postgraduate level, you'll find lots of specific journalism courses. On these courses you'll typically learn how to construct a story, conduct interviews and research your ideas. You may also learn about media law, working online and how to take shorthand. These courses often require students to find work experience placements, offering the opportunity to make contacts, learn about the working environment and gain new skills.
Even if you don't do a specialist course in journalism, work experience can be invaluable on your CV. One way of finding work experience is to research the publications, websites, TV or radio stations that interest you and write to them directly.
If you're interested in print or online journalism, try to build up a portfolio of your work. This could be articles or reviews you've had published in your student paper, a website you've help set up, or even a blog you've written yourself. These will all give evidence of your interest in the industry and give employers an idea of your writing style.
Question answered by bss