Journalism: an academic study concerned with the collection and editing of news or the management of a news medium (Merriam-Webster). What qualities shall one have to become a journalist? What abilities or skills can one acquire by studying journalism? What are the careers as a journalist or what can one specialize in? As Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “I fear three newspapers more than a hundred thousand bayonets” (Picture Quotes). This quote from one of the most powerful men and general that has been on Earth, best describes the power a journalist has to compel from one baby to a mass of people. This broad and competitive study might be for any of us.
Not everyone can become a good journalist. Good writers are critical thinkers; they access, investigate, synthesize, and retain crucial information. A visual explanation of what a journalist is was once said by the German writer Arthur Schopenhauer, he said, “journalists are like dogs, whenever anything moves they begin to bark” (Quote HD). Curiosity and persistence come in handy to obtain the best version of the truth and verify it. As professor and author Noam Chomsky once said, “The duty of journalists is to tell the truth. Journalism means you go back to the actual facts, you look at the documents, you discover what the record is, and you report it that way” (NYU Journalism). It is evident that communication skills, both written and verbal, are key components for a successful career in journalism… so the ability to express oneself clearly and logically, and to maintain strong interpersonal relationships is crucial (Learn How To Become). Journalists have the intuition to detect a good story and be good communicators while using tools to produce drama, tension, and suspense. For the writing process, they ought to be objective, have the ability to work long hours in a fast-paced environment, and have basic computer skills. To conclude, journalism is a profession that depends on the interest of the public so they ought to know how to package their stories by converging the tools of print and broadcast mediums.
“Some work from a quiet office, others put themselves in harm’s way. Before they enter the field, however, most journalists pursue formal education” (Learn How To Become). As previously stated, students learn base skills required for journalism and journalism-related careers; from reporting and writing to photojournalism and multimedia. Evidently, the two main branches of journalism are print and broadcast, which come together to form the multimedia industry. Moreover, on-campus courses often combine formal classroom instructions with hands-on learning projects, such as sports reporting on the campus’s newspaper. Many large schools have not only student-run radio stations, websites and blogs, and newspapers, but also on-site television studios. Undergraduate degrees offer robust internship programs where one can learn sports journalism skills assisting professionals in the real-world environment. For instance, a specialty could be sports journalism, a program offered by many different universities that covers from kinesiology for a bachelor’s degree to in-depth researches about sports’ impact on society or the business and economics of sports, for a masters degree. Overall, the main reason for a journalism degree is to help students develop the abilities and skills to be compelling story-writers, visually and written.
Sports journalism: the career that started in the 1800s for the minuscule elite social class but has now its own section in the newspapers. Sports journalism targets reporting any sports event, from amateur to professional news. Sports journalists work in all media, from print to broadcasting to multimedia or internet. Jobs go from reporting game statistics to interviewing coaches and players and offering game commentary (Learn.org). For sports journalism, the first branch is broadcast; this job consists of giving live reports and comments on sports events for TV or radio newscasts. These reports can be provided as interviews before, during, or after a game while others are provided from the inside, rocking in the edition and production of the telecasts. The broadcast industry has grown a lot thanks to technology so they have special networks, such as ESPN, to publish news and such reports. Second, comes the branch of the print medium, these journalists focus mainly on providing detailed information either from the past; such as post-game analysis, which includes scores, statistics, and team ranking, or from future predictions. The public can access this print information by different media; print such as newspapers and magazines, or online with internet links or specialized networks. Therefore, one can write for their local newspaper or get to report for a blog in ESPN or a column in The New York Times. Last but not least, the third branch for sports journalism is photojournalism; similar to the multimedia branch because it is a merge between print and broadcast regarding the way it is written, expressed, and communicated. This job consists of taking pictures of sporting events with the purpose of capturing the whole experience in one shot. The work of these photojournalists is communicated through newspapers, TV’s, internet, or magazines (for example Sports Illustrated). In conclusion, technology and new forms of internet blogging have pushed the boundaries of sports journalism while following the basic structures and rules of it.
“The print media is the most powerful entity on Earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that is power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” by Malcolm X (Slide Share). To begin with, all sentences are structured by mentioning the information first and then the source in the end, for example: “Oklahoma is likely to see more severe weather this month, said meteorologists at the University of Oklahoma”. The style for print journalism starts with a lead which is the opening statement that gives an incite into the story to get the audience’s attention. Next comes the nut Graf, this name is derived from the word nut because it contains a kernel which represents the essential information, and graf as in paragraph. The nut-graf tells the readers about the 5 W’s ( being who, what, when, where, and why) of the story to indicate the theme. In conclusion, the nut graf can be compared to the thesis statement for an academic paper. Third comes the crucial information which is basically what the story is about. This is followed by the non-crucial, also called background information which has the purpose of leading the audience to find more reactions to the story. Finally comes the conclusion, which works to remind the reader of the story’s object while also, as mentioned before, looking ahead to allow readers to have a follow-up in the article.
Broadcast journalism mainly differs from the print’s structure because of how sentences are written in order to please the auditive or visual audience. In the media, sources are mentioned at the beginning of the sentence, rather than in the end, to emphasize the information in the end. For example, “Meteorologists at the University of Oklahoma say that Oklahoma is likely to see more severe weather this month.” Sentences in broadcast news are generally made of one simple idea with no extra clauses to make it easier for the anchor who is the person responsible for presenting the stories on-camera. In addition, broadcast scripts use a more conversational style and segments are short with packed information. Furthermore, these stories begin with a general simple sentence called the lead sentence, just like in print journalism, which cues the opening of the story. Broadcast news has to be visually and auditory appealing; for this purpose, images are used and then text complements them. Given these points, broadcasters have to learn to please the audience correctly because they are listenings, not reading. In order to do so, broadcasters use and mix many literary devices such as imagery, sensory detail, and language structure. To conclude, broadcast journalism, which goes from radio stations to TV studios, follows a similar structure to the print but differ because of the way the audience is receiving the information provided. Ultimately, both meet the same purpose in mind, to inform.
The qualities of a journalist shall determine in which field one can specialize. A journalism study has the purpose to teach the basic principles and ethics of the job while showing basic skills and techniques to succeed as a journalist. This study opens one’s frontiers into the broad field of journalism to decide their specific study, from broadcast to print, for instance, sports journalism. For an amateur with love for writing and sharing, this is the ideal career. Despite the competition and dedication required, with persistence and following the structure, one can win the Pulitzer award while earning around 60,000 a year and gaining the experience of a lifetime. As mentioned earlier, journalism is a very broad and competitive field that requires certain skills to please the audience with the necessary information based on facts. Finally, as a famous English author and playwright once said, “Ratings don’t last. Good journalism does.” By Dan Rather (Don’t Look Now). She was Dame Daphne du Maurier, Lady Browning, and wrote this in the innovating film called Don’t Look Now in 1973 by Nicolas Roeg.