For Integrated Learning and Writing, we have been writing an explanation on what a specific career is like: e.g pay rate, requirements etc. The career path that I chose to write about is Journalism. Why I chose this path is because I aspire to one day become a journalist. Here is my explanation. Enjoy!
Do you like knowing about the world around you? Do you like reading the paper, watching the 6:00 news or hearing Hillary Barry speak on the radio? Well I do to, and in 10 years, you will probably see me on the news, in suit and tie. My future career path that I want to follow, is the path of a journalist.
Before you become a journalist, I would advise that you have a few qualifications and studied a few handy subjects. In high school, some good subjects to study are: media studies, english, writing, te reo (this depends on whether you live in New Zealand or not), classical studies, and history.
When you hit College or University, some qualifications that would really help when an employer looks at your CV, are: a national graduate or postgraduate diploma in journalism, a degree in communications, majoring in journalism and a degree in broadcasting.
Things To Practice When You Are A Journalist.
A few months ago, I had the chance to write to Mike McRoberts, who is a presenter for 3 News at 6:00 pm everyday. Guess what? Blow me down, he actually replied! One of the many tips he gave me was taking a stack of information and explaining it in a few paragraphs. Another good thing to practice is trying to interview someone you know. You know, the feeling when you are presenting and then you realise you know someone, or someone is pulling a face, you CANNOT laugh or smile in a way that may come across as silly in an interview, or you may run the risk of embarrassing your company.
Life as a journalist can be at times, extremely stressful. Whether from scrutiny from something you said or published, or just from something you asked in an interview, or even just late working hours, journalism can be extremely stressful. Here are a few dispositions that you will need to develop if you want to survive in the world of journalism.
As a journalist, you need to be curious, because if you are never curious, you will never get a good story.
2. Resilience and Perseverance.
When you’re on the trail of a good story and you run into a dead end, you don’t just give up, because then the story turns cold.
3. Emotional Strength.
If you do make an incorrect judgement as a journalist and publish it, you will definitely receive criticism, so you need to develop a ‘thick skin’. A ‘thick skin’ is a figure of speech used to describe someone who needs to develop resistance against criticism. Also, you need to be able to cope with uncertain work hours, and being constantly available to be sent overseas at short notice.
Because there are so many pathways to become a journalist ( e.g written, radio or tv) so I will just describe the pathway to becoming a television presenter. This is modelled off Mike McRobert’s pathway to where he is now as a presenter for 3 News. In his last year of high school, The Department of Maori Affairs held a journalism course. After seeing the action in the newsroom, Mike was hooked. Mike then won an extremely competitive Radio New Zealand Cadetship. After six months of training, he was having doubts about whether he was up to the job. Then he remembered a quote from the course about journalism that “Young Maori find journalism hard, because many find it difficult to question authority.” Mike then felt comforted by this. Then suddenly, a massive opportunity came up. He was offered a spot at the sports office. The young rugby avid Mike instantly felt at there, and by the age of 24, he was in charge of the sports department. As time went on, Mike then started doing fill-in shifts for reading the 6:00 news. In late 2000 Mark Jennings contacted Mike and asked if he would like to be a backup for John Campbell on the 6:00 News. Then when John Campbell left to start up Campbell Live, Mike and Hillary Barry started doing it full time.
Overall, the importance of journalists in today’s society is extremely important, otherwise, the public wouldn’t be informed about important government decisions, and about what is happening, in our own backyard, New Zealand.
Sources: Mike McRoberts, Beyond The Front Line, http://www.nzonscreen.com/person/mike-mcroberts/biography, Careers New Zealand http://www.careers.govt.nz/jobs/writing-and-publishing/journalist/?search%5Bq%5D=journalist.