Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Skills Required to be a Good Journalist

Defining Journalism by Debbie Roome
Journalism is a specific type of writing that is often associated with newspapers. Journalists are commonly referred to as reporters and they deal with facts not fiction. Their writing is structured in a manner that presents the important details first and their style is easy to understand.

Would I make a Good Journalist
Although many writers are gifted at writing fiction there are those that have a natural affinity to journalism and prefer to work with facts. Here are some of the characteristics that are seen in good reporters:
· Good English and grammar skills
· Loves to read
· Ability to ask pertinent questions
· Knowing when to ask the questions
· Able to listen carefully to anyone of any age
· Able to report facts without coloring them with personal opinion
· Able to report a story accurately
· Able to report facts in a concise manner
· Natural curiosity about life and people
· Patience and perseverance
· A good sense of humor

Skills can be Focused in Certain Areas
Journalism is a wide field and writers may focus on certain areas such as news, entertainment, sport, or travel and tourism. They often write about what interests them and may become extremely knowledgeable in this area.

What Training do I Need to Become a Journalist
Most newspapers will only employ writers who have a relevant qualification – normally a degree in journalism or communication. Smaller publications may accept those with some kind of diploma in journalism. Freelance journalists may be judged on the basis of their work rather than their qualifications.

Journalism is a popular career choice for writers and can be a fulfilling way to make a living. The important thing is to have a passion for what you are doing and enjoy the variety of stories and people that pass through your life.

Debbie Roome works as a freelance writer from her home in New Zealand. Visit her at Debbie Roome or read some of her work at Suite 101 , Take Root and Write and Faithwriters.

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