Journalistic Skills

The fundamentals of reporting include news gathering, interviewing, writing and creating stories, writing different types of stories and understanding the way news is produced and consumed. Core skills include having the capacity to produce writing that is both accurate and engaging. It's not enough to present facts, although this is an extremely important skill for all journalists, but those in the field need to be able to present information in an interesting way to grab their audience's attention. Journalists also need to be able to write clearly and effectively. They should be capable of editing and should possess optimal grammar and punctuation skills. In the ever evolving digital world, journalists also need to be able to report across platforms including newspapers, magazines, television and online.

It's imperative that those pursuing a career in journalism have good interpretive skills and are able to pull the facts from a story or an event. All professional journalists will also need to have a basic understanding of how governments work at both a local and national level. Being knowledgeable about public affairs is crucial because many stories deal with these issues. This type of information includes individual rights, holding the government accountable, a basic knowledge of the environment and understanding economics. Similarly, journalists need to know about the legal boundaries of what they can and can't report on. This includes basic privacy rights, misusing information, copyright laws, anonymity, defamation and disclosure of confidential services as well as an overall impartiality when reporting.

Journalism training typically begins by earning a journalism qualification from a journalism school. A qualification in journalism usually consists of studying print, broadcasting and online journalism. Most programs also offer students the option to choose a concentration area such as multimedia journalism. In these courses, students will hone their writing and editing skills as well as earn a basic understanding of copywriter laws and how the industry works.

This includes knowing how to pitch articles, knowing where to apply for jobs, feeling comfortable conducting interviews and speaking. They will also learn to work across platforms and develop their critical thinking skills.

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