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Journalist

Job Duties

Journalists occupy a crucial position in U.S. society, gathering information, relating stories, and broadcasting news that keeps the public informed on topics such as local, State, national, and international events; the actions of public officials, corporate executives, special-interest groups, and other people of power and influence; and communicate points of view on current issues that affect public life.

Journalism

Journalists fall into a number of specialized categories. Newscasters present news stories, communicate on the air with live reporters, and explain video images and other transmissions. Weathercasters report on the current and forecasted state of the weather using information from satellites, weather services, and weather bureaus. Sportscasters present news about sports, including interviews with sports stars and descriptions of sporting events. Reporters investigate news stories, interview people, examine documents, and take notes and photographs at a scene; then they organize this material and write stories for print or broadcast. News correspondents are stationed in large U.S. or foreign cities and report on news that happens in that city.

Job Skills

Journalists must have good physical and emotional stamina to deal with the more challenging aspects of the occupation such as tight deadlines, irregular hours, and dangerous assignments. They should have persistence, initiative, poise, resourcefulness, and a good memory. They must be comfortable with many new people and new places. On-air positions require a pleasant voice and attractive appearance.

Income

In 2002, journalists earned a median annual salary of $30,510. Earnings ranged from the lowest 10%, who earned less than $17,620, and the highest 10%, who earned more than $69,450.

Training and Education

For a majority of journalism jobs, most employers prefer to hire applicants who have a bachelor's degree in journalism or mass communications. Some employers hire applicants who have majored in other subjects. Employers also prefer applicants who have gained experience through school newspapers or school broadcasting stations, or who have completed internships. Some larger organizations prefer applicants who have a degree in a specialty such as economics, political science, or business. Over 400 colleges and universities offer bachelor's degree programs in journalism, including courses in liberal arts, mass media, basic reporting and copy editing, history of journalism, and press law and ethics.

Community and junior colleges offer other options for journalism credit that can usually be transferred to a 4-year institution. 120 schools offered master's degree programs in journalism, and 35 offered a Ph.D. degree. Graduate programs are designed to prepare graduates either for news careers or for careers such as journalism teachers, researchers, theorists, and advertising and public relations workers. An excellent way to prepare for a journalism career while in high school is to take courses such as English, journalism, and social studies. College liberal arts programs in English, sociology, political science, economics, history, and psychology can also form a solid foundation. Practical experience is just as important as education when employers make hiring decisions. Many students have already gained experience by the time they graduate through internships or part-time summer jobs.

Employment

In 2002, journalists held about 66,000 jobs. 60% worked for newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers. 25% worked in radio and television broadcasting. Only 4,100 were self-employed.

Job Outlook

Between 2002 and 2012, employment of journalists is expected to increase more slowly than the average. This will be due to mergers, consolidations, and closures of newspapers, as well as a decrease in circulation, increased expenses, and a decline in advertising profits. The highest amount of opportunity will be in smalltown and suburban newspapers and radio and television stations.

For more information on a career as a journalist, please see our directory of schools offering Media Training


Journalist Training

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            1 Program(s) Found
            • Master of Science in Communications offered online through Syracuse University’s world-renowned Newhouse School of Public Communications.
            • Ranked among the Best Global Universities in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Specializations include Advertising, Public Relations, and Journalism Innovation.
            • Coursework provides students with communication strategies for today’s changing media landscape.
            • Online Courses
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Communications@Simmons prepares students to become leaders who achieve their organizational, professional, and personal goals through a strategic integration of communications theory and practice.
            • The rigorous, practice-based curriculum ensures that students develop the key skills and competencies necessary to successfully navigate the shifting landscape of the digital world.
            • Simmons’ faculties are scholars and practitioners who provide individualized attention to students, guiding their professional and personal development through hands-on engagement.
            • Online Courses
            4 Program(s) Found
            • Push Your Creativity To The Next Level.
            • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
            • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
            • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
            • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
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            • Online Courses
            ABCO Technology , Los Angeles
            • An accredited computer training academy preparing students to enter the IT industry as Network Engineers, Software Engineers, Web Apps Developer, Website Designers, Programmers, Database Administrators since 2000.
            • Holds A+ certification from CompTIA.
            • Located in Los Angeles, approximately 10 minutes away from LAX.
            • Flexible class schedules offered during day times, evenings and weekends.
            • Helping students start a career in technology within 3 - 9 months.
            • Educates with the mission to serve the needs of the local community and graduates by matching opportunities to skills.
            • Military friendly school.
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            • Financial Aid
            • Offers several scholarship opportunities for students who qualify.
            • Laptop computers are issued to each student at the beginning of their program.
            • Provides programs in health care, business, information technology, and graphic arts.
            • Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

            Our family of non-profit colleges admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

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            • Accredited
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            • Located in Hollywood, CA, offering degrees in film, music production, business, animation and more.
            • Scholarship, financial aid and military benefits are available for students who qualify.
            • Programs taught by award-winning industry professionals in real-world working environments.
            • Features industry-standard facilities including recording studios, soundstages, green screen, movie theatres and more.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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            • Financial Aid
            • • Offers students the opportunity to complete their master’s degree entirely online in as little as 15 months.
            • • Gives all students an Apple iPad and free textbooks to support the online learning experience.
            • • Teaches students social responsibility and business best practices.
            • •Provides scholarships, grants and other forms of financial aid to those who qualify.
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            • Online Courses
            Platt College , Alhambra
            • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
            • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
            • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
            • 3 campuses in Southern California.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
            • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
            • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
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            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits