People in Journalism are increasing every day hence the competition rate is constantly increasing. Therefore, it is only wise to find methods of making yourself stand out from the crowd and leave an unforgettable impression on people: your viewers, readers, subscribers or followers.
Below are five great tips for aspiring journalists:
- Make It “Multi-Media”: Journalism is no longer solely about reporters filing written stories, with newsrooms becoming multimedia platforms. Among all journalists, the most desired training is in social media, digital and production skills. Sometimes, news spreads like wildfire on social networks before it gets to other types of media. This happens especially with topics related to new technologies, social demonstrations or when catastrophes take place, where the witnesses of the event explain what they saw or experienced.
- Have your own voice: Learn your style of writing, acknowledge your voice in your pieces and allow yourself to resonate within your work because your work reflects you. This must-have skill is clear self-representation and the ability to do this well will show off your personality. This would also contribute to your personal branding that makes you attractive to publishers who wish to reach a wider audience, as reporters promote their work on their own social media accounts.
- Develop research skills: A journalist who can do great research produces knowledgeable articles and that is what readers want. When it comes down to it, people believe facts, and whether you’re writing about an up-and-coming musician or homemade chicken nuggets, people want to hear everything. So get curious and remember to have healthy scepticism: a good journalist has questions, but great journalists get answers. Learn data and statistical skills for storytelling. This would help you to collect, edit, analyze and interpret data in order to produce compelling interactive maps and graphics for your story.
- Become a trend spotter: Trending topics are powerful, as they can reveal what people’s interests and intentions are and also what is happening right now. If there is a surge in people searching online for the term ‘unemployment insurance’ for example, this could suggest that unemployment levels are rising. Trending topics are effective for capturing the attention of a broader audience. For example, writing a blog post about a popular trending topic can give your website or blog a huge traffic boost. Conversely, you may be interested in a topic that you think is worth talking about, but there may not be much information online right now. Media intelligence can help you research the level of interest for that topic over time and help to decide whether you should create any content.
- Do some networking: Contacts are the bread and butter of journalism. A journalist’s next story or new business opportunity can come about by getting out of your bubble and do some networking. Does your relative’s company need someone to write newsletters? Is your friend of a friend looking for blog contributions? Does your journalism professor have contacts at Nation Media Group or Couture Africa? Be proactive – show up to events, form relationships and follow up the conversation with an email or set up a meeting. This shows your dedication and expresses how serious you are about an opportunity.
Do you aspire to be a journalist and don’t know where to start? Click on the image below to begin your journey.