Occupation Description of Journalists



OccupationDescription of Journalists

OccupationDescription of Journalists

Journalismis a career where professionals are tasked with the responsibilitiesof gathering, analyzing, and later on interpreting informationgathered on a given subject. Depending on one’s area ofspecialization, one can be tasked with the responsibilities ofinvestigating and reporting on all types of news for all availabletypes of media platforms (Borden&amp Tew, 2007).To do this, one must be effective and adequately skilled inconducting their own research and investigation and also be good inconducting interviews with different respondents.

Requirementsand Education

Inorder for one to become a journalist than it is a person gets aformal education up to a minimum of the bachelors’ level. While theminimum educational qualification is a degree competition for jobsand professional requirements have led to a need to for lawyers tofurther their education even to greater extents. One can choose tomajor in journalism or communications depending on what pleases themthe most. Competitive journalists always go a step further and chooseto specialize in a single subject such as politics or eveninternational relationships. Journalists are also required in manytimes to have a good liberal arts background, such public affairparticipation among many others (Borden&amp Tew, 2007).

Also,while trying to be a journalist in order to get a job one needs tohave some experience of some kind. Most employers today want resultand that cannot just be seen on your resume. Journalists are alsoknown to possess different skills such high communication skills andto be a good orator (Borden&amp Tew, 2007).At the same time, a modern day journalist must possess excellentcomputer skills and ability to use the internet and onlinetechnologies to gather information and research facts (Steensen,2009).Good written communication skills are also a must for one to be asuccessful journalist. Today, we are also living in a global market,and one must possess high technology skills to conduct research andalso help them in their day-to-day activities.

Finally,journalist occupation requires that one possess a good ability tothink quickly and cope up with emerging issues that were notanticipated. One must also be able to be sociable and be comfortablearound different people at the field most of them time entailsinteraction with different people (Harcup,2002).One must also be patient while conducting their research as not allpeople will give you what you want in the way that you wish them to.Good critical thinking skills are also a must have the ability thatwill always help a journalist in deciding false information fromfactual information (Borden&amp Tew, 2007).

Journalistoccupation: Duties &amp Responsibilities

Journalistsare required to educate the public on what events are transpiring andhow those events are going to affect their daily lives. They spendalmost all of their times looking for information. This informationis found by searching publicly available documents, interviewingindividuals and also visiting crime scenes or where interestingevents are taking place. After finding the required information theythen proceed to analyze and later on present it to the public throughthe various media channel platforms (Conboy,2013).Many people around the globe are of the opinion that the mainresponsibility of any journalist is to pass across information andnews in the most truthful and unbiased manner. This should be thebinding responsibility of any journalist or anyone aspiring to be ajournalist.

Whilepassing across information, it is the duty of the journalist to takeinto consideration the target audience, their own personal interestedas well as the manner of passing across the given information. Thereare some ethical regulations that govern the conduct of journalistand thus it is the duty of any journalist to stick and abide by them.

Inmany cases, there are a few common types of news and stories that ajournalist would really be interested in but of all of them, ajournalist is always typically interested in breaking news. This typeof a situation requires a journalist to report the happening of theevent as the event is in progress (Conboy,2013).It has the resultant ability to attract many audiences, givingsanctification to the particular journalist. A journalist should alsobe careful with breaking news as often times are dangerous. A goodexample is when a journalist is reporting a bombing scene when ablast occurs again as he or she is reporting.

Anotherresponsibility of a journalist is to uncover details of an event thatno one had an idea of. These are called investigative stories andentails uncovering some shocking stories such as teacher rapingstudents in schools. Another type of news and stories that areexpected to be handled by a journalist is feature stories(Conboy,2013). This type of stories requires a lot of summing up andsummarization. The journalist is tasked with the responsibility offinding all there is about the situation and combining all usefulinformation into one coherent short description.

Journalistsacross all the different departments are expected to perform thefollowing duties and responsibilities:

  • Interviewing people whenever called upon with the purpose of deriving useful information from them.

  • They are expected to be coming with different news almost on a daily basis and such it is the duties to create contacts who will then maintain the flow of news and stories (Ferguson, Patten &amp Wilson, 2005).

  • They are to attend press conference whenever called upon, ask questions and come up with a summary of the press conference meetings.

  • It is also within their mandate to attend different events that they think could lead to some kind of story or news.

  • They are also required to be investigative in nature and investigate all resources that can amount to some form of leading stories (Harcup, 2002).

  • They are also expected to read news bulletin and should always carry this duty diligently.

  • They are at all-time also required to ensure that the news they want to present is thorough research and prove to be factual so as not to ruin their employer’s names (Conboy, 2013).

  • It also falls within their duties to write news story and submit a copy of the same in a timely manner and the right way.

  • They are to be familiar with contempt and defamation law and ensure they are up to date with any changes in the same.

Regardlessof any journalist duties, journalists are at all-time are expected toadhere to the laid down ethical standards and set deadlines. TheImportance of accuracy and timeliness can never be compromised underany circumstance (Harcup,2002).

Expectedpay and benefits of being a journalist

Journalistcareer is such a well paid off career with the average yearly wagesof journalist estimated to be around $ 50,000 with the startingsalary ranging from $35,000 – $40000(Deuze, 2005).This was an estimated figure of ten years ago, today the amount hasrisen and an average journalist can up to $100,000. Remember that asone increases, ranks, then his or her salary also increasessubsequently.


Beinga journalist comes with many advantages and benefits. It allowsindividuals to move into a place they might have never imagined theywould ever be. It also gives journalist the first access to insideinformation. With a press pass, journalists are easily granted accessto almost any event that they seek to cover or tell a story about(Deuze,2005).This allows the journalist to meet a wide variety of public figuresand celebrities, something they would never have dome where they notbe journalists.

Anothernotable benefit of being a journalist is that all your travelingexpenses is covered for by your employers (Seib,2002).One needs to be where the news is happening and as such all yourtraveling needs and expenses are paid in advance to ensure that youare there at the right time. Your meals and dining expenses are alsocatered for.

Journalismis a career where people who enjoy it are paid to do what you likedoing. Being a journalist also allows you to follow or write a storyyou are really passionate about. You can even be given some time intelevisions or newspapers just dedicated to your work. One alsobecomes a free agent where you job tasks change every day dependingon the events that are occurring on different days. Each and everyday you meet new challenges that require using all the knowledge andskills that you have learned for years to help you solve thesituation at hand.


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Deuze,M. (2005). What is journalism?: Professional identity and ideology ofjournalists reconsidered. Journalism,6(4),442-464

Ferguson,D., Patten, J., &amp Wilson, B. (2005). Journalismtoday.New York, N.Y.: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill.

Harcup,T. (2002). Journalists and Ethics: the quest for a collective voice.JournalismStudies,3(1),101-114.

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Seib,P. (2002). Theglobal journalist.Lanham, Md.: Rowman&amp Littlefield.

Steensen,S. (2009). The shaping of an online feature journalist. Journalism,10(5),702-718.