Journalism Overview

Journalists need to be up to date on current events and have a nose to sniff out a story. Curiosity and good investigative skills are necessary. If this field piques your interest, consider majoring in journalism.

Journalists have the ability to investigate stories, interview sources, and share this information with readers, viewers, and listeners. As a journalism major, you will receive a well-rounded education and learn everything you need to know about transferring information through all types of media outlets. Not only will you take classes in writing and editing, but you will be educated in history, science, professional ethics, libel, and culture. Journalists cover a wide variety of topics and must do so fairly and correctly.

For those who are interested in television, there is the option to concentrate in Broadcast Journalism or you can learn to tell your story through pictures with a degree in Photojournalism.

Required Skills

Journalists love to write. They are always working on a new story to provide the public with information. This career is best suited for people who are detail oriented and enjoy research. You must cover every detail of breaking stories and ensure all information is shared and accurate. A career in journalism also requires a strong sense of social perceptiveness and a constant awareness of current events.

News can happen at any time. Although journalists work full time, work hours are not always consistent. You may have to work late hours or on weekends to make a deadline or report a breaking story.

The best way to get involved in journalism is through experience. Get involved with your campus newspaper, news studio, or radio station. This will give you the opportunity to write your own articles and sharpen your skills before joining the job force. Internships are also a great way to gain experience. Working at a local news outlet will teach you about real reporting and give you an advantage when trying to find a job after graduation.


A degree in Journalism leads to many possible careers in news reporting. Options include trade magazines, news stations, local or national newspapers, Internet news sources, or working as a freelance writer. Some journalism majors don't go into news reporting and instead pursue careers in other communications areas, such as public relations or even advertising.

Although careers in other areas of communication, such as broadcast news analysis, are increasing, as newspaper readership and news viewership decrease, the number of traditional journalism jobs available to graduates is moderately decreasing. Job prospects are better for students who have previous experience from work at an internship.

Journalism graduates can expect an average starting salary of $34,766 and a mid-career salary of $62,908.

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Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Journalism might open up.

Broadcast News Analysts
Communications Teachers, Postsecondary
Film and Video Editors
Radio and Television Announcers
Reporters and Correspondents
Writers and Authors
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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