What Do I Need for a Journalism Degree?

Plenty of students worry after they finish A-Levels, they often find themselves asking “What are my career options after A Levels?”. Well many students end up looking into the world of Journalism and a job in journalism ranks as one of the most sought-after jobs in the United Kingdom, today.

With everything from covering the latest music releases, going to red carpet premieres, sitting through tedious press conferences or covering the developments as England begin the boring and tedious process of leaving the European Union, people love the idea of being able to write reports for public consumption. But if you’re going to be doing that, you’ll need a Journalism degree, and we’ve compiled a list of three of the things that you need for a Journalism degree.

1. An Interest in What You’re Doing

This one would almost go without saying, but this is such a vocationally-focused degree that people often forget about the fact that they need to be fully focused on it. The world of journalism is not an easy one. It requires you to hone your writing skills, understand the world of whatever it is that you’re covering and also understand how to improve. Many students studying Journalism degrees are unaware of the different journalistic styles that are perpetuated in the media these days, whether it be the idea of “Yellow Journalism”, which was brought to the forefront of the public’s attention through films like Citizen Kane, or the idea of Envelope Journalism and how to avoid it. You have to live and breathe Journalism!

Journalism Degree

2. The Knowledge of What You’re Working On

Working on a certain subject can prove a difficult topic as it requires you to essentially become a world-renowned expert on the topic that you’re writing about. The idea of writing also means that you need to maintain a certain viewpoint.  Most journalists like to remain neutral when developing a story as it allows them to consider all sides of the argument and allows them to give their article room to breathe.

However, many newspapers have a style or a viewpoint that often encroaches on the articles that are written by their journalists. Many newspapers have been bitten by this as well, as is the case with The Sun’s coverage of the Hillsborough disaster and their recent treatment of Everton football player Ross Barkley. You need to know what you’re talking about and how to present the article. The knowledge of what you’re doing is very important, and will be integral for you, especially if you’re looking into how to get started in Journalism.

3. A Good Work-Ethic

Prepare for long nights. Both in the sense of writing articles and for actually studying. The degree itself involves a huge amount of work and will have very long essay-type homework and examinations set out for you, so you’ll need to be ready for this. If you end up working in the industry, you’ll need to prepare for long nights writing very in-depth articles. If you’re covering live sport, you may be working very late into the night. For instance, in football, the UEFA Champions League matches can go on until quite late and may require you to stay up until late and write an article on what you have just seen. The hard work element of any degree also goes without saying, but it really is a very important element of a journalism degree.

So there you have it! Three tips for starting a Journalism degree, you’ll need to make sure that you’re ready for what’s coming up and what will no doubt consume a lot of your life at the university.  But don’t worry – a lot of the people who have done Journalism degrees have gone onto great things and almost every Journalism student talks about how fun the courses are, regardless of what university you go to. Many of you may wonder what can I do with a Journalism degree, but there are plenty of jobs that will come out as a result of your degree!

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