According to one recent report, U.S. newsroom employment has dropped nearly 30% since 2008. Whether you’re interested in working on a newspaper, radio station, television station, or digital media outlet, the field needs you.
We might be rapidly changing the way we access and consume information, but there will always be a need for people who report on what’s happening. If you’ve ever considered a journalism career, it’s time to seriously consider making the switch.
Today, we’re sharing six perks of working in this industry, and some might surprise you!
1. The Opportunity to Travel
With a career in journalism, you’ll never get bored. Your job is to follow the news, wherever that may occur! Whether you’re working behind the scenes or in front of the camera, you’ll have the opportunity to travel to different locales and meet tons of interesting people.
The same applies to anyone who works for a newspaper, magazine, or online news site. While the pandemic has changed the way we communicate and more people are Skyping and Zooming with one another than ever before, journalism remains largely an in-person event.
If you’re someone who enjoys traveling and has a certain sense of wanderlust, then this could be a job for you! However, it’s important to also understand the flip side of the coin. If you desire a steady personal life and don’t enjoy being away from home for bouts of time, then this career can get challenging.
Before you enter it, make sure you understand the expectations of your position. While there are many journalism jobs that require a great degree of mobility, others are more stationary. For instance, an assistant news editor will travel far less than a star news reporter.
2. The Fast-Paced Nature of the Job
Excluding lunches and normal break times, one study found that the average American employee wastes more than two hours of each eight-hour workday. They spend this time sitting around idly, which costs their workplace nearly $40 each day, per employee.
When you work in journalism, you won’t have time to sit around. This is an incredibly fast-paced field, with deadlines to meet and news to break. If you thrive off the thrill of the rush, then you’ll do well here.
In this career, a news outlet’s reputation hinges on its ability to be the first to cover a particular story. When a major event happens, you’ll find dozens of outlets scrambling to get there before the others or to approach the topic from an unknown angle.
Then, it’s off to the press! If you’re a news writer, you’ll need to be able to think on your toes and craft a compelling story with the details you receive. If you’re a reporter, you’ll be the first face that viewers see when they turn on their televisions in the morning.
Again, there’s a caveat to this type of breakneck lifestyle. It may require you to wake up and report to work in the wee hours of the morning, especially if you’re just starting out. Or, you may be required to stay late at the news station to cover a breaking story.
These types of demands can negatively affect your work/life balance. By having an honest conversation with your supervisor, you can help set limits and navigate expectations before you begin.
3. The Ability to Pursue Your Passions
One of our top journalism tips? Find a field that interests you, and it will never feel like work. For instance, if you have a passion for international events, then you can go work for a news station with global coverage, rather than a local one.
Or, maybe you’ve always been interested in telling stories about hard-working people, or misrepresented ones. Whatever fuels your fire, you can find a way to dive into it as a journalist. You can even work as a freelancer, contributing your talents when there’s a story that sparks your curiosity.
The best part? When you start on a project, you’ll soon find that you’re surrounded by a team of other people who care about their careers as much as you do. The field of journalism attracts intelligent, determined professionals who truly want to make a difference in their communities and beyond.
When you’re just entering the field, you’ll need to hold especially tight to this internal drive. Though it can be immensely rewarding, journalism can sometimes pay less than other careers in communications, such as marketing or public relations. While this might be the case in your early years, you can build up longevity and stability in the industry, and the rewards are often profitable.
4. The Chance to Learn More About Your Community
Have you ever wanted to know more about the place where you live? Do you turn on the local news to find that you’re surprised at how much is really going on in your area? Every day, there are newsworthy events that occur, even if it seems like your hometown is one of the sleepiest on the map.
As a journalist, you’ll have the opportunity to explore those stories. You can meet people you would have otherwise missed, even ones that live a few doors down from you. As you talk to them and encourage them to open up, you could uncover a vast history that you never knew about.
This information can expand your mind, as well as your world. It will require you to step out of your comfort zone and investigate stories that might hit a little close to home. As you do, you’ll become a better-informed community citizen.
While it might be the news anchors who are easily recognized in local restaurants and grocery stores, it takes an entire crew to put a production together. You don’t have to be the face of your local news to be an important asset to it. Some of the most critical work is done behind the scenes, with jobs that include:
- Camera operator
- News writer
- News editor
- Broadcast technician
Not one to seek the spotlight? No problem. These jobs are as fast-paced and rewarding as any other, but they also allow you to maintain some degree of anonymity if that’s important to you.
5. The Opportunity to Inform
Have you ever felt the urge to inform other people about what’s going on in their world? Do short-sightedness and narrow-mindedness particularly offend you?
As a journalist, one of your most important jobs is to educate and inform others. As you do, you can help shape public perception, all while remaining an unbiased resource. For this reason, many people interested in this career will choose a specific sector that they can specialize in.
Some of the most popular niches include:
- International news
- Current events
This is a very important responsibility, and one that can distinguish a serious journalist from the next. You must have the ability to share the news and inform others without injecting your personal bias into the discussion. Alternatively, you could choose to become an opinion writer, where your personal opinion is the story!
There are also different sectors of journalism that can allow you to seek and share the truth in different ways. For example, if you’ve always been curious about unsolved crimes, then consider going into investigative journalism. This field allows you to uncover facts about events that could lead to legislative justice for those involved.
Or, you could go into news journalism, where your job is to keep others up-to-date on local and international events. In addition, to live reporting, you may also write press releases to send to newsrooms around the world. You can research pricing at eReleases to learn more about how that process works.
6. The Space to Tell Stories
Have you always considered yourself a storyteller at heart? Do people tend to gather around you in social situations, hanging onto every word that you share?
If so, then you would make an exceptional journalist! At its core, this is a storytelling field. While you’re always reporting on actual facts, it’s your job to draw the audience in and pique their curiosity.
You’ll learn how to do so in journalism school. While you may choose to major or minor in the field, you can also attend an abbreviated course that teaches you the ropes if you’re transitioning into this job from a different career. Here, you’ll discover how to report on the news in an effective and interesting way that keeps viewers tuning in for more.
You’ll be on the front lines of history, there to share updates and stories with everyone watching. It’s an ideal job for someone who wants to make a difference in the world and help lead an ongoing, public conversation.
Is a Journalism Career Right For You?
These six benefits of a journalism career are hard to miss. Whether you’re just entering the job field or you’re a seasoned professional looking to switch industries, this could be the right fit for you.
As long as you know what the job entails and what your expectations include, this can be one of the most rewarding and interesting jobs around. It gives you a voice in your community and the platform to inspire change.
Want more tips on how to live and work well? If so, check out a few of our other informative guides!