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How to become a Journalist without a Journalism degree

  • Serial Ululer
  • Pioneer
  • Writer

Seen from an outsider’s perspective, the situation might seem a little desperate: an elitist, dog eat dog profession, inaccessible without the right connections. Yet the fact is that 90% of journalists don't even have a degree in Journalism. The profession is thus more accessible than it would appear…Is there a chance to make your dream reality? Only if you have the patience of a saint and nerves of steel.

1)    Possess some basic skills
You will be required to write impeccable English (except for jobs in TV and radio obviously) and to have a basic sense of management. Most of the time, you work alone. The joys, the stress, the independence (even editing) are all yours alone. You have to be bursting with ideas, have an active imagination, organisation skills and, crucially, useful contacts in all lines of work. Nothing less than superhuman basically!

2)    Possess some specific skills
Journalist colledges consist of a majority of teacher’s children, from the middle class, wealthy and exceptionally unexceptional. The profession is really lacking knowledge in: finance, economics, science, administration, industry, etc. Not very glamorous? Granted, but in geopolitics or literature, you are up against those already over-qualified for the profession. Instead, take the different paths: it is among these that you will find a job.

3)    Start little or local (or online!)
For a while, without connections, you’ll have to accept anything. Your local council’s paper or that of the company around the corner… anything to build up your CV. You might think you risk burying yourself in this type of work forever, but soon you will find yourself at the same events as regional journalists, or even national: then it’s time to build your network!

4)    Or, start with a blog
You’re a hip hop or theatre fan…like thousands of other journalists. You’re just going to have to be better than them, ultra-special, imaginative, unbeatable. Or have an exceptional writing style. To make yourself stand out, a blog can work really well. But it means you have to have a decent job in the meantime…so reserve this strategy for your true passion!

5)    Build up a network
Address books are obviously the key. The more journalist friends you have, the quicker you will hear about good plans, especially when one of them is promoted to the top! But don’t go thinking that the mileu is armoured with people who are motivated just by ambition: journalists can be nice and love to go out for a few too many drinks. Don’t forget to return the favour when you can !

6)    Looking for a job
You will undoubtedly  have the chance to occupy the less popular jobs: editorial secretary, community manager, image seeker for unknown magazines…All these are good to take. Anything that will help you to get a foot in the door; start by photocopying for a paper and you may just end up writing for it.

7)    Become a freelance writer
The beginning of a path of wonders. But not the end. Even on a channel like France 3, you’ve got to have several years experience before being given a permanent status. Goodbye holidays, welcome to the jungle. Welcome also to a world where you don’t need to wake up in the mornings or rest on the weekends!  You will earn something similar to an author’s income. The minimum wage for a freelance writer is around £50 per sheet (1500 characters). You will be asked at least ten times, mostly on the internet. It’s up to you to manage the workload.

8)    Knowing your rights
Think about joining a union to will help you with this. Take note that commissioned work is   - to the work relations boards, it’s for your employer to prove that he hasn’t asked anything of you. The law is on your side, know that! People cannot get away with treating you however they like just because you’re a freelance writer.

9) Becoming a freelance writer for the long term
It’s not unusual to still be a freelance writer at 75. That’s the joy of the job. Generally, you work with a regular pool of employers who will ask you again and again to collaborate with them, until that sacred day when you suggest they hire you. To be at the top of the freelance writers, you should always return your articles on time (most colleagues tend to hand things over days or even weeks late) and behave politely (but don’t suck up). Having ideas is also useful.

10)    Signing your contract
Picking up a pen and crying over the ten, twenty, thirty years of insecurity, you have left behind you. Not too soon, eh? Thanks to this contract, you will at last be able to stop squatting on your aunt’s sofa. You will become an adult. And don’t forget to marry another journalist in order to pay homage to the formidable profession endogamy. That is important.

3 replies

    B. R. Ambedkar B.R. Ambedkar was the first Indian to pursue an doctorate in economics abroad. He argued that industrialization and agricultural growth could enhance the Indian economy.He stressed investment in agriculture as the primary industry of India. According to Sharad Pawar, Ambedkar’s vision helped the government ... read more. V 1552 Comments This great power not only did the things for which he is known. Apart from all those things, he changed the entire worst and sinful life in India by giving rights to the dalits to live, which was impossible for any other to do. He has done a job that is unmatched in the world till now. He sacrificed his entire life studying best than any other scholar at the cost of his entire family life. His literature about India is greatest for not only Indians but for any human being. His written works are treasure. He Got his M.A., M. Sc, Ph. D, L.L. D, D. Sc., D. Litt, BAR AT LAW. He was a boddhisatva. He gave at true definition of great thought lord BUDDHA which has become hidden. He is unbeatable by any other. He is number ONE. c M +338 1 Dr.B.R. Ambedkar transformed the most heterogeneous and unequal society of the world into an equal and progressive society. He liberalized not only the lower strata of society but also the Upper strata and that to specially the womans. The revolution done by Dr. Ambedkar is the only revolution in the world which took without a single bloodshed. He single handedly fought the social evils against all odds and hurdles specially created by the then populist Congress Party. India is very grateful to have a leader like DR. Ambedkar who made the country what it is now. He is rightly called "The Father of Modern India". c M +218 The man who brought out 75% peoples from the darkness of unequality, untouchability. These peoples were not allowed to get education, wealth, worship, water, well dressed, willing food, wishfull lifepartner, even not allowed to seen in publicaly, they are treated as less human more than animal, they are forced to live in misery, and forced labour from last 10, 000 years. Ambedkar became god for them they write constitution of india and gave special rights in the constitution for these peoples so that they get every right which is necessary for every human
      I want to be a tv reporter and i have good communications skills i am ready for any apporchunity


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