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March 10, 2009



If you desire a career in which every day is different, than working for a newspaper will be right up your alley. Of course, the hours are long and few pursue a career in journalism in hopes of becoming wealthy. Don't worry, you won't starve. Once your career hits its stride, you should make a comfortable living. Entry-level pay is definitely low, but this is the period of your career where you want to focus on gaining experience and honing your journalism skills, or on the business side, your sales skills.

The hours are long and irregular. News doesn't just happen from 9an to 5pm , but 24/7. The Internet has now made news available on demand to consumers at any time they want. Newspapers have been adjusting to this new phenomenon, as the Internet grows in influence. Increasingly, more and more newspapers are becoming sensitive to work/life balance issues; offering part-time work, job sharing and work-at-home options.

Each day can be a roller coaster ride from covering a high profile event to the "every day" story you felt like you've done a thousand times. To be honest, there is also enormous satisfaction in having your name in print, knowing that you are providing information that can positively impact the lives of the community you are serving.Desired Skills & Traits


Whether your motivation is to meet a deadline, to beat the competition or to break a story, persistence in getting the story and its facts straight is crucial to becoming a successful journalist.

Communication Skills:

Strong verbal and written talents are at the very heart of newsgathering and reporting. Listening is often an understated skill, but crucial. Once facts have been gathered, reporting involves putting them into perspective to capture all sides of a story.

Attention to Detail:

Otherwise overlooked bits of information have compromised numerous journalism careers, as has recently occurred at The New York Times and the BBC. Every bit of information must be scrutinized. Organizational skills are also a must to maintain sources, to meet deadlines and to keep on top of ongoing news situations.

People Skills:

Journalists may be regarded as wordsmiths, but their profession can also be viewed as managing networks of relationships. How you relate to your co-workers, the community and your sources will vastly influence the quality of your stories. Empathy and persuasiveness go hand in hand when forging strong professional relationships.


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