Journalism As A Career

Are you looking for a career which allows you to travel around the world and meet people? Do you have a nose for news? If yes, then a career in journalism is the right choice for you.

What is Journalism?

Journalism involves collecting, editing and conveying information to the public. It can be on topics ranging from political, cultural, religious, educational, social, and popular trends. It is a highly responsible job, and highly interesting at the same time. For a successful career in journalism, one should have a presentable and confident
personality, along with the ability to write and present information accurately.

Journalism as a Career

What Does a Journalist Do?

The main work of a journalist is to investigate, collect and present information as a news story. This story is then presented through media. Nearly every city and town in the world has access to newspapers, magazines, radio and television. One of the most popular ways to stay informed in today’s era is through the internet. It allows individual to read news from all corners of the globe.


Skills required to be a good Journalist 

  • Curiosity
  • Investigative mind
  • Alertness, adaptive and tolerant of difficult situations
  • Good communication skills
  • Command over language
  • Passion, enthusiasm, patience and perseverance
  • Ability to differentiate between fact and fiction
  • Cope with deadlines
  • Sensitivity to different views and lifestyles,
  • In-depth knowledge about variety of topics
  • Ability to express one’s thoughts on varied topics

A journalist forms a story by answering a list of five questions. These questions are often referred to as the “Five W’s and H”:

  • Who is it about?
  • What happened?
  • Where did the event occur?
  • When did the event occur?
  • Why did it happen?
  • How did it happen?

Education Requirements for a Journalism Career

A degree in journalism, English, or mass communications are usually required in order to get started with a journalism career. For those who are aspiring to work in television, should consider degrees in broadcast journalism. If your aim is to work directly within journalism, it is important to build up a portfolio of work and gain as much relevant experience as possible. You can gain valuable work experience by contacting television
production studios, radio outlets, magazines and newspapers. Doing internship for websites, print publications or other media outlets is also a good way of adding to your portfolio and displaying your skills.

Top journalism schools in South Africa

  • Edith Cowan University
  • Charles Sturt University School of Communication
  • RMIT University
  • James Cook University (JCU)
  • Murdoch University

Journalism Job options

Journalism is broadly divided into two categories: Print, which consists of newspapers, journals, magazines, digests and news agencies and Electronic, which consist of television, radio and the internet.


  • Reporter/Correspondent
  • Associate editor
  • Sub editor
  • Editor
  • Proof reader
  • Columnist
  • Critic
  • Photojournalist
  • Cartoonist


  • Anchor/Presenters
  • Reporters
  • Researchers
  • Producer
  • Cameraman


Online Journalism

The internet has a great impact on news business and more media houses are taking a shift to websites, and updating them regularly.  It also opens up new ways of storytelling, primarily through the technical components of the new medium. Adding on, online journalists can provide a variety of media–text, audio, video, and photographs, to
their stories.

Another advantage is social media. It has added a whole new layer to the newsgathering process. Journalists can use it to find new stories and contacts, or as a way to promote and trail ahead to stories or broadcasts on conventional platforms.

Average Salary for a Journalist in South Africa

News job opportunities are a plenty for the trained professionals in various roles. According to PayScale, in South Africa, reporters and correspondents, earn an average salary of approximate AU$49,693 per year.


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