Most people encounter journalism everyday. In the form of news TV, online media and print media such as newspapers and magazines, journalism investigates and reports events, issues and trends with the goal of informing the general public. As a wider field, journalism includes writing, editing, design and photography. It has evolved from using traditional media such as TV, radio and newspapers to encompassing modern media such as mobile and social media. Fair and honest journalism gives society access to current, accurate and reliable information.
Most degree programs in journalism focus on topics related to writing, communication, reporting, ethics, media and selected specialized journalism topics.
In the latter years of the program, students may be required to work on a major project or thesis involving extensive research to develop not only research skills but practical and hands-on knowledge as well.
Most universities provide specialization options for their students, either through optional electives or as a mandatory part of the degree program. Availability of specializations would also depend on the offerings of each university and the level of study.
Below is a short list of some specializations offered by institutions:
The accreditation of a degree usually depends on the country where the degree is awarded. In most cases, countries have their own accrediting systems for universities, students and graduates. For example, in the United States, accreditation of schools and programs is handled by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.
Graduates of journalism degree programs can end up in different professional positions. As such, there is no universal licensing or certification that journalism graduates must obtain to be able to find a job in the field.
A bachelor's degree in journalism can typically take around three to four years of full-time study. The exact period of time would depend on the university of your choice and the country wherein it is located. Additionally, associate degree programs typically take two years.
There are also various degrees available for journalism graduates at the graduate level. Master's and doctoral programs are available for those looking to deepen their knowledge of the field. Extensive experience and research are usually required to complete these types of programs.
Some journalism degree programs have a grade requirement, either from the entrance or standard exam, from previous courses taken in secondary school or sometimes even both. High marks in subjects such as English, social studies and other languages may be a good boost to an application. Various leadership experiences and letters of recommendation are also often taken into consideration. Some institutions also require a letter of intent or an application essay in addition to an interview.
For a complete list of requirements, you are advised to contact the institution you are interested in applying to.
If you do not meet the entry requirements you may want to consider a pathway course.
Graduates of journalism programs can choose from a variety of career options. Positions are available in broadcasting companies, print media publishers (for publications such as newspapers and magazines), public relations consultancy firms, media companies, communications agencies and other private institutions. Positions can range from advertising copywriter to broadcast journalist and editorial assistant. In print media, those looking to be magazine journalists or newspaper journalists can start their careers in journalism. A percentage of journalism degree program graduates also choose to take teaching training in order to pursue opportunities in the field of education.
Those who choose to work in other fields can do so using the transferable skills that can be gained throughout journalism degree programs such as effective and clear communication skills, critical analysis skills, creative and independent thinking.
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