What Is a Journalism Degree?

Journalism is the act of disseminating news and information to the public via some form of media. A journalism degree affords students the opportunity to work in recognisable positions or behind the scenes, keeping the public informed of critical current events throughout the world.

Journalism dates back to 1400 when Italian and German businessmen began handwriting important news events and distributing the written papers to their colleagues. Germany began printing its news material on a printing press in the 1600s, and England began printing its first official newspaper in 1665, which is still in circulation today.

Journalism has always been held synonymous with newspapers, which up until the 20th century were the primary way, aside from magazines, journalists distributed information regarding news and events. In the 20th century journalists went from being print journalists to broadcast journalists, reporting the news on both the radio and television.

The 21st century has ushered in a new form of journalism via the Internet. This electronic media outlet is quickly replacing traditional print media, and many international newspapers and magazines report the news online now. Plus, there are several websites exclusively dedicated to local, national and international news.

Many argue that with the advent of the Internet, journalism is dead art form; however, it is clear that people will always need to be kept informed of the issues that face them locally and internationally. Journalists, no matter what media outlet they choose to use, will always be a key component in keeping the public informed.

A journalism degree says to the public that the journalist is professionally trained and a legitimate source from which to obtain news and information, and with the over abundance of “reporters” popping up on the Internet disseminating information, it’s never been more important to get a degree. Students who desire to seek and report the truth will be well-suited earning a journalism degree.

Journalism Job Opportunities

Journalism graduates who envision themselves with their sleeves rolled up in the gritty world of print will find work as a newspaper journalist, magazine journalist or as an editor. Newspaper journalists earn anywhere from £15,000 to start £39,000. Magazine journalists work within approximately the same salary range.

Editor salaries and opportunities for advancement are somewhat greater. Journalism graduates might begin their journalism career as publishing copyeditors/proofreaders, earning £20 per hour. Work your way up to senior editor or editor-in-chief of a publication, however, and the salary can jump to as high as £85,000.

Journalist graduates wanting to present the news via radio or television will want to become a broadcast journalist. Broadcast journalism presents opportunities for graduates to be in front of the microphone and deliver news via local and national radio, or to be in front of the camera as a news anchorperson or local or international correspondent. Broadcast journalism jobs run the gamut of public and behind the scenes work, and salaries range anywhere from £15,000 to over £100,000 for highly experienced journalists.

Journalism Curriculum

Journalism students learn the many facets that make up modern-day journalism, but not before engaging in a comprehensive understanding of the history of journalism and how it has played a role in societies since the 1400s.

This historical foundation is built upon, and students learn how to investigate issues with proper research and interviewing techniques. Students also learn how to put critical thinking and analytical skills into play when drafting either verbal or written reports. As with many other fields, students also learn the importance of working within critical deadlines when studying for their journalism degree.

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