Is being a good writer enough to become a good journalist? Not really, as this blog will show you. A journalist must catch viewers’ attention and keep them engaged. He must be fluent in the language he writes in and objective in his views. And above all, he must be a fantastic storyteller!
What skills do you need to be a good journalist?
Journalism may be one of the most exciting and challenging careers today, but it takes a lot of skills to master this craft. A degree in journalism and mass communication will equip you with knowledge regarding journalism, but you have to develop skills to complement this.
Here’s a list of the top qualities and skills for aspirant journalists:
- Humility: As a journalist, you must seek the truth and keep your personal biases aside when reporting it. If you are telling a story, you must be humble and transparent. In trying to make a news story viral, you cannot publish it without checking the facts.
- Listening skills: A good listener chases news and tells stories sincerely. If you are open to learning more about a topic, you may get information that can make a difference to the storyline.
- Knowledge: To be a successful journalist, you must be well-versed in the fundamentals. Enrolling in a degree course in mass communication and journalism will familiarize you with the concepts before you enter this field.
- Communication skills: If you can connect with your audience well, you can put forward your viewpoints better. Whether you are a newspaper reporter, a TV anchor, or a voiceover artist, spoken and written communication skills are a must.
- Digital literacy: As a modern journalist, you must be tech savvy with expertise in handling apps, websites, devices like tablets and laptops, and other broadcasting mediums. With more people shifting to broadcast journalism from print journalism, visual content, and multimedia have become the order of the day.
- Grasping power: To be a successful journalist, you must know different subjects. You must be able to gather a lot of data, process and disseminate it in a way the audience can digest.
- Attentiveness: A good journalist can research well and pays attention to details. A new report has to be fact-checked to be credible. This is possible only with extensive research. Else, your feature won’t carry substance, and audiences won’t watch your story.
- Problem-solving skills: You must have the power to handle day-to-day challenges at work, whether as part of a panel discussion or in the field. You must think on your feet and figure out the best solutions for issues that can crop up at work.
- Logical thinking: As a journalist, you can’t afford to be biased. Whether you report on crime, politics, or international events, you must be impartial and follow the principles of ethical journalism to build credibility and trust among viewers.
- Networking: Like any industry, networking is necessary for journalists too. You must develop a digital and physical network to produce competitive stories. Maintaining contacts with new and old sources is critical for a flourishing career in journalism.
Journalism is about digging up facts and going to the bottom of a story. You must have a passion for research and finding facts and the curiosity to fuel this passion. This incentivizes you to inquire about something and uncover the truth behind events.