One post-high school career that is equal amounts challenging, exciting, and rewarding is journalism. It’s not an 8-5 job that you can call in. You work hard, leave everything on the table, and have an opportunity to feel like you’ve made a difference.
One of our Ask a Tech Teacher contributors has these suggestions for how to stand out in journalism, make it a career you’ll be proud of:
How to Stand Out in Your Journalism Career
Whether you’re a newbie looking to get started in the journalism industry or an experienced professional hoping to advance, it can be challenging to stand out. No matter where you are on your journalistic journey, an effective technique for making yourself known is essential! In this blog post, we’ll be delving into tried and tested methods of marketing yourself and your work so that editors take notice of your skills, passion, and knowledge. From networking at conferences to ensuring that your online portfolio stands out, read on for our top tips on how to stand out in print media.
Invest in Your Education
A good education is vital for many employers, so it’s worth investing in an online digital journalism degree if you have the financial means. These qualifications will equip you with the skills and knowledge necessary for a successful career in print media. You can also continue to invest in yourself by attending short courses, workshops, and conferences. Each provides an opportunity to learn new skills, meet important contacts, and make a name for yourself within the industry. The more informed and experienced you become, the easier it will be to stand out from other aspiring journalists.
Network As Much As Possible
Networking is critical for any journalist, both online and offline. Create a list of contacts connected to print media, such as editors, writers, directors, and producers. Introduce yourself to these contacts and ask if you can contribute in any way. In journalism, it’s not just what you know, but who you know that counts. The more contacts you have, the better your chances of gaining experience or employment within the industry. Networking events are a great way to meet influential people and learn about current trends in journalism.
Create an Online Portfolio
Your online portfolio is one of the essential aspects of standing out in print media. Your portfolio should showcase your best work, but it should also be tailored to the type of writing you want.
Research what types of portfolios successful writers have created and mimic their style. Consider including clips from published works, drafts, and pitches of stories you’ve submitted. This will give editors an idea of your writing style and commitment to the craft.
With an impressive portfolio and a growing list of contacts, it’s time to start promoting yourself as a journalist. Create social media profiles that showcase your writing talents, such as on Twitter or Instagram. Consider conversations you can have with other writers about topics of interest, such as current events or the latest news stories.
In addition to online promotion, feel free to reach out directly to your contacts in person and via email. Let them know you’re interested in opportunities within their organization and provide evidence of your hard work and dedication.
Don’t Give Up
In infancy, every career is challenging. It’s important to remember that all successful journalists have gone through their struggles and successes. Don’t be discouraged by rejection, as this is part of the learning process. Keep researching trends, writing, and networking with professionals; you never know what might come from it.
Freelancing is a great way to gain experience in print media, as it helps you build your portfolio and contacts. The more freelance work you get, the better your chances of finding a full-time job. The world of print media is constantly changing and evolving. By investing in your education, networking with the right contacts, and promoting yourself online, you’ll be on track for a successful career as a print journalist.
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.