When it comes to choosing a career the deal breaker comes down to either passion or need, only a lucky few will have a career that they actually enjoy. Journalism is a career that you need to love entirely to pursue. Each journalist has their own unique perspective and methodology in addressing issues. You have to be using your power and platforms to make a change and influence correctly. If you have a desire to research, educate, inform, raise awareness, expose injustice, corruption, and poor decision making in terms of our government and leaders than journalism or any form of communications is the perfect career path for you. The following are some qualities and traits that you need to possess to be a successful journalist.
- Communication- The most vital part of journalism in every single aspect. Your job requires you to promote public discussion to better understand the topic. You need to be well aware of the audience you are directing your information to. Knowing how to speak and the way to successfully get your point across remaining impartial is the key to being a good journalist. This goes for communicating and also being a good listener. Your communication skills develop throughout your career as you are exposed to many different kinds of situations and people in a state of constant change where you need to be an effective communicator at all times.
- Knowledge- You must be up to date with all the current news and trends. You should have your own research done from ahead of time regarding current affairs and topicalities. This form of knowledge should come as second nature to you of yearning for constant updates and redevelopments.
- Passion- You should love to read, write and report and have a strong urgency for change and justice. Being tenacious about tracking the story down with proper evidence and genuine information will reflect your passion for the job on a daily basis. You will keep asking “why” until you reach your conclusion.
- Honesty- You have to make sure all the information you are providing is factual and authentic. This is the era of “fake news” please stand way back from it as it can deteriorate your reputation very quickly. The news you put out there is a representation of you, possibly with your name on it giving it your direct approval, so think about what you share.
- Professionalism- You should be you, people will appreciate that more than anything. Never make a situation at work personal or about you. Your sources are not your friends. Therefore, your expertise and demeanor should always remain at professional level, when you look, feel and act like a professional your confidence soars as well.
- Analytical Mind- Breaking down complex information, making it easier for your audience to understand is very crucial in journalism. A good journalist should be able to base her stories solely off of facts rather than emotion. As stated earlier, nothing should be personal on the job as that can alter your judgement. Being an analytical and critical thinker are a must.
Most of the qualities to be a successful journalist are traits that should already reside within you rather than being learned behavior although you are constantly learning on the job some of the essentials are already a part of your personality. Each trait ties into another, without one the other is incomplete. For an example, communication means every form of communication possible, reading, writing, listening, reporting, and speaking. Honesty and integrity, knowledge and analytical mind, professionalism and courage, everything goes together. This profession just like others will give you exactly what you give it. Just do the reporting and let the story make itself, be an honorable person and this will be an honorable career for you.
By: Aisha Zaidi Bhatia
Aisha Zaidi Bhatia is a Journalism and Mass Communications student, passionate about global issues and human rights, aspires to raise awareness, end injustice and make a change in the world with her writing