Coming into ISM, I was uncertain of what exactly journalism entailed- all I knew is that I wanted to write. In conducting further research, I have already increased my understanding of the field and the differences between job descriptions of various specialized journalists. The articles I chose to analyze have revealed to me significant information concerning what each different platform of journalism has to offer, which areas are expected to grow in future years, and what skills I need to possess or improve on to increase my chances of becoming a professional journalist.
The first article I read, “What Writers and Authors Do,” gives a detailed description of what being a writer in general entails, listing general tasks that writers of any kind must be able to complete. For example, all writers must be able to “choose subject matter that interests readers,” “conduct research to obtain factual information and authentic detail,” and “work with editors and clients to shape the material so it can be published” (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The article brought to my attention the fact that there are many fundamental similarities between job occupations in the writing field, so I am likely to be doing similar work no matter what particular position I hold. Before entering ISM, I had believed that writing objectively as a news journalist and writing more personally as an author or script writer would be vastly different, and that I would have to eventually end up choosing one side or the other to pursue. This article has eased my mind a bit by making me realize that no matter which aspect of writing I choose as my career, I will still be doing what I love, which is expressing myself to others through language. Another thing I got from this passage is the rising importance of online writing experience. As more and more people turn to their phones and computers for news and entertainment, companies are looking to employ those who can go above and beyond to help the company reach a larger audience through online forums. By creating a blog for my writing and educating myself in web design and technology, I could greatly increase my chances of employment by a well-known media group.
Again, a main reason that I applied to ISM was to narrow my focus onto one particular job in the world of writing, as I am still unsure of whether I want to go into the reporting and broadcast side of journalism, or focus on publishing my own stories. After reading my second article, “Job Outlook,” some major differences between the industries have made themselves apparent and allowed me to better organize my thoughts on this subject. I now have a better understanding of broadcast journalism’s purpose- these journalists focus on news for television and radio stations, reporting significant current events to the general public. I am interested in writing about current events and news stories, so reaching out to some potential mentors in the broadcast field would be beneficial to me.
After reading these articles, I have a greater knowledge of the career of a journalist. There are many realms to explore, and I am excited to experience as many of them as I can. With new insight on the expected growth of this career, the duties and responsibilities of writers, and the additional skills and experience that would help me gain a competitive edge in the field, I can now conduct my independent study more thoroughly and in-depth. I look forward to expanding my knowledge on the journalism field even more with the help of several professionals and additional research throughout the course of this year.
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