Pros and cons of being a journalist – how to become a journalist and make a career in the profession?

Being a journalist - all the pros and consThe history of journalism in our country began in the distant 1702, when the first newspaper with the name Vedomosti was published – by order of Peter the Great and published by typographic method. Older was only the handwritten newspaper “Courants”, which was distributed in scrolls for Tsar Alexei and those close to the throne. Today, the profession of a journalist is in the TOP-20 of the most popular, despite a number of features and even disadvantages.

Is it worth going into this profession, and what to expect from it?

The content of the article:

  1. Where and how does a journalist work?
  2. Skills, skills, personal and business qualities of a journalist
  3. Where to study to be a journalist in Russia?
  4. Salary and career of a journalist
  5. Where to look for work and how to practice?

Where and how a journalist works – the pros and cons of work

At the dawn of the formation of this, popular today, profession, the word “journalist” was used to refer to a person whose articles were published in newspapers.

Today, even a “blogger” who writes short articles on Internet sites can be called a journalist. Like beauty bloggers, for example.

The following are most directly related to journalism:

  • Reporters
  • War correspondentsreporting from hot spots.
  • Gonzo Journalists, writing from the 1st person and directly their opinion.
  • Commentators… Professionals whom we usually do not see, but we recognize their voices, which sound, for example, in football matches.
  • Observerswriting about events in the world without emotions and from the third person.
  • TV and radio program hosts – specialists with excellent diction, oratorical talent, self-possessed and creative people.
  • Internet journalistscombining several functions at once in their work.
  • Copywriterswho write feature articles, most often remotely.
  • As well as critics, photojournalists and so on.

What does a journalist do?

First of all, the duties of a journalist include informing the public about various events in their country and in the world as a whole.


  1. Searches for information (90% of work is information search).
  2. Observes the object of his research.
  3. Interviews.
  4. He works with documents, checks facts and their accuracy.
  5. Processes information.
  6. Writes articles.
  7. Forms materials for the editor.
  8. Captures events on photo and video media.
  9. Tracks the opinion of the audience and keeps feedback with it.

It should be noted that the main feature of the profession is not so much informing the public as the formation of public opinion. That is why the responsibility of a journalist for his work is extremely high.

The advantages of the profession include:

  • The creative status of the profession.
  • The ability to “show oneself” and, as they say, “see others.” Share your views with your audience.
  • The ability to travel (note – a journalist has to be almost constantly on business trips, except for copywriters, bloggers, etc.).
  • Frequently free work schedule.
  • The opportunity to participate in large-scale events, communicate with famous people, “backstage visits”.
  • Access to closed sources of information.
  • Ample opportunities for self-realization.
  • Decent salary.

The disadvantages of the profession include:

  • Full employment and irregular schedule (where and for how long – the editor decides).
  • Serious psychological overload.
  • Frequent work in the “rush” mode, when you have to forget about sleep and food.
  • Risk to life and health. Especially when working in hot spots or in countries with a high level of terrorism threat.
  • Low chances of going high. As a rule, only a few of those young specialists who come to journalism achieve success. The competition is really high, and it is not always “healthy”.
  • The need to constantly improve the level of professionalism, broaden horizons, etc.

Skills, skills, personal and business qualities of a journalist – is the profession right for you?

In his work, a journalist will need the ability …

  1. Search for information and work with it (note – research, choose, analyze it, compare, study and evaluate facts).
  2. Possess a large amount of information.
  3. Highlight the main thing in the general mass of information.
  4. Look for an explanation of the facts and their confirmation.
  5. Writing and speaking correctly is easy and non-trivial.
  6. Work with modern technology (PC, camera, voice recorder, etc.).

In addition, a professional journalist should be well aware of legislation… Especially in that part of it that concerns the media.

Among the personal qualities of a journalist, many character traits and abilities can be distinguished.

But more often than not, the work requires that this specialist be …

  • Hardy, self-controlled and emotionally stable.
  • Sociable, courageous, resourceful, self-confident (you need to be able to ask uncomfortable questions, meet uncomfortable people, work in an uncomfortable environment).
  • Certainly charming (a lot depends on personal charm).
  • Tactful and well-read, erudite.
  • Self-critical, tolerant, assiduous.
  • Inquisitive, inquisitive.

In addition, a journalist must have an analytical mindset and excellent memory, possess imaginative thinking and a considerable amount of courage, instant reaction and developed intuition, the ability to quickly make decisions and think in any conditions.
How to become a journalist from scratch

Where to study to be a journalist in Russia, and what needs to be taught?

It is believed that every young journalist graduated from the journalism department. But in fact, many excellent specialists have graduated from the faculties of philosophy, philology, etc. Moreover, there are well-known journalists, whose education has nothing to do with journalism.

To get a similar profession, today they enter a specialty …

  1. Culturology.
  2. Art history.
  3. Literary creativity.
  4. Humanitarian sciences.
  5. Journalism.
  6. Dramaturgy.
  7. Publishing, etc.

Of the most famous universities in which journalists are “raised”, one can single out …

  • MGU
  • UNIQ.
  • Academic International Institute.
  • Plekhanov Russian University.
  • Samara Academy of Humanities.
  • Bauman University (Moscow).
  • High School of Economics.
  • And so on.

The compulsory curriculum includes history and an extended course in the Russian language, as well as philosophy and political science, and media theory.

Salary and career of a journalist in Russia

As for the salary of a journalist, everything here depends not only on the place of work and the subject matter of the materials, but, to a greater extent, on the talent of the specialist himself. Although, of course, it is worth noting that journalists in political and economic topics less often become famous and popular, but they earn more.

For a beginner journalist, the salary begins from 15000-20000 rub. With highly specialized knowledge, income becomes higher. With the growth of professionalism and experience, the salary also rises.

Naturally, in large cities and in serious companies the salary of a journalist will be several times higher than that of a reporter from a small newspaper in the periphery – it can reach 90,000 rubles and above

Radio and television journalism is considered more prestigious, but the most “talkative” ones usually make their way on the radio, and the most attractive, active and penetrating ones on television.

What about your career?

First, the journalist works for his own name, and only then his name starts working for him.

  1. Typically, starting a career starts with a freelance correspondent.
  2. Next comes the heading editor.
  3. Then the head of the department.
  4. After – the managing editor.
  5. And then the editor-in-chief of the media.

The career ladder may be different. Also, a journalist can develop in several directions at once.

Where to look for a job as a journalist from scratch and how to practice?

The place of work for a future journalist can be radio and television, an advertising agency or press service of any organization, a publishing house, editorial office of a magazine / newspaper, etc.

Without experience, of course, no one will hire a solid organization – only a freelance correspondent. But for a start, this is very good.

First of all, a journalist must prove himself, establish himself in his work, as a responsible employee.

  • We also get the first experience at the faculty: in almost every university you can take a similar practice.
  • We do not disdain to work in local magazines and newspapers.
  • Even the work of a copywriter in an Internet publication will not be superfluous to start.

What should a novice journalist do?

  1. We draw up a resume and prepare a portfolio with examples of journalistic (our highest quality!) Work.
  2. We write several texts in different genres that will allow the employer to judge the level of professionalism, word skills, information processing skills.
  3. We are probing the ground in those publications where we would like to work. Even if nothing is known about vacancies. You may be allowed to work as a freelance correspondent.
  4. We are looking for vacancies on the Internet and in specialized newspapers.
  5. Don’t forget about freelance exchanges (this kind of work allows you to “hone your style”).

And most importantly, never give up! website thanks you for your attention to the article! We will be very pleased if you share your feedback and tips in the comments below.

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