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What Does A Journalist Do?

A journalist is responsible for creating written correspondence, covering various subjects as the management requires. This task involves a lot of research investigations, conducting interviews, and gathering reliable sources to verify the authenticity of data before releasing the articles on news portals and other social platforms. Journalists should have excellent communication skills, both written and oral, conveying information to the target audience with high accuracy and efficiency. They analyze opinions and testimonies, create eye-catching headlines, and ensure adherence to deadlines.

Here are examples of responsibilities from real journalist resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Cover leads and news tips, interview music performer, radio, and TV personalities.
  • Manage studio operations, ensuring that shows run efficiently by floor directing, prompting and providing scripts.
  • Manage corporate communication accounts for various clients, including transportation and food corporations.
  • Update stories to web page, twitter, and facebook.
  • Pitch, edit, shoot, and produce news stories and segments for a modular broadcast from conception to on-air delivery.
  • Partner closely with 13WHAM ABC Rochester.
  • Award regional EMMY for spot news.
  • Anchor sports and news on fill-in basis.
  • Edit headline packages, kickers, bumps and topicals.
  • Shoot, edit and write news packages as MMJ reporter.
Journalist Traits
Communication skills shows that you are able to relay your thoughts, opinions and ideas clearly to those around you.
Computer skills involves understanding how to operate a computer, as well as computer programs and applications.
Interpersonal skills involves being able to communicate efficiently with multiple people regarding your thoughts, ideas and feedback.

Journalist Overview

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as a journalist is "should I become a journalist?" You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, journalist careers are projected to have a growth rate described as "decline" at -10% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more, is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a journalist by 2028 is -5,100.

A journalist annual salary averages $52,292, which breaks down to $25.14 an hour. However, journalists can earn anywhere from upwards of $32,000 to $83,000 a year. This means that the top-earning journalists make $35,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

It's hard work to become a journalist, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming an associate editor, content editor, news editor, and editing internship.

Journalist Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 25% of Journalists are proficient in News Stories, Multimedia, and Communication. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Computer skills, and Interpersonal skills.

We break down the percentage of Journalists that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • News Stories, 25%

    Covered investigative and community news stories and contributed photographs for publication in the weekly print and online publications.

  • Multimedia, 10%

    Constructed and edited web-published multimedia pieces that were featured on the university's athletic programs.

  • Communication, 7%

    Developed effective working relationships with new sources to encourage feedback and communication.

  • Local Businesses, 7%

    Reported on political and educational issues and human interest stories of local community interest Productivity: 25 front page stories

  • Video Production, 5%

    Experience providing video production for online publication.

  • Topics, 4%

    Covered auto-industry and new-vehicle news, cutting-edge consumer and military technology; and luxury lifestyle topics.

Some of the skills we found on journalist resumes included "news stories," "multimedia," and "communication." We have detailed the most important journalist responsibilities below.

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a journalist to have happens to be communication skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts must be able to report the news" Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that journalists can use communication skills to "provide photographic coverage and create multimedia pieces about the research made by the bankcommunications team in latin america and the caribbean. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many journalist duties rely on computer skills. This example from a journalist explains why: "journalists should be able to use editing equipment and other broadcast-related devices." This resume example is just one of many ways journalists are able to utilize computer skills: "used multiple computer software programs to complete stories such as: edius, enps, worldnow, oasis, and precis. "
  • Journalists are also known for interpersonal skills, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a journalist resume: "to develop contacts and conduct interviews, reporters need to build good relationships with many people" We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "developed strong communication and interpersonal skills. "
  • See the full list of journalist skills.

    Before becoming a journalist, 64.0% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 19.5% journalists went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be possible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most journalists have a college degree. But about one out of every nine journalists didn't attend college at all.

    The journalists who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied journalism and communication, while a small population of journalists studied english and agricultural public services.

    When you're ready to become a journalist, you might wonder which companies hire journalists. According to our research through journalist resumes, journalists are mostly hired by Gray Television, Sinclair Broadcast Group, and Nexstar Media Group. Now is a good time to apply as Gray Television has 36 journalists job openings, and there are 30 at Sinclair Broadcast Group and 22 at Nexstar Media Group.

    If you're interested in companies where journalists make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, and Umi Company. We found that at Thomson Reuters, the average journalist salary is $98,309. Whereas at Bloomberg, journalists earn roughly $88,132. And at Umi Company, they make an average salary of $66,409.

    View more details on journalist salaries across the United States.

    We also looked into companies who hire journalists from the top 100 educational institutions in the U.S. The top three companies that hire the most from these institutions include CBS, Associated Press, and CNN.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious journalists are:

      What Associate Editors Do

      The primary role of an Associate Editor is to ensure that subordinates submit high-quality content. They review and edit copies, set deadlines, and supervise the production details of magazines, newspapers, books, or websites.

      In this section, we compare the average journalist annual salary with that of an associate editor. Typically, associate editors earn a $7,599 higher salary than journalists earn annually.

      While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both journalists and associate editors positions are skilled in news stories, content marketing, and twitter.

      These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A journalist responsibility is more likely to require skills like "multimedia," "communication," "local businesses," and "video production." Whereas a associate editor requires skills like "edit copy," "freelance writers," "analytics," and "editor-in-chief." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

      Associate editors tend to make the most money in the technology industry by averaging a salary of $75,283. In contrast, journalists make the biggest average salary of $44,788 in the government industry.

      Associate editors tend to reach higher levels of education than journalists. In fact, associate editors are 5.9% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 4.3% more likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Content Editor?

      A content editor is a professional who is responsible for proof-reading articles written by content writers and write blog posts to promote the products and services of an organization. Content editors are responsible for producing monthly newsletters and optimize written pieces to increase user engagement. They need to interact with the consumers with the purpose of sourcing feedback on the content's impact actively. Content editors must also conduct business research on current trends to give the company an edge over the competition.

      Now we're going to look at the content editor profession. On average, content editors earn a $17,154 higher salary than journalists a year.

      A similarity between the two careers of journalists and content editors are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "news stories," "video production," and "multiple platforms. "

      In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, journalist responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "multimedia," "communication," "local businesses," and "topics." Meanwhile, a content editor might be skilled in areas such as "edit copy," "project management," "content development," and "style guides." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

      On average, content editors earn a higher salary than journalists. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, content editors earn the most pay in the telecommunication industry with an average salary of $83,486. Whereas, journalists have higher paychecks in the government industry where they earn an average of $44,788.

      On the topic of education, content editors earn similar levels of education than journalists. In general, they're 2.4% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 4.3% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      What technology do you think will become more important and prevalent in the field in the next 3-5 years?

      Patricia Gaston

      Professor of Journalism, University of Kansas

      It is tough to know what kind of technology will be the most important and prevalent in the next three to five years. But one thing remains constant -- learn the basics (grammar, how to write and communicate, different forms of writing), and it will serve you well, even though the technology may change. Show more

      What technology do you think will become more important and prevalent in the field in the next 3-5 years?

      Paul Mitchell Ph.D.

      Coordinator of Recruitment and Retention, University of Nevada - Reno

      Having good computer skills and phone skills are a must-anything dealing with AI as well.Show more

      How a News Editor Compares

      A News Editor reviews and changes the content of a publication provided by writers and other contributors. They generally work for newspapers, magazines, and websites.

      Let's now take a look at the news editor profession. On average, these workers make higher salaries than journalists with a $1,374 difference per year.

      Using journalists and news editors resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "news stories," "local businesses," and "video production," but the other skills required are very different.

      As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from journalists resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "multimedia," "communication," "topics," and "multiple platforms." But a news editor might have skills like "special projects," "daily paper," "freelance writers," and "edit copy."

      Additionally, news editors earn a higher salary in the media industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $78,504. Additionally, journalists earn an average salary of $44,788 in the government industry.

      When it comes to education, news editors tend to earn lower education levels than journalists. In fact, they're 5.7% less likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.7% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of an Editing Internship

      An editorial intern is responsible for assisting the editorial department of an organization with publishing various media and digital content. Editorial interns shadow tenured editorial staff on researching stories, validating information, writing captivating articles, interviewing target audiences, and screening submitted manuscripts. They also assist in planning promotional strategies and marketing campaigns, such as monitoring press releases, posting on social media platforms, and developing marketing materials. An editorial intern must have excellent organizational skills, most importantly, a fast-learner to understand complex tasks and perform assigned duties under minimal supervision.

      Now, we'll look at editing interns, who generally average a lower pay when compared to journalists annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $10,170 per year.

      According to resumes from both journalists and editing interns, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "news stories," "local businesses," and "video production. "

      Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a journalist might have more use for skills like "multimedia," "communication," "topics," and "multiple platforms." Meanwhile, some editing interns might include skills like "video footage," "company website," "graphic design," and "photo shoots" on their resume.

      The average resume of editing interns showed that they earn lower levels of education to journalists. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 8.6% less. Additionally, they're less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 1.1%.