For quite a few years, people have been saying that “journalism is dead” as paper circulation declines and the number of newspapers overall drops. But that isn’t the full story. Journalism is changing, and quickly, but it’s still an important and viable career path.
If you’re interested in getting into this line of work, then you’re probably wondering what your career might look like now and in the future.
Here’s what a career in journalism looks like in 2022 with the introduction of technology and the Internet.
More Beats—Great for People with Diverse Interests
Journalists typically have certain “beats” or topics they write about. Some journalists might cover food or politics. Others might do investigative reporting.
While some journalists specialize in just one or two beats, many cover several topics. According to the Muck Rack report on The State of Journalism 2022, reporters are covering more beats this year than they did in 2021. With an average of 4 beats per reporter, modern journalism is a great option for people who have diverse interests and enjoy a fast-paced career.
Making Time for Tweets
Writers today usually rely on some type of social media to track the activity surrounding their work and to interact with readers. Journalists are no exception, and the platform they overwhelmingly use is Twitter. The aforementioned Muck Rack report confirms this, with around 60% of journalists responding that they consult with a company’s social media when reporting.
With real-time updates, breaking news, and more, Twitter can be a valuable research tool for journalists. Some use the platform to find sources and build their own audience, while others simply use it to keep track of what’s going on and what they should pay attention to.
Get Ready to Write (and Read)…a Lot
People who get into journalism expect to do a lot of writing, but some aren’t prepared for just how much. Many journalists publish five or more pieces a week, in addition to reviewing pitches, talking with sources, and doing other research.
These tasks can add up quickly. A reporter covering a speech, for instance, might have to do some legwork ahead of time, take quotes during the speech itself, and then find an interesting way to cover what the speaker said.
Although a large number of journalists work full-time for one organization, a considerable number are freelancers. If you want to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, you’ll have to factor in the time you’ll spend working with publications to get your stories published so you can get paid.
Working in Different Mediums
As print declines, journalists have to be more flexible about their reporting mediums. Some journalists exclusively produce stories for online outlets, but most have their stories shared online and in print. Additionally, some journalists are writing newsletters, podcasting, or sharing stories in other formats.
As the field progresses and different mediums become popular, this flexibility will only become more important. That’s why it’s recommended that new journalists prioritize a diverse portfolio and work on their own projects to develop their ability to work on different kinds of stories and in different mediums.
Most Journalists are Still Optimistic
The good news for anyone who’s interested in journalism? Most journalists are still optimistic about the state of their profession. It’s an exciting, fast-paced career that is great for people who love to communicate with others, write, and bring the news to the people who need it.
If you want to succeed in journalism, you need to be prepared for tight deadlines, tracking down sources, and switching between tasks and mediums. In exchange, you’ll have a fulfilling career, your name in print, and something different every single day.
Featured image: metamorworks, iStock.