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How to Be a Good Journalist

Ever wanted to be a journalist? Ever dreamed of working for newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times, Vogue, The Times or GQ? If so, you've come to the right article! This article is packed with information, tips and how you can make it big in the competitive but exciting, dog eat dog world of journalism!


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    Enjoy writing. Write everyday, read newspapers/magazines everyday, watch the news to keep up with current affairs and be devoted to literature. If you don't enjoy writing, reading, meeting new people, being under pressure, well then you've come to the wrong article and career choice, journalism is all about writing and if you hate English class with a passion, then this is not the right career for you.
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    Keep a journal or a diary. Most well known journalists had diaries when they were younger to practice their writing skills. Remember, it doesn't matter what you write about when you're starting out, practice is everything! It will help you get into a habit of writing everyday. Plus, didn't you realize that journalist has the word journal in it?
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    Carry a camera with you. Nowadays many journalists are trying to add more skills to their self and CV. If you have a flair for photography, it can help you a heck of a lot in the long run, journalists are always taking pictures to put in their articles.
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    Carry a pen or pencil and pad at all times. You never know when a newsworthy story will come up. Take notes if you find a good story. At least try to write the main idea or points as and when they cross your mind so that you won't forget.You never know! It could be the best story of the century! Get it down on paper before you forget it.
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    Be willing to meet new people. This is what journalism is all about. If you feel you are incapable and uncomfortable with meeting and talking to different people and strangers, you need to work on this problem NOW. All good journalists are not afraid to ask anything to the interviewee (within reason of course!).
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    Remember to always refer back to the interviewee. Do not, under any circumstances tell lies, twist the story and make up your own side of the story. Nowadays, there are too many sleazy journals and newspapers out there (ahem, News Of The World phone hacking, anyone?) and if you want to be successful, you need to stay true to the interviewee, do not make up lies and stay 100% legit!
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    Expand your vocabulary. Read the daily newspaper. Purchase a nice dictionary and thesaurus. Your short story will not be nearly as exciting if every character walks everywhere and says every line of dialogue. A comprehensive vocabulary can help bring your stories and poems to life, enabling you to better describe the world around you.~ Be sure that you are using words correctly. Some of the alternatives listed in your thesaurus may not have the right shade of meaning or be appropriate for the level of formality. Look up the word in your dictionary to be sure, and if in doubt, use a word that you already know.


  • You need to be quick minded, do not let anyone pull the wool over your eyes!
  • Carry a pen and notebook with you, everywhere.
  • A good journalist should be open-minded and ready for anything.
  • Be yourself. Don't try to be like other journalists.
  • A journalist must know how to catch his reader's attention. With that, a striking sentence is needed.
  • Be confident, don't let shyness get in the way of your aspirations.
  • Try to discover your own writing style.
  • Also keep a small camera with you, and make sure it takes high resolution pictures as well.
  • Start to read books and classic literature to practise and improve your English skills.
  • Practice meeting and talking to different people.


  • Don't tell lies or blatant untruths. It can seriously discredit your reputation as a journalist.
  • Take the proper precautions to stay safe abroad and during media frenzies.

Things You'll Need

  • A flair for writing
  • Pencil and pad
  • Camera or phone
  • A good story
  • A voice recorder
  • A Thesaurus
  • A Dictionary

Article Info

Categories: Journalism