How to be a real journalist

When looking for journalism jobs, you might feel overwhelmed with all the requirements employers state in their job descriptions. Even online journalism jobs can seem scary. If you are looking for different careers in journalism, but are not really sure about it, the following information will help you understand what it takes to be a real journalist.

How to be a journalist

Enjoy writing

Being a journalist is not simply going to celebrities and interviewing them. There is a lot of writing involved: taking notes, writing articles, filling in official documents, and also editing. You should be a writer that writes every day, without exception.


Even if you are looking for freelance journalism jobs, this applies to you. Journalists should always be ready to take notes on their surroundings and their subjects. Ideas come much easier if you know you have a pen and pad of paper ready to go.


Most journalists have to be adept in photography, as most stories involve pictures. If you have not taken at least a short course in photography (online or otherwise), it is recommended to do so.


You don’t have to be a “people person,” but you should have enough interpersonal skills to get along with the people you are interviewing and meeting for a story. You should also be a keen listener, and know what notes to take when someone talks about the subject of your story. If you are a shy person, you need to face your fears, because you are going to encounter many different people as a journalist and need to ask them questions that will often be challenging and even awkward.

Be honest

I know that in a world of fluff news and yellow journalism, this seems like a joke. When you see journalism vacancies, try to set your mind to be the best, most honest journalist you can be. Always refer back to the interviewee during articles instead of twisting facts. Don’t tell white lies either. Try to give a comprehensive story. Do not tell just one side of the event. Good journalism is neutral and tries to give a complete picture of what is happening in our world, at a local, state, national, and international level.

Large vocabulary

You should have a better-than-average vocabulary, at least. This can easily be acquired if you read newspapers every day, and read nonfiction books often. The larger vocabulary you have, the greater you can express yourself. The vocabulary you use also shows your professionalism. You don’t have to use big words often–rather, you need to have a large enough vocabulary to find the right word for each situation. This is an art that all journalists must work on constantly.