When journalism is chosen as a career, society tends to have a stereotypical image of a group of photographers chasing celebrities. If not, then an image of an anonymous person writing biased comments about current affairs, trying to manipulate the truth. However, their real work earns them every cent they deserve unlike the heartless lawyers who earns millions for defending criminals. The work of journalism, on the hand, consists of interviewing and attending events in all conditions in order to gather news and information for public interest. This is followed by further research into the background information then assessing suitability of reports and articles for public. The process is much more difficult than expected, especially with the requirement of interpreting news at the same time commenting on publics behalf within an established style and format. Although the hard work usually comes to a good income, certain qualities and skills are needed.
The qualities and skills required mainly evolve around their general knowledge and English skills. All journalists must be able to write clear, concise, objective, and accurate material in a limited time. It also requires the ability to work under pressure and in long, irregular hours under any weather conditions. As the job could be undertaken in different areas, journalists must have good communication skills to gather news from sources and in cases of working on radio or television, must be able to interpret the information clearly. To be successful in their profession, good general knowledge and an interest in current events is necessary to be able to cover any topic of interest. Some other requirements may be learnt in further education after senior high school, such as understanding laws of defamation, contempt and copyright.
To find a career in journalism, two options are provided but both require a pass in the year 12 HSC with preferably good results in English. The first option would be to study a degree at university for three years followed by a one year graduate cadetship, which is on-the-job training by professional journalists. The other alternative is undertaking a three year cadetship to gain experience and training under supervision of senior journalists. Although this is more common than study at university, there is a large competition for cadetships.
One of the reasons for competition of cadetships may be due to the income being the biggest attraction of journalism. Although most enters the career due to passion or natural talents, there is no doubt that the income would be an incentive. This is only reasonable as journalism can be seen as a risky job, especially during the research of information. If there was any danger, income would be the main compensation. As common sense, money is essential for survival and the average income of journalism is adequate. According to the Bureau of Statistics a rational amount of journalists may earn the same or more income than doctors and lawyers under different circumstances. Even though the income for journalist is appealing, the main reason for interest in the career would be the knowledge gained in job.
At this point, journalism is portrayed as an ideal career for those who desire an occupation that will lead to wealth and wisdom but there is always a catch to every good deal. In this job, the obvious downside would be obligations to work in all weather conditions and the pressure to meet deadlines. These two aspects would be the main cause of irregular working hours, often may affect personal plans due to expectations to work during weekends and public holidays. Under rare conditions, the job may lead to some danger while researching for worthwhile scandals or more likely, experiencing legal issues. Charges in court are much more common for journalists in society today as the law allow individuals and organizations to do so, with the Discrimination Act as one example. Even so, the scale of negatives and positives still balance.
Like mentioned above, income is a big attraction of journalism with the bonus of travel as part of the job. From this, skills are learnt and general knowledge broadened through the research for information. For instance, from extensive traveling and interaction with significant people of society, the different languages and cultures studied for occupational purposes improves education as well as social interest. It would be beneficial to the journalists especially on their ability to cover any topic of interest required by the job and other fields including daily conversations. Most importantly, the wider options to employment due to high demand and in related areas such as government, press secretaries, advertising, marketing, and public relations.
For whatever purpose of choosing journalism as a career, it is a recommendable option. It might not be the most preferable but quite still considerable due to the benefits in the social, academic, and financial life. The skills learnt are also vital in other fields, like writing, speaking, and languages are an incentive for most employers. For those who see journalism as a passion, the income and other offers in the job would be a bonus. After all, being updated on issues in almost any area such as politics, economy, and entertainment, journalism would be more of an interest than a job.