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Fulfilling Careers In Journalism Are Still Out There
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There's been a lot of talk about whether or not a career in journalism is still a worthy goal for savvy students to pursue.
Back in April CareerCast.com rated newspaper reporter and broadcaster among the 10 worst jobs due to stress, declining opportunities and declining pay.
However, I don't believe things are as dire as they seem despite all the newspaper closures in the United States. As new models emerge I believe things are starting to turn a corner. My prediction is the digital wave that was once thought to be sounding the death knell for journalism, has actually developed a business model that can sustain it.
With the advent of tablets and e-readers, readers have returned to the practice of paying for quality content in droves. Once people start paying for books to fill their e-readers, it's not a big psychological jump for them to start hitting the "Buy now" button on their favourite magazine or their local newspaper.
However, the jobs at these traditional outlets will continue to be competitive. So, here are a few non-traditional journalism jobs to keep in mind if you can't land a desk job in your first few years as a journalist.
Blogger: Making money on the Internet isn't easy, but if you have an entrepreneurial itch and a good niche that isn't too broad, you may be able to build a following and make a living writing. The good news for journalist bloggers, is they have the skills to produce original content, which both Google and general readers prefer. While there are a lot of blogs out there, many of them feature rehashed content, keyword stuffing and affiliate marketing sales pitches. Stick to journalistic principles and you'll stand out.
Freelancer: Breaking in to the freelance market isn't easy. Start small with local papers and magazines and gradually start pitching larger publications. At first you might have to write your articles before you can sell them. Eventually you'll build relationships with editors and a reputation. Then you can start pitching ideas and negotiate better rates. If you're new to journalism consider this practice for the career you want.
Public relations: Public relations professionals are needed in all types of industries from the non-profit sector to corporations. If you can write well and learn to articulate the message of the organization, this might be the career for you.
Copyeditor: People with good writing skills are invaluable in an age when many public schools don't even bother marking grammar. It's not just the native English-speakers who will need your help. Our society is increasingly diverse and many people with English as a second language are trying to succeed in business. Promote yourself successfully as a copyeditor and you could make a good side income.
Website developer: You've heard the phrase "Content is king." That's because search engines have realized people on the Internet are looking for information, not awesome designs and Flash video. With the number of content management systems out there, such as WordPress, which will provide you a professional looking theme with little effort, your ability to create quality content can be more important than your ability to program.
Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities. While it's not easy to get a job in journalism, this is one field where the skills you learn won't go to waste. Over the next couple weeks I'll be focusing on careers in my blog posts.
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