Discover How to Become a Journalist in the United States

Monday, July 3, 2023

Journalists play a key role in people’s lives: they keep us updated with everything that happens around the world. If you have been asking yourself how to become a journalist, here are the most important steps

The American Press Institution defines journalism as “the activity of gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information.” Besides, it explains that journalism “can be distinguished from other activities and products by certain identifiable characteristics and practices. These elements not only separate journalism from other forms of communication, they are what make it indispensable to democratic societies. History reveals that the more democratic a society, the more news and information it tends to have.” 

Journalists play a key role in people’s lives since news is an important source of information in our daily lives, keeping us informed of the changing events, issues, and other problems of the world. Journalism tries to “empower the informed.” They aim at providing citizens with the information they need to live freely. 

What does a Journalist Do? 

The responsibilities of these professionals might vary depending on their jobs and their daily schedules. They are in charge of the following duties: 

  • keeping up with the new trends.
  • generating ideas that may be of interest to citizens. 
  • communicating the latest events. 
  • writing and editing articles to publish in newspapers, magazines, blogs, and more.
  • collecting information from other articles or their own primary sources
  • building relationships with other sources of the community to be updated.
  • reviewing and editing pieces of articles for its publication. 

How to Become a Journalist

High school

The first step in the process of becoming a journalist is completing your secondary education diploma. While in high school, several different courses may help you grow skills and be ready to be a journalist. English, media studies, creative writing, speech, debate, or photography might be useful once you graduate. 

Undergraduate degree

The next step, and probably the most difficult one, is to get an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. There are several options for you to choose from. The most common one is to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism, which will give you the foundation knowledge to become a professional. Besides, you can get a Bachelor’s Degree in another related field and complement it with a Master’s degree in Journalism. This diploma usually last one year and covers the fundamentals of being a journalist. 


While you are studying for an undergraduate degree, you might want to get an internship. This opportunity will help you get the experience you need for a successful future. As a future journalist, you can ask for an internship in magazines, news organizations, TV stations, radio stations or networks, or even non-profit organizations. You have to keep in mind your interests and likes, so you can combine this internship with your values and ethics. 


Once you have graduated from University and completed your internship, it is time that you create your portfolio. A portfolio is a compilation of academic and professional documents that exemplify your skills, studies, training, experiences, and more. You have to create one that highlights your best qualities and works. This will give you more chances to get a favorable job. 

Job opportunities

The last step in this process is to find a job that suits all your interests. This might be a difficult process since it may not be quick, but you should not get discouraged. You will find a job that matches your expectations. 

If you want to learn more about this and many other degrees, you should read the following articles: 

Is a Degree in Journalism right for you?

How to Become a Political Scientist in the United States

These are the Best Political Science Universities in the United States

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