Don’t Just Research, Study!

Shouldn’t journalist study more than journalism? In general, those who study in this subject know that this field of study is competitive. I have always believed, studying more than journalism is key for more career opportunities. In fact, most magazine publications do not require a degree in journalism. Instead, a publication like National Geographic not only encourages a major in journalism, but in anthropology, sociology, psychology, and sciences.

An article from Poynter Online, “Do I need a J-Degree?”, suggests that no particular degree is required to get into journalism. The greatest need for a career in journalism would be for some published example of your writing, rather than a degree in journalism.

To exemplify the value of specializing in studies other than journalism, one should keep in mind the opportunities it can bring. Suppose I want to work for National Geographic and offer a valuable pitch, which would have me hired. My pitch is just as valuable as the next journalist, but because I also studied in anthropology I may be more likely to get the job due to my expertise that relates to the magazine’s focus. Similarly goes for photojournalist or photographers who want to make the most out of their talent. It is highly encouraged to study more than just photography and expand your knowledge in sciences or other fine arts.

Here is a short interview with reporter of New York Times, Ron Nixon, explaining his view on obtaining a degree in journalism.

Personally, I am a strong advocate for specializing in other topics. I am a Spanish and Journalism major with a minor in Geology and Computer Science in hopes to keep opportunities always available.

Tell me what you think. Do you believe that journalism majors should study more than journalism?

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2 Responses to Don’t Just Research, Study!

  1. jldruck says:

    yes, i had a teacher who stressed that i should minor in a language. She said there is a great need for journalists who can speak something other than English and there’s a greater chance of getting a job. But if you are interested in a specialized topic like being a a health writer, you probably want to take a minor in health science, etc.

  2. caitlinarmstrong says:

    The statement you made about having to have all of those degrees such as an anthropology degree in order to work for the National Geographic really intrigued me. It made me wonder if you would have to have a degree in fashion in order to write fora fashion magazine such as Vogue. For travel magazines would someone have to have a degree or background in international studies? It might seem like more work but if that particular genre really gets you going then I think it would be cool to become more educated on the topic.

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