Advice for Students Interested in a Career in Journalism
Bill Kovach, Senior Counselor of the Project for Excellence in Journalism
A curious mind and a broad liberal arts education are by far the best qualifications for a career in journalism.
The best foundation begins with an undergraduate liberal arts education that exposes you to a wide range of disciplines of study and helps you supplement your native curiosity with a habit of critical thinking. Whatever course of study you follow, be sure to include a strong foundation in ethics. Then consider study at a university that offers a graduate degree in journalism.
You can begin to develop your skill in the "craft" of journalism by working on a college newspaper or radio station; a television station that features a college report; or working as a college correspondent for a local, regional or national news organization. As for experience while still in school and immediately after graduation, think about immersing yourself in a local experience. Working in a community in which you must look the people in the eye about whom you report before and AFTER you have reported on them can provide very important lessons.
And, throughout all this, read. Read everything you can, including classics in fiction that can help you begin to understand human nature and the human condition. Develop a habit of critically following the work of other journalists and find models for your own work.