What Specializations are Available with a Journalism Degree?

Journalism degree specialization is easy! In fact, colleges with journalism programs urge incoming students to choose an area of concentration. On a resume, degree specialization lights the eyes of employers, particularly when evidenced by related internships. The combination of coursework and field experience sets the stage for professional excellence.

The ideal program track aligns with a student’s inherent writing talent and zeal. Schools impart the required skills, honed through supervision and diligent practice. Here are five gratifying specializations available to those pursuing a journalism degree.

Photojournalism

Photojournalists depict key elements of a news article through a series of poignant photos. Shooting them may demand steadfast persistence in challenging circumstances. Additionally, a photojournalist may develop and edit images, preparing them for publication.

A skilled correspondent takes dynamic pictures, evoking strong responses in the hearts and minds of viewers. A stirring example is preserving the moment when a lost child is rescued after falling in a well. Some photojournalists risk their lives for promising shoots, such as chasing tropical storms.

Capturing breaking news requires frequent travel and meeting deadlines. As this professional films events as they unfold, they must have keen perception, quick reflexes, and precise timing. Hauling cameras and their accessories takes stamina and strength.

Bachelor degree programs teach skills in photography, visual communication, visual editing, storytelling, news design, news reporting, and magazine layout. From BBC News, here’s a gripping roundup of photojournalists’ work from around the globe.

Sports Journalism

In this competitive field, journalists track sports events, both amateur and professional. Sportswriters in print media may document game previews, player statistics, post-game analysis, and team standings. Broadcasters deliver exciting, real-time commentary for sporting events aired on TV and radio.

Sideline reporters assist broadcasting crews with game coverage from the fringes of a field or court. In this capacity, they often interview coaches and players, give updates on player injuries, and announce other game developments. Then, there are sports photojournalists, recording game highlights in pictures. Another job option is writing sports columns and blogs for online newspapers and sports networks like ESPN.

Employment in this arena requires a bachelor’s or master’s degree in journalism. Courses teach skills in journalism research, critical thinking, writing, public speaking, news reporting, broadcast commentary, and interviewing.

Qualities crucial for career success include objectivity, poise, and endurance for tight deadlines and long workdays. Here, Sports Career Finder chronicles the typical tasks of a baseball sportswriter on game days.

Graphics Journalism

Graphics journalists attract readers to online and printed news with vibrant images, diagrams, and artwork. After designing illustrations, they supply additional writing, enhancing what a publisher has already reported. Through this contribution, graphics journalists deepen the impact of news articles.

To select a story angle, a graphics journalist first meets with their editor, reporters, and other writers. After the team jointly chooses the fact to portray, the graphics journalist composes the image, using various techniques. For example, news graphics can feature clip art, animation, vector images, manual drawings, charts, maps, and stock photos, presented in captivating and reader-friendly forms.

The best graphics journalists work efficiently and diplomatically. Since news stories must be timely, such professionals are subject to stricter deadlines than graphic designers in advertising and marketing.

Most bachelor degree programs include courses in storyboard development, color theory, motion graphics, 2-D and 3-D animation, sound design, typography, digital drawing, and editing. Students also become adept at layout, art preparation, and screening. Here, Chron details the responsibilities of a graphics journalist, varying by company size.

Environmental Reporting

This profession entails sniffing out and exposing threats to planetary health, such as illegal waste disposal, chemical weapons, global warming, and genetically modified crops. Writers also spotlight champions of conservation in human interest stories.

Environmental journalism differs from advocacy and activism in that communication is solely factual, maintaining a neutral stance. Reporters conduct in-depth research of practices that disrupt and harm ecosystems. Such professionals are globetrotters, raising awareness through a range of print and broadcast formats, including scientific journals and documentaries. Job candidates must be flexible, easily switching between tasks and pressing deadlines.

Bachelor degree programs build on a foundation of biology and earth science. Courses teach how to find credible sources, unearth hidden facts, interpret statistics, write stories, hold interviews, take photographs, and formulate graphics. Of utmost importance is writing and speaking concisely, in terms the average person can understand. Students also learn about current legal and political issues.

Magazine Journalism

This writing genre differs from fact-based reporting in several ways. Magazine journalism incorporates fiction elements, such as a plot, characters, and scenes. It also provides detailed descriptions of people and places. While magazine news is grounded in research, it’s also designed to be entertaining. Accordingly, this writing style is termed “creative non-fiction.”

Magazine journalists work at consumer and trade publications, luring reader interest through drama. Stories can be accounts or interviews of real people, including quoted dialogue. Protocol allows writers to share their opinions, provided they’re rooted in verifiable information.

The angle of a magazine piece can be a structured argument or pointed question. Unlike crisply written newspaper articles, magazine content may feature slang and local jargon, imparting a casual tone. Text can also be accompanied by photos and advertising.

Employers favor authors with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in journalism. Job opportunities abound for staff and freelance writers, at both print and online magazines. Along with creative writing skills, professionals must be adept at confirming information and proofreading. Among the specializations available with a journalism degree, magazine writing is highly popular.

Stellar Storyteller

Have you noticed that some of these fields overlap? For example, photojournalism is a subspecialty of sports reporting and environmental writing. Graphic design can be a component of all five genres. Therefore, even if you major in one field, you can qualify for employment in several journalistic professions.

Related Resource: Top 27 Master’s in Journalism

Other popular specializations available with a journalism degree are Global Journalism, Public Relations and Advertising, and Political Journalism. In all sectors, employers seek candidates with glowing internships and compelling portfolios, including samples of their most impressive work.

 

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