The change in the way that people consume news nowadays is also bringing about a massive transformation to the sector of journalism. While excellent writing and research skills continue to be the basic demands, there are other skills that journalists of the present age must pick up in order to survive in the outside world. Often, these skills are dependent on the firm you intend to land a job, the medium they use to send out news or the type of topics they cover. The best colleges for journalism will cover all the abilities that you will ever require, but just their existence in the curriculum is no excuse to bypass a bit of self-learning.
The competition, after all, is not reducing with time and any extra skill that you acquire will ultimately help you to become a better journalist. Then again, whatever you learn must be journalism-centric that will enable you to boost your job performance and rise up the coveted hierarchy. Here is a list of 8 self-taught skills that all aspiring journalist must focus on during their degree courses and build at least an intermediate level of expertise in each of them. Take note to stay ahead.
- Fast Reading
Reading speed matters in journalism as it determines how fast can you churn up a well-researched article with minimum factual flaws. There are techniques to increase your current reading speed without compromising on the information consumed. So, invest time in increasing your pace and apply the proven methods to scan through more words per minute. A simple online research will list down the required exercises.
This skill is becoming obsolete in the current age of superior recording devices, but the ability to write fast with the help of symbols and abbreviations is incomparable. As a journalist, you may not have to take notes during an interview anymore, but you will have to jot down important points during some research. Writing with shorthand will speed up the process and will have the same effect as fast reading.
- Building contacts
Not all contacts will come to you via business cards and you must develop the habit of picking up information from the least expected sources. Sometimes, there are phone numbers hidden in an email or personal information on a massive site. There are online tools that enable you to fish out such contacts and store it in your phonebook. Get comfortable with such technologies during your course so that you don’t have to slog later.
- Search Engine Optimisation
Colleges affiliated to the best university for journalism in Delhi have SEO courses included in the curriculum. Knowing how search engines identify and rank an online article will help you to frame the content in that manner and give the piece the required age. Millions of articles tussle online to reach the first rank and only through proper optimisation can they reach it. SEO skill is vital for current journalists and you must make sure you have it before passing out.
- Basic coding
On the same lines of online journalism, the basic knowledge of the common coding language will add an extra star to your CV. If you are capable of editing the HTML or CSS codes of your own online article to make it user-friendly and readable, journalism firms will value you as it eliminates a lot of redundant work. So, learn the preferred languages during your degree and establish your candidature on better grounds.
- Photo/Video Editing
The existing competition is blurring the boundaries of written and media journalism and you may often have to take your own photos or videos for an article. This calls for basic photo and video editing skills and the current software technologies are toning down their inherent complications. You can build basic knowledge of software like Photoshop or OpenShot to make your media publishing-ready.
- Online Analytics
Journalism is about giving people what they want to read and the current analytics tools enable journalists to get data-driven feedbacks. You can actually monitor the number of people viewing your article or any other, for how long are they reading it or which topics are the leastfavoured in which location. Accordingly, you can modify your journalism approach and the skill to operate an analytics software is the way to do it.
- Data Scrapping
While the availability of data is a boon, too much data leads to confusion and degrades quality. Institutes like Lingaya’s Lalita Devi Institute of Management & Sciences, one of the best IP university colleges for journalism based in South Delhi, teaches its students techniques of data scrapping. You can also pick up Excel skills where you automate data selection and elimination so that you are left with the important figures in no time.lldims
The list is not exhaustive but these are the top side-skills that every journalist of the current age must have. So, make full use of the time you get during your journalism course and invest in building more skills. The more depth your CV has, the better will be your chances.