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  1. #1
    BeeaBoBo is offline Registered User
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    Pursuing Journalism

    Hey, forgive me if this is a stupid question, but what kind of degree should I get if I wish to pursue a career in journalism ? So far I have no college level education , so I would probably be looking into a bachelor degree.

  2. #2
    Ted Heiks is offline Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeeaBoBo View Post
    Hey, forgive me if this is a stupid question, but what kind of degree should I get if I wish to pursue a career in journalism? So far I have no college level education, so I would probably be looking into a bachelor degree.
    You should look into bachelor's degrees in journalism .
    Theo the Educated Derelict
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    MBA, Entrepreneurship, City University of Seattle, 1992
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  3. #3
    AUTiger00 is offline Registered User
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    Or just start a blog. Journalism is a dying field. Schools are actually offering courses through their j schools in social media and blogging. Seems you can learn that stuff without spending money on a class.
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  4. #4
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    If you want to be a Journalist, or any kind of writer, then the #1 thing to do is to write. There are small newspapers/magazines in your area that would love to have submissions from a writer trying to break into the field. Local news, sports, film reviews, politics, etc. Start writing.

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    Then, pursue a strong Liberal Arts degree program. Don't CLEP out. You won't learn to write that way. Be an English major. Be a history major. Choose a subject area where you're going to be repeatedly put into a position of having to write and write and write. You don't learn to write by reading. You learn to write by writing.

    Oh yeah, and try to have fun while you're doing it. It matters.
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  5. #5
    Maniac Craniac is offline Moderator
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    BA, Journalism Studies Concentrations - UMassOnline.net

    Thomas Edison State College | BA in Journalism

    The TESC degree would likely be less expensive, depending on your methods of getting credit, but of course, UMass is UMass.
    BA, Social Sciences ---- Thomas Edison State College

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  6. #6
    Cero is offline Registered User
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    Depends on whether you want to work as a full-timer for the mainstream media or as a freelancer (which could also be for the mainstream media).

    Generally speaking, the way into the mainstream media has been through internships done in college. Bricks-and-mortar journalism programs have traditionally been the way into the internships. Not sure how easy it would be nowadays even if you went this route. Business/financial journalism probably offers the most opportunities in this day and age. A degree in economics or business, supplemented by a few journalism courses, would probably lead to a good internship and possibly a job.

    Access to mainstream media jobs would probably be tough with a distance-learning degree, except possibly at very small media outlets, such as rural newspaper, which don't happen to pay very much.

    As a freelancer, things are more open. Again, I would do a degree in a substantive topic that you're interested in, and supplement it with journalism classes. Then you have a stronger knowledge base.

  7. #7
    StefanM is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maniac Craniac View Post
    BA, Journalism Studies Concentrations - UMassOnline.net

    Thomas Edison State College | BA in Journalism

    The TESC degree would likely be less expensive, depending on your methods of getting credit, but of course, UMass is UMass.
    ....but the TESC degree probably wouldn't open any doors.

    Journalism is a dying field, as AUTiger mentioned. Grads from solid B&M programs are unemployed. A degree from TESC probably wouldn't help at all.

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  9. #8
    Maniac Craniac is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by StefanM View Post
    ....but the TESC degree probably wouldn't open any doors.

    Journalism is a dying field, as AUTiger mentioned. Grads from solid B&M programs are unemployed. A degree from TESC probably wouldn't help at all.
    Well, it might open the door to a Master's degree at a solid B&M. Or might not??? I don't really know
    BA, Social Sciences ---- Thomas Edison State College

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  10. #9
    AUTiger00 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maniac Craniac View Post
    Well, it might open the door to a Master's degree at a solid B&M. Or might not??? I don't really know
    Journalism graduate programs are a lot like top MBA programs, they require work experience to be admitted. A degree from TESC and little-to-no impressive experience isn't going to get someone into programs like Columbia, Mizzou or Syracuse.

    I know three people that did the Journalism track at Harvard Extension and landed jobs in the field. One of them was an assistant to a professor at HBS (essentially his secretary) and he actually took a pay cut to go into journalism .
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  11. #10
    agschmidt is offline Registered User
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    I have an M.A. in Professional Writing from a B&M school. While my goal wasn't to go into journalism , a few of the people in my courses were interested in that field. I know most of them just wrote for small local publications - as mentioned above, your body of work and published material will be more important than your degree. If you're goal is to learn how to write (or write better), then a degree in English, Creative Writing, or Journalism might help. If you think this degree will be a magical key that allows entry into the field, you're mistaken.

  12. #11
    Maniac Craniac is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by AUTiger00 View Post
    Journalism graduate programs are a lot like top MBA programs, they require work experience to be admitted. A degree from TESC and little-to-no impressive experience isn't going to get someone into programs like Columbia, Mizzou or Syracuse.

    I know three people that did the Journalism track at Harvard Extension and landed jobs in the field. One of them was an assistant to a professor at HBS (essentially his secretary) and he actually took a pay cut to go into journalism.
    Ah, good info. I almost went to school for Journalism myself all of those years ago. Good thing I changed my mind, apparently, since I would have gone to ABC State University.
    BA, Social Sciences ---- Thomas Edison State College

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  13. #12
    major56 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kizmet View Post
    If you want to be a Journalist, or any kind of writer, then the #1 thing to do is to write. There are small newspapers/magazines in your area that would love to have submissions from a writer trying to break into the field. Local news, sports, film reviews, politics, etc. Start writing.

    Then, pursue a strong Liberal Arts degree program. Don't CLEP out. You won't learn to write that way. Be an English major. Be a history major. Choose a subject area where you're going to be repeatedly put into a position of having to write and write and write. You don't learn to write by reading. You learn to write by writing.
    Kizmet provides some sound guidance as regards interest in the field of journalism . My wife majored in English as an undergraduate and completed her masters in journalism at San Diego State while I was stationed at Camp Pendleton. Back then if I recall correctly, her degree was a masters in journalism with concentration in advertising (?).

    San Diego State University – School of Journalism /Media Studies
    Areas of Study

    Here is a listing of The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) accredited programs:
    ACEJMC-accredited programs
    Major56
    ___________________________________
    M.B.A., West Texas A&M
    M.Ed., Prairie View A&M
    Command and General Staff School, U.S. Army Command & General Staff College
    B.B.A., Sam Houston State

  14. #13
    lawrenceq is offline Registered User
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    You can make a lot of money doing freelance writing. I always see ads for ghostwriters and article writing for blogs. I've even paid a few freelancers to write content for a couple of my sites.
    BS Multidisciplinary Studies - Liberty University

  15. #14
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maniac Craniac View Post
    Ah, good info. I almost went to school for Journalism myself all of those years ago. Good thing I changed my mind, apparently, since I would have gone to ABC State University.
    Well, that might have been exactly the place to go. I mean, journalists are known for drinking a lot. :-)

    -=Steve=-
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  17. #15
    bookworm80 is offline member
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    You should definitely pursue a Bachelors in Journalism , but that's not all you should do! If you know you want to be a journalist, it's important to start thinking about what type of journalism , or what field specifically. For example, if you want to be a media journalist, it may also be key to minor in some sort of media-related field. It's also important to just start writing! A lot! About whatever interests you. Start a blog and update it consistently. This will show you are serious, committed to the craft, and will gain your followers. This is important to start now because you want to build a solid portfolio for after graduation. Also, writing for the school newspaper or newsletter and getting involved in extra curricular activities that can showcase your work in any way is always a plus!

  18. #16
    Jacob Perry is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kizmet View Post
    If you want to be a Journalist, or any kind of writer, then the #1 thing to do is to write. There are small newspapers/magazines in your area that would love to have submissions from a writer trying to break into the field. Local news, sports, film reviews, politics, etc. Start writing.

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    Then, pursue a strong Liberal Arts degree program. Don't CLEP out. You won't learn to write that way. Be an English major. Be a history major. Choose a subject area where you're going to be repeatedly put into a position of having to write and write and write. You don't learn to write by reading. You learn to write by writing.

    Oh yeah, and try to have fun while you're doing it. It matters.
    Excellent advice. I have about 50 college credits and make a full-time living as a freelance writer. If you decide to pursue an undergrad degree, I'd avoid a "journalism " degree and follow what Kizmet says here.

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