Journalism is one of the most sought-after professions amongst modern media and entertainment careers and for good reason. The explosion of television news channels and digital media platforms has given rise to countless opportunities to broadcast professionals over the last two decades.
The importance of broadcast journalism in the society and in our everyday lives cannot be underlined enough. Most of us rely on various media outlets and platforms to get information, learn about events around the world, gather news and educate ourselves about various subjects. However, we do know the difference between good and mediocre journalism. But what is it that makes a journalist good or bad?
Is it his or her ability to catch and hold your attention? Is it their control over language? Is it the fact that they can speak about a subject objectively while keeping their personal bias aside? Or is it because they come across as fantastic storytellers?
Well, it is all of the above – and more.
10 essential qualities of a broadcast journalist
While a broadcast journalism degree or a course in journalism and mass communication can help you learn key subjects and give you a solid foundation, there are several qualities and aspects of your personality that you can develop in your spare time! Here is a quick lowdown on the most important skills sets that are a common thread between successful journalists and are integral for young aspirants to learn.
1. Knowledge of journalism
Being well-versed with the fundamentals of the subject is the key to success in any field, and the same applies to the world of journalism. Having a solid education in journalism can go a long way in ensuring that you understand the realms of journalism and broadcast media well before stepping into the field as a professional. This includes both – theory as well as the practical aspects of broadcast journalism.
As discussed above, the ability of a journalist to communicate well helps connect with the audience and enables them to make their point well. The spoken word is extremely important when it comes to journalism roles such as anchor, reporter and voiceover artist. Written communication and the ability to articulate well on paper is a key skill that broadcast journalists need to have or develop, since the job involves a lot of writing, research, development of scripts, content generation and editing.
3. Digital literacy
It is no secret that the world is driven by digital technology today, and it is imperative for today’s journalists to have a strong grasp over things like social media, websites, apps, smartphones, laptops, tablets and any other broadcast mediums. Digital literacy is indispensable today and will become even more important in the near future, with a large sect of the audience shifting from print journalism to broadcast journalism. Using multimedia for storytelling purposes is the way ahead and visual-driven content (slideshows, graphics, graphs, diagrams and videos) is set to rule the roost in the foreseeable future.
4. Grasping power
The ability of a journalist to learn on the job, absorb lots of new information and process it in a way that it is disseminated properly is of paramount importance. Broadcast journalists are expected to be quick with learning a variety of new subjects and reproducing information for the audience to digest.
5. Research and attention to detail
Journalism is all about research and attention to detail. News reports are expected to carry a certain sense of credibility, and this can only come from extensive research. Imagine having to do a story on the J&K issue without enough knowledge about the topic! Neither will your feature carry substance, nor will the audience accept or watch the story. There is a lot of competition for popular or current topics in the news market, so broadcast journalists just cannot afford to be one step behind the curve.
6. Problem-solving abilities
The capacity to deal with day-to-day problems or challenges at work, in the field or during a live show or panel discussion is the hallmark of a great broadcast journalist. It is essential that you develop the ability to think on your feet and find the best possible solution to any issue that might crop up during work.
7. Objectivity and logical reasoning
Being unbiased is one of the most vital signs of a good journalist. Whether it is politics, sports, crime, or world events, being objective in the way you present content, can make all the difference. Elements like data and statistical skills can further help disseminate information in an easy-to-understand manner.
8. Ethics of broadcast journalism
It is possible for a news organization to run just fine and even reach the top of the rankings without compromising on their code of ethics. Ethical journalism can not only drive values and inculcate a culture of not twisting facts for one’s benefit, but also build trust among the viewers.
9. Video production
As stated above, content that is driven by visuals is what works well. So understanding and learning the craft of film making, taking pictures, shooting, editing and embellishing video content with text, graphics and audio is key to gaining an upper hand in the industry as an individual or aspiring journalist.
While the traditional way of gathering news is not obsolete yet, there are several avenues that have opened up opportunities for journalists to ‘jack’ news. Platforms like social media give today’s broadcast journalists a chance to get access to happenings around the world within seconds, so it is important for you to stay on top of such trends.
Wondering how to improve your journalism skills? Reading up about the subject on the internet, finding books by renowned authors, talking to established broadcast journalists and working on the overall development of your personality would be good places to make a head start. However, when it comes to taking it up seriously as a profession, nothing beats a full-fledged degree in the subject – it also happens to be one of the prerequisites or qualifications needed to become a broadcast journalist.
Are you considering a career in broadcast journalism? If so, the aforementioned journalism skills and qualities can ensure that you enter the industry with an edge. Most studios, agencies, and employers require you to have a degree or diploma in journalism for a job in the field. Seamedu School of Pro-Expressionism’s all-inclusive degree in broadcast journalism focuses on instilling these skills and serves as the perfect qualification to become a broadcast journalist. Also, it provides hands-on experience to the students in its state-of-the-art Chroma studio to make you an industry ready professional.