It is natural to map your personality to the career you choose or vice versa. For instance, it is a common perception that to become a successful journalist, you need to have an outgoing and extroverted personality. However, that is far from the truth. If you were to scratch beneath the surface, you will find that a lot of top journalists are actually people who are pretty shy and reserved in real life.
So, is journalism a good career choice for introverts? Is it necessary to be an extrovert to become a journalist? How can you gauge whether journalism is right for you if you are an introvert?
Let us first take a look at what a typical introvert is like.
- An introvert is someone who is shy, quiet and reticent, and prefers spending time alone.
- Introverts generally find it difficult to open up, talk to new people or make friends.
- An introvert steers clear of socializing and prefers spending time with their own thoughts and feelings rather than seeking external stimulation.
When we talk about an introvert contemplating a career in journalism, it is important to consider all the opportunities that exist in this domain. Go through this comprehensive career guide to understand all potential career opportunities in the broadcast journalism industry.
Now, there are two facets to this in terms of the role you fulfill in the industry – let us look at both of them.
1. One, being a reporter, interviewer, anchor, moderator or host who faces the camera. In this case, the apprehensions about being an introvert are higher because it is assumed that being on screen calls for a great level of extroversion. While this may be true in some cases, it may not necessarily apply to everyone. In fact, introverts are known for their ability to find their way out of a tricky situation without messing it up further. Since introverts generally think and articulate before speaking, it becomes a good skill to have in front of the camera.
2. The other aspect is the BTS or behind-the-scenes careers in journalism. Broadcast journalism presents youngsters with a host of career opportunities that do not involve facing the camera. Content writing, scriptwriting, news production, fact checking, research work, news packaging, studio production, production room operations (PCR controller), camera operation, video journalism, etc. are examples of such career options. In case of these professions, it doesn’t really matter what kind of personality you have, since they involve specific skills that can be developed by anyone. In fact, people with introverted personalities are known to be more capable at jobs that require a high level of focus.
Tips for Introverts – Things You Can Do to Overcome Your Fear
In either of these cases, contrary to popular belief, it is actually possible for introverts to make it big in the field of journalism. Here are a few things that introverts can do in order to get over their initial nerves and make a place for themselves in the broadcast journalism arena:
- Get a solid foundation and education in journalism. Like any other field of work, it is extremely important to have a relevant degree in the subject. Consider signing up for a comprehensive degree in journalism from a reputed institute. This will only give you a great insight into how the broadcast journalism industry functions and the roles or jobs you can explore within this field, but also introduce you to the fundamentals, concepts, theoretical and practical aspects of journalism and mass communication. For those who are ‘camera shy’, modern broadcast journalism courses incorporate a whole lot of practical training so you can get comfortable in front of the camera.
- Gather as much information as you can about how things work. Read up about journalism online and invest in books by good authors. This will help you be aware and equipped with enough knowledge to find your way out of any complicated situation. Doing this will also help you prepare for interviews and group discussions.
- Prepare, prepare, prepare. Use your mirror and camera phone to practice your presentation and speaking skills and techniques at home. Ample practice will not only build your confidence, but also help you improve your communication skills. This exercise can also enable you to identify shortcomings and work on them without embarrassing yourself in front of people.
- Get in touch with broadcast journalism professionals. As difficult as it may seem for an introvert to go out their way to talk to and network with industry experts, this is a very important step. You can only stand to gain from their past experiences – they can guide you in terms of where to get started and what you need to do in order to succeed in this profession. In case you are reluctant to go and meet them in person, networking platforms like LinkedIn are a godsend for you!
Extrovert or introvert, the broadcast journalism arena welcomes people with different types of personalities with open arms. As long as you have the right skills, talent and education, it is possible for you become a successful journalist.
Explore Seamedu School of Pro-Expressionism’s full-fledged degree course in broadcast journalism in Pune.