More than ever, high schoolers are urged to make big career decisions as early as possible. In a competitive career like broadcast journalism, making smart choices before you even get to college is immensely helpful. If you want to have a career in media, follow these tips to set yourself apart from other applicants when the time comes:
Start a blog.
Being able to show a wide variety of writing clips is essential, even if you would rather work on radio or television. Proving you can communicate news or other information through writing demonstrates you are able to effectively and creatively process your thoughts. There are plenty of free blogging sites like WordPress, Tumblr, Weebly, and Wix. Choose a blogging platform that is best for you, and make regular blog posts.
Volunteer to write for your school’s newspaper or literary journal.
If your school has its own student-run publication, volunteer as a writer or editor. Just like writing blog posts, having a portfolio consisting of a variety of writing or editing examples heightens your chance of finding a job in journalism.
Work on the morning announcements.
Some schools also have morning announcements that appear over the intercom, maybe even a special channel that airs on schoolwide televisions. Ask if there are any openings or a class to enroll in so you can get involved.
Become an editor of your school’s yearbook.
If you want to prove you can help produce a great collaborative media project, then consider joining as an editor of the school yearbook! Not only is it mass produced and seen throughout the entire school, you’ll have your own copy as a portfolio piece!
Follow news media, both on screen and in print.
Too many students interested in pursuing journalism think they don’t need to follow current trends in media. In an ever-changing career, keeping up with local, national, and international media is incredibly important. Making a regular commitment to watch and read the news will keep you learning and motivated every day.
Seek out opportunities for experience, paid or unpaid.
You may notice a lot of entry-level broadcast journalism jobs require a good deal of experience. Keep an eye out for internships at local news or radio stations. In high school, you may only find unpaid experience. While you might not want to give up extra free time without monetary compensation, investing your time into a career-related opportunity is worth your attention. Once you graduate college, strictly pursue paid opportunities. After all, you’ll be a pro by then!
Look for great journalism programs in higher education.
When searching for the right college, ask yourself if the colleges you are considering have reputable journalism programs. How many of their alumni have found jobs within their field of study? How prepared did they feel? Consider reaching out to someone who graduated the program to ask these questions.
The New York Film Academy’s Broadcast Journalism School offers students a competitive edge as multi-media producers, with hands-on training in writing, producing, filming, editing, and distributing their own stories. If you’re ready to take the next step, apply here.
Don’t take rejection as a completely negative experience.
Rejection doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough to do broadcast journalism. It means that you need to pursue another opportunity, no matter how many times you need to do it. Even with a lot of experience, broadcast journalism is a tough career to break into. Consider expanding your options to other opportunities within journalism. If you’ve had your heart set on being a television anchor, give radio a try. You might find that you actually like radio more, or vice versa.
BONUS: Attend a NYFA Summer Camp!
If you’re really itching to get genuine journalism experience in the heart of the industry — New York City itself — you may want to apply to NYFA’s Broadcast Journalism Camp for Teens. You’ll learn from broadcast journalists who are active in the field in one of the world’s most competitive cities, while you learn real-life skills and write, shoot, and edit your own projects. Each student produces two projects, shot with single-camera setups and edited on industry-standard editing software. This intensive workshop provides a strong introduction to necessary digital and journalism skills.