Data stories are increasingly making the front pages as more information is stored electronically and made readily accessible. Interpreting the regular releases of data and creating a story from them is a skill in itself, but cleaning and organising huge spreadsheets into easily parsable segments is well within the capabilities of a modern journalist. Statisticians seem especially keen to pass on their knowledge, so books that teach you how to interpret data aren't hard to come by.
For when data isn't readily available, or is spread over a variety of locations, learning to 'scrape' that information from relevant sources is an especially useful tool for a data journalist. Sometimes called web harvesting, the process involves creating a formula that grabs the relevant information from each each source you specify. Thankfully, there are a number of free tools and guides available, like the Google Chrome app Web Scraper , this guide from School of Data , and services like Import.
Once you have learned the basic techniques, or how to use scraping tools like Outwit Hub , a competent scraper saves a tremendous amount of time. It's one thing to have discovered a story in a data release and quite another to effectively communicate that story. Great data visualisations immediately communicate the facts of the story in a way that plain text could not.
Beyond the basics of Datawrapper or Infogr. Since each tool has a different back-end and a variety of options, it takes practice to learn how to use them all effectively and choose the most appropriate one for your data. Less of an academic endeavour but just as important, gaining contacts within the industry is paramount for an ambitious journalist. If you like our news and feature articles, you can sign up to receive our free daily Mon-Fri email newsletter mobile friendly. Hurst Media Company is seeking a versatile, hardworking and committed staff writer to its growing team in London.
Before sending in your next podcast pitch, commissioning editors from BBC and Podfront share their inside-tips on what they look out for. These research hubs will help you understand the latest trends in the news sector, social media and more. Personalised messages to your social subscribers can be a great way to boost engagement and traffic. On-screen teleprompter, spirit level and cloud storage space can help take your smartphone video to the next level.
Advertise your freelance services Find a freelancer Map Edit your listing. Credit: Image from Pixabay. Tags: Click tag to find related articles; click icon for feed crowdsourcing feed skills feed data feed advice feed coding feed journalism tips feed video editing feed tips for journalists feed social media newsgathering feed. Related articles Tip: Processing a large-scale story Tip: Getting started with Snapseed Six tips to improve the audio quality of your podcast Tip: Security measures for independent media Nine tips on crafting the perfect headline for print and online.
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The Digital Skill Set of a Reporter
Editorial training rss twitter. Tips for freelance journalists Learn how to keep the wolf from your door Starting out Get paid on time. Only about a quarter of job announcements mentioned professional ethics, though. And online-only news outlets were less likely to emphasize journalism ethics than print and broadcast media organizations.
5 Digital Skills Every Journalist Should Have
Volz said she and Guo plan to investigate this further in a future study. Here are some of the other things she and her co-author learned:. Looking for more research on journalism jobs? We welcome feedback. Please contact us here. Students should check that their courses will be well regarded by potential employers. The NCTJ's Diploma in Journalism reflects the multimedia environment of modern journalism and includes mandatory modules on reporting, essential public affairs and media law and shorthand.
Students also need to take a minimum of two subsidiary modules in areas such as sports journalism and media law court reporting and provide a portfolio logbook of work. You must pass the Diploma in Journalism in order to sit the professional senior qualification which demonstrates all-round competence in a range of journalistic skills, which you'd take once you'd been in relevant employment for 18 months. Entry with an HND or foundation degree is possible if you have relevant skills and experience. Some foundation degrees in journalism are recognised by the NCTJ, including the week foundation course in journalism from Press Association Training.
Reporter (full time)
You can be recruited directly by employers on to a two-year training contract, although these opportunities are increasingly rare. Competition for the limited graduate trainee places with large newspaper groups and national newspapers is extremely fierce. Programmes vary from year to year and details may not be widely circulated, as editors rely on candidates to take the initiative to research opportunities.
Entry with a postgraduate degree is possible, especially if it's an NCTJ-accredited qualification or includes relevant work experience. Postgraduate students from subjects not related to journalism will still have to gain experience and writing skills and may need to consider a relevant pre-entry course in journalism. Search for postgraduate courses in journalism. The Journalism Diversity Fund supports the training of journalists from ethnically and socially diverse backgrounds onto NCTJ-accredited courses.
To start your career in journalism, you'll need a good record of relevant work experience accompanied by a professional file of cuttings samples of your published writing. Take every opportunity to write articles and reviews for local, free, national or specialist publications, especially if you get a byline your name above the story. Get involved in student newspapers and try to build up a network of sources. The Press Association also offers work experience. Contact local newspapers and ask for work experience. A list of local newspapers can be found via the News Media Association.
June and July are the busiest times to find work experience, so be proactive and try approaching publications at other times of the year. Don't despair at rejections - editors appreciate and respect persistence and the desire to succeed. UK newspapers provide a significant employment market for journalists.
Many titles are owned by large newspaper groups at international, national or regional level, such as:.
Independent press agencies, also known as news wires, supply general interest or specialist news, features or pictures to news media. There are several leading press agencies, including:. Print titles are currently struggling and, in reaction, many newspapers are turning their attention to the growth of online journalism, where news is uploaded as it happens.
12 essential self-taught journalism skills
The media and internet and marketing, advertising and PR sectors may provide useful employer information. Jobs may be advertised via the head office of a regional group or by individual newspapers. Some newspapers rely solely on speculative applications to the editor and never advertise vacancies. Get more tips on how to find a job , create a successful CV and cover letter , and prepare for interviews. After an initial probationary period, many trainee reporters follow basic journalism training under the terms of a training contract, usually lasting up to 18 months.
These are the professional qualifications for senior newspaper journalists. Trainees with large newspaper groups and national newspapers may also receive structured training in reporting, writing, proofreading, sub-editing, layout and design and production. Smaller newspapers may not be able to provide training opportunities in these areas to the same extent.
Most journalists start on local or regional newspapers. After a few years as a general reporter, many people move on to become senior or chief reporters, or specialist writers of some kind, such as regional or topic-specific correspondents, or feature writers. Other career options include moving into news management by joining the news desk, moving into production or working on page layout and headlines as a sub-editor.
It may also be possible to move overseas as a foreign correspondent, where knowledge of the language and culture is essential. Career development depends on your performance and initiative. The skills learned on a local or regional newspaper, or through a training scheme, are relevant to reporting in all media and there is more movement from newspapers to other types of journalism than vice versa.
Learning extra skills that enable multitasking, such as video skills or web design, can be a good way to progress in your career.
Related Reporting for Journalists (Media Skills)
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