Career Profile: Journalist
Journalists can have a specialty. In large organizations, the journalists may specialize in only one task. In small organizations, each journalist may have to do many different tasks. Here are some of the jobs journalists do:
Reporters gather information and present it in a written or spoken form in news stories, feature articles or documentaries. Reporters may work on the staff of news organizations, but may also work freelance, writing stories for whoever pays them.
General reporters cover all sorts of news stories, but some journalists specialize in certain areas such as reporting sport, politics or agriculture.
Sub-editors take reporter written stories and put them into a form which suits the special needs of their particular newspaper, magazine, bulletin or web page. Sub-editors don’t usually gather information themselves. Their job is to concentrate on how the story can best be presented to their audience. They are often called subs. The person in charge of them is called the chief sub-editor, usually shortened to chief sub.
Photojournalists use photographs to tell the new. They ether cover events with a reporter, taking photographs to illustrate the written story, or attend news events on their own, presenting both the pictures and a story or caption.
The editor is usually the person who makes the final decision about what is included in the newspaper, magazine or news bulletins. He or she is responsible for all the content and all the journalists. Editors may have deputies and assistants to help them.
The news editor is the person in charge of the news journalists. In small organizations, the news editor may make all the decisions about what stories to cover and who will do the work. In larger organizations, the news editor may have a deputy, often called the chief of staff, whose special job is to assign reporters to the stories selected.
Feature writers work for newspapers and magazines, writing longer stories which usually give background to the news. In small organizations the reporters themselves will write feature articles. The person in charge of features is usually called the features editor. Larger radio or television stations may have specialist staff producing current affairs programs – the broadcasting equivalent of the feature article. The person in charge of producing a particular current affairs program is usually called the producer and the person in charge of all the programs in that series is called the executive producer or EP.
There are many other jobs which can be done by journalists. It is a career with many opportunities.