Journalism is the timely reporting of events at the local, provincial, national and international levels. Reporting involves the gathering of information through interviewing and research, the results of which are turned into a fair and balanced story for publication or for television or radio broadcast.

Journalism is not just

* fact-finding
* media analysis
* opinion writing, or
* commentary

although all of those aspects can play a part at times.

What do beginning journalists do?

Journalists who are starting their careers normally do not do commentary or opinion pieces. Rather, they cover hard news stories such as community news, courts, crime and speeches by notable people. In broadcast, beginning journalists also may do pre-interviews and research for senior journalists.

An entry-level reporter often does “general assignment” stories rather than stories for a specific beat. General assignment stories are given out to reporters by the city desk or assignment editor.

Is journalism for you?

Asking yourself the questions below will help you determine whether journalism is a good career choice for you.

* Do you regularly read at least one newspaper or consult an online equivalent, such as
* Do you regularly watch or listen to television or radio newscasts?
* Is it important to you to keep up with current events?
* Are you interested in other people’s lives?
* Are you able to talk to a wide variety of people?
* Do you work well to deadlines?
* Are you persistent and willing to dig for information?
* Have you mastered basic writing skills? (see below for expectations)

If you answered NO to even one of the above questions, you may want to think again about whether journalism is a good match for your interests and abilities.

What does the Journalism Program at Western cover?

The Master of Arts in Journalism is a well-rounded, professional program that prepares graduates for entry-level positions in newsrooms. The program stresses a balance of academic and practical courses and offers a solid grounding in the basic tools and practices of print, broadcast and online journalism. The curriculum of the Master of Arts in Journalism program is not focused on producing graduates to work in public relations or communications positions.

Expectation of writing ability in the journalism program

It is expected that students entering the MA in Journalism program have mastered basic writing skills, including grammar, syntax and the ability to conceptualize and articulate ideas in writing. It is also expected that students possess the ability to write in English at a post-graduate level. The Admissions Panel assumes that the entrance essay provided by applicants is entirely their own work and is an accurate reflection of their writing ability. Journalism, by necessity, requires that its practitioners produce clean, competent copy on deadline, often without the benefit of external editing or extensive rewriting. Students who do not meet the expectations of writing may not achieve marks necessary for progression and could be required to withdraw from the program.

Source: What is journalism