There’s More Than One Way to Become a Journalist

Casey Marley

casey-marley-photoI did not come to college with the intention of majoring in my native language. I knew I wanted to work with media, and through this desire I found journalism through working at and eventually becoming the editor of our campus newspaper. By learning the trade outside of the classroom, I found that my English classes were actually helping me more at my job than any other classes.
With hard work, your English degree can help you work towards your goal of becomming a journalist in ways you might not realize:

Those core literature classes teach you how to examine and question.

By studying literature, you learn how to break apart and examine word choices, question an author’s motives, put pieces in context, and simply ask questions. Not only will you start to see stories in daily life, but you learn how to question those in charge of your community—a curiosity necessary to become a good journalist.

Those papers you write constantly will make you a great writer.

Journalists write constantly, so if you have an interest in journalism you need to have a command of the English language with the ability to produce multiple 500 word articles each day and understand the editing process. By having professional rhetoricians and English scholars critique your work while in school, you become a skilled writer, the core component of any job in journalism.

The professional writing program gives you practical experience.

Want opportunities to become published and learn how to code? The Professional Writing program does just this. In “Writing for Popular Periodicals,” my final project required me to write an actual magazine article, which later published. In “Digital Publishing,” UAB students learn how to apply their writing skills in a extremely marketable way: learning how to code HTML and CSS to build their own portfolio while building and managing the Memorandum website and newsletter.

Brandon Varner, a soon to graduate English major, has proven that the Professional Writing program can prepare you for this career field.

“I think that I couldn’t have accomplished my goals without the professional writing program. The layout and design training I gained in the program has been invaluable in my time at Kscope, and through my position at Kscope I attracted attention from AL.com. I wouldn’t be where I am today without Dr. Bacha and the program at UAB,” the current Kaleidoscope Editor-in-Chief and Community Blogger for AL.com said.

If journalism appeals to you as a Professional Writing student, you’ve come to the right place. The supporting community of faculty members and peers will help you in your career-discovery journey.

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