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The field of journalism has branched out from simple print publications into a broad array of media and delivery methods. The Internet has changed the face of reporting and researching the news, so the avenues for gaining journalism work experience have broadened in a sense. While networking on a face to face level has been and certainly still is the best way to get one's foot in the door and gain journalism work experience, several other opportunities exist that are both convenient and valuable.
The Internet is perhaps the easiest way to gain journalism work experience. Web logs, known as blogs, allow anyone with an Internet connection the opportunity to deliver information to a vast audience. A good blog can give a candidate journalism work experience by showcasing that person's writing and research ability, willingness to adhere to deadlines, and other qualities employers look for in a journalist. A blogger must keep in mind that his or her blog must maintain a clear focus, use only reliable sources, and adhere to typical rules and styles of journalism for it to be a valid sample of journalistic talent. Video logs, or vlogs, as well as audio podcasts are other ways a journalist can hone his or her craft.
If journalism is a career choice, a potential journalist should consider going to school to study the field. Often, undergraduate and graduate programs offer assistance in acquiring journalism work experience both during and after schooling. Many schools set up programs that help students get internships in the field at establishments such as newspapers, magazines, websites, radio stations, and other news organizations. Not only does such a path give the candidate valuable journalism work experience, but it also helps the candidate network with other journalists who can potentially aid the candidate in finding full-time work or other opportunities after schooling.
Work experience can also be obtained on a local level. Local radio and television stations are often more willing to take on interns — most likely in an unpaid capacity — which can give a candidate valuable experience without having to invest in schooling. Community newsletters are also a good way to practice writing and reporting skills, or any newsletter for other types of establishments, such as businesses or non-profit groups. One must remember, however, that a journalist's primary loyalty is to the people, so the truth should be told as accurately as possible without the influence of outside forces.
The best way to get journalism work experience is to simply get a job -- any job -- in the field, preferably on the news or sports side of the business (or in whatever department interests you). Newspapers are always looking for interns, copy editors or people willing to take general assignment jobs to get some experience and then take on a beat later.
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