This article is written in order to bring to your perusal the necessary step to step guide on how to become a Journalist in Nigeria.
Things are happening every day in our world: good things, bad things, and ugly things. We get to hear some of them but a great deal of them do not get to our ears.
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There are times we come across a piece of information and want to circulate it. There are even times we see things around us and we wish to draw public attention to it but we cannot.
If you have ever thought about being in a position to gather factual information about current events and sharing them with the public, then you might want to read this. In other words, if you wish to become a journalist in Nigeria, then this post is for you.
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A journalist is a professional who reports news and current affairs. A journalist does not create news; he or she gathers facts about a current event and publishes the same to the public.
Whatever may be the events you choose to report about, just note that it must be up to date and newsworthy. A journalist might also be involved in the analysis of news.
So here is a list of steps on How to Become a Journalist in Nigeria:
1. Traditionally, the best action plan is to join the art class in senior secondary school, paying particular attention to such subjects as English Language and Literature
Proceed to the university or polytechnic to study communication arts or mass communication. At graduation, you should be able to tell what kind of media to work in.
2. Alternatively, you do not need a degree in communication arts to become a 21st-century journalist in Nigeria
This is because global trends in information and communication technology have made almost everything possible for almost anybody.
You just need to have a curious interest in journalism and a liberal knowledge of almost everything. Just be current. You might however want to learn global best practices in journalism to guide your passion.
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3. Choose your career path
Journalism is a broad career. This is because of the division in media. There are print media and electronic media.
The print media is traditionally involved in the production of newspapers, dailies, magazines, etc. The electronic media covers radio and television broadcasting.
You might also want to work as a freelance journalist, writing articles for news agencies without being fully employed by them. You choose which fits you.
4. Prepare for the job
You have to be prepared for the job of a journalist if you want to be hired. A good journalist reads wide. Reading wide broaden your horizon and helps you develop the ability for critical thinking.
It also prepares you for the research you will be doing on the job. You can also prepare by writing free news articles for school magazines, news agencies, etc.
Build a wealth of experience. In today’s Nigeria where potential employers seek applicants with many years of experience, you can build such experience before you ever get your first real job.
If a good news agency finds you good, committed, and reliable, it will definitely hire you.
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5. Get voice training
If you have chosen to be a radio or television presenter, you need to get trained on the nitty-gritty of verbal newscasting.
Some radio and TV stations have training schools for would-be presenters. Enroll in one. You might even be taken after the training course.
Go for presenting auditions. You can also use internet materials to upgrade your presentation skills. Study presenters, you admire and try to model them.
Get rid of any unnecessary accent in your spoken English. Polish your pronunciation.
6. Have your unique writing style
Are there journalists whose reporting or interviewing styles you admire? You can model them and become better.
Find good journalists who inspire you and follow their outputs. Practice on how to write better. Improve your lexicon.
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7. Join a labour union
There are different trade unions for the different fields of journalism in Nigeria. These unions help in regulating journalism practices in the country. Find out which one is the umbrella body for workers in the particular field you have chosen and join them.
Follow those simple steps. Be creative and observant. Keep an open mind. You will find out that becoming a journalist in Nigeria is not very difficult.
Success to you in your career!