15 Signs You Are Cut Out to Work in Digital Journalism

Photo: Andrew Neel

Since the rise of the internet, journalism has evolved multiple times. Now, it’s not just about putting a pen to paper. To succeed as a digital journalist, you must have a combination of old skills and newer, more technical ones. Fortunately, that makes the career ever more diverse and exciting and gives journalists the chance to expand on many different skills. 

So, if you want to dip your toes into digital journalism, here are fifteen signs you would suit the role perfectly. 

1: You Are Always Reading the News 

There is one area that journalism hasn’t changed – the fact that it’s about distributing information. To succeed at reporting and writing stories, you must already be interested in the goings-on of the world. 

If you wake up each morning and pull out your favorite news app or even read a physical newspaper (yes – they still exist!), then it’s a sign you could do well as a journalist. After all, as a consumer, you will know exactly what the audience wants and expects. 

2: You Know How to Edit Photos and Videos

While writing skills are still essential for digital journalists, it is now crucial to also know how to use and edit photos and videos online. After all, consumers are not just looking for text for their information. It’s an even better sign that you’re cut out for digital journalism if you are actively interested in producing high-quality videos and photos on the web. 

If you are looking for ways to improve your photo and video editing skills past a digital journalism degree, try looking for online guides. You might even find some simple tips and tricks on YouTube to help get you started. 

3: You Love to Learn 

As a digital journalist, you will always be learning new things, whether that’s what is on the news that day or different ways to produce videos. Plus, it’ll also help you succeed in your digital journalism degree

It makes sense, then, that if you are genuinely passionate about soaking up as much information as possible, you are the kind of person who would succeed in digital journalism. Nobody knows how much the industry will evolve in the future, but as long as you stay open to learning different methods, you’ll be sure to always succeed. 

4: You Can Take on Multiple Projects at One Time 

In the world of digital journalism, nothing stands still – that is something that you will quickly understand. That often means you’ll be faced with multiple projects at once, so if that’s something you can do without stress, you might be the perfect fit for the role. 

Fortunately, by studying for a digital journalism degree online, you will quickly learn how to manage multiple tasks in one go, especially if you work on the side. 

5: You Have Natural Writing Abilities 

A skill that’s always been required of journalists is the ability to write well. Whether you are writing a blog, article, or social media piece, you must have a strong hold of the written word to clearly deliver your message. 

If you have natural writing abilities, but you haven’t written anything substantial in a while, a few ways to get yourself back into the swing of it include: 

  • Starting a Blog 

Blogging won’t only help improve your writing skills, but it’ll also help showcase your skills to potential employers. It also helps you build an online presence.

  • Writing a Diary 

If you haven’t written in a very long time, keeping a diary is the perfect way to get back into it, as you don’t have to show anyone the final result. Just make sure you don’t keep all your writing hidden, as you’ll never get a job in journalism that way! 

  • Keeping a Notebook on You 

Another way to improve your writing skills is to keep a notebook on you wherever you go. Then, when you get an ounce of inspiration, you can quickly jot some notes down. It is a habit you’ll need for your entire journalism career, too. 

  • Read More 

Reading more content will help you develop better writing skills. Plus, you’ll likely become inspired, especially if you read articles on subjects that you are genuinely interested in. 

6: You Are a Skilled Researcher 

As a digital journalist, you might spend more of your day researching than actually creating content. For this reason, if you are a skilled researcher, you would make an excellent journalist. For digital journalists, it’s not just a case of googling a question or skimming the headlines – you must know exactly where to look and what phrases and words to use. 

7: You Are Social Media Savvy 

Social media transformed journalism. It completely shifted the way audiences consume content, as they no longer need to pick up a newspaper or use search engines to find the latest news articles. Instead, they can browse through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to see what is going on in the subject they are interested in. Digital journalists know this and know how to use it to their advantage. 

By being social media savvy, you will have an easier time hooking the average user with images, text, and video. So, if you spend a lot of time online and have built an online presence on social media sites, you might just make an excellent digital journalist. 

8: You Always Stick to a Schedule 

Are you someone who never strays from a set schedule? Good news – you have a skill that blends well with journalism. There are thousands of news articles being produced every single day, and to keep up, you must never miss a deadline. 

By being organized with time, you’ll have an easier time managing your research, writing, editing tasks. After all, there’s no room for a journalist who is a few days behind everyone else!

9: You Own a Blog 

Another great sign that you are destined to work in digital journalism is that you own a blog, especially one that keeps up with the latest goings-on. Not only does running a blog show that you can write and keep up with a project, but it also shows you have enough interest in a particular topic to consistently put out content about it. Bonus points if you use links in your posts. 

If you don’t own a blog, but you’re interested in starting one, here are a few tips:

  • Keep to a Set Schedule 

Readers like reliability from their content sources, so try sticking to a schedule when posting, even if that means you only put out a post once every week or two. 

  • Use Eye-Catching Images 

Images are essential for attracting attention, so focus on quality over quantity. If you take your own photos, try working on your photography skills and seeing how it affects your blog’s engagement. 

  • Work on the Usability of Your Site 

No matter how well written your blog posts are, few people will stick around if the loading times are long and the links are hard to find, so make sure your blog site is user-friendly. 

Once you have mastered the art of running a blog, you should check out a digital journalism course to kick your career into action. 

10: You Love Getting Stuck in a Project 

While you’ll often have to juggle multiple tasks as a digital journalist, there will come times where you have to dig deep and get stuck in a project. If this sounds up your street, then excellent – you’d likely work extremely well on these research-heavy projects. 

11: You Know How to Use SEO 

If you are already using the right keywords to increase exposure to your content, then you would be a great fit in the world of digital journalism. This is especially true if you have previous experience in marketing and know how to rank higher on google. 

Remember, SEO is always evolving, so, to make it work as a digital journalist, you must be willing to keep up with the new developments in SEO

12: You Have a Strong Online Presence  

If you already have a strong online presence without working in journalism, then you could make an excellent career in the online world. A strong online presence means having multiple contacts, having a reasonable number of loyal followers (but remember – numbers don’t mean everything), and gaining lots of engagement on your content. It’s not easy to attain, especially as an individual, so if you have managed it, your skills will work excellently with digital journalism. 

To improve your online presence, learn about building your personal brand by studying for a digital journalism degree. 

13: You Have Excellent IT Skills 

Are you a natural wiz on a computer? If so, you’d work well on the digital side of digital journalism. It’s appealing to employers, too, as many of the IT skills are transferable. 

If you possess many of the other traits required for digital journalism, but you have not quite mastered IT, then don’t worry, as a digital journalism degree will put you on the right path by teaching you JavaScript, HTML, and more. 

14: You’re a Great Editor 

Journalism isn’t just about being able to put out excellent content first-time (although that, of course, helps), but it is also about being able to edit your work well. That includes editing your writing, videos, images, and audio content.  

15: You Have a Lot of Motivation 

To graduate from your digital journalism degree, create a strong online presence, and develop the skills necessary to thrive, you must have a lot of motivation. That means if you wake up each day ready to give as much as you want to get, then you would make an excellent fit in the world of online journalism. 

So, You Know You Want to Work in Digital Journalism. What Next? 

If you are set on becoming a digital journalist, there’s a couple of steps you must take to get you there. 

Complete a Degree 

A digital journalism degree will provide you with the necessary skills to work well. Plus, it will appeal to your potential employees and will likely land you more interviews. 

Get Comfortable with Tech and Social Media 

As mentioned, those who are naturally techy and good on social media would thrive in online journalism. If not, use the time while studying for your digital journalism degree to create a strong online presence and learn essential IT skills. 

Choose a Specialized Area

What do you enjoy writing about? One of the greatest parts about starting a career in digital journalism means that you can write about something you are genuinely interested in, whether that is sports, fashion, or worldwide news. So, determine what kind of content you want to produce and then focus on finding a job opening in that area. 

Build a Network 

Networking is a crucial part of journalism, especially when you are just starting. So, whether you are studying for your digital journalism degree or simply writing a few blog posts a week, do your best to make as many important connections as possible, as they could help you grow your career. 

Gain Experience Wherever You Can 

You don’t have to jump straight into a digital journalism career to gain valuable experience. If you’re just beginning, try reaching out to smaller businesses that might need some help with their content. A local charity, for example, would benefit from some news articles with images and videos on their website. It might not provide a paycheck at first, but it will provide you with additional experience for your resume and portfolio. During your digital journalism degree is a perfect time to look out for these opportunities.

Starting a career in digital journalism isn’t always a straight and easy path, but it does provide many excellent benefits, including large potential earnings and being able to work in a subject you are genuinely interested in. So, if a number of these signs apply to you, then consider entering the always growing field of digital journalism.