In case you are considering a career in journalism, this article will help you understand all what is needed to become a reporter, writer or news anchor in Kenya.
Who’s a Journalist?
A Journalist is a professional trained to research and write about topics that appeal to the public. They have the ability to collect factual information and transform it into written words.
Degree desired: Bachelor’s Degree
Field of study: Journalism, English and literature, communication, rhetoric and writing, composition, social and behavioral sciences.
Key skills: Critical thinking, persuasive communication skills, keen to detail, motivated, persistence, interpersonal skills, accuracy, ability to meet deadlines.
Job Salary expectation: Ksh. 36,000- 700,000
What does a Journalist do?
They write and report news stories about everything, from social issues and politics to sports and entertainment, anchoring a newscast and producing different content, presenting information to the audience, they educate and inform the public about different issues affecting their lives. They peruse press releases and developing story ideas and verifying facts.
Some of the top TV stations in Kenya include Citizen TV, KTN, NTV, K24 and KBC
Steps of becoming a Journalist
One of the keys to starting a career in journalism is getting your Bachelor’s Degree which often takes four years to complete. To pursue this in university, you ought to have an average grade of C+ and above and B plain and above in English. Based on the type of journalism for example investigative or broadcast, you should choose a major that will help you learn about that specific field. A master’s degree can equip you with more skills for a more lucrative and senior position.
- Complete an internship
Participating in an internship with different media houses will help you gain exposure to your field of study. You will also be able to handle factual information or even take part in compiling the final information before it is published or aired out.
- Establish connections
Networking is important in any field and so it is in communications-focused fields like journalism that rely on strong professional networks. The best way to do this is by approaching different media houses, reporters or editors you admire and connect with them. Afterwards express yourself, state your skills, experience and the goals you wish to achieve. Ask for any advice or support which can propel you through your career.
- Job opportunities
As a Journalist, you can search for jobs in these media houses among many others; KBC, Radio Africa Group, Royal media services, Nation Media Group, Mediamax communication group, Standard media group, which are regulated by the Communication Commission of Kenya.
- Group Association
Joining an association that safeguards interests and rights of journalists will give you an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of being a member. Such benefits are; networking, getting information about different educational and also job opportunities. You can register as a member in The Media Council of Kenya which is an independent national institution made for journalists among other media related careers.
Being accredited by the Media Council of Kenya makes it easy for you to cover events in restricted areas like Parliament, State House, Courts e.t.c