A journalist has an aesthetic in the same way that a painter or sculptor has an aesthetic. Their aesthetic is their style, the way they express their work, and it can be quite different from how you would express your work in a magazine or book. Here are five ways to become an excellent journalist.
First, get out of the house. A reporter works from home, taking considerable amounts of time away from family, friends, and other interests. If you have a lot of these other interests, you might not be cut out for this kind of work. Also, if you are a morning person, you may not want to spend a lot of time in a newsroom during the regular business hours. You will need to find other outlets for your energy.
Second, decide what type of work you want to do. There are many different types of work as a journalist, and you will likely be doing a variety of them. Some types of work will be better suited to your personality and skills, and some will not. For example, if you are more comfortable taking pictures than writing, you might do better as a photographer instead of as a journalist.
Third, decide on your formal training and education. Most newsrooms require that you have at least a bachelor’s degree, but some may also require a master’s or doctorate degree, depending on where you live. Your formal training should include subjects like communication, composition, and journalism, but it is up to you to make sure that the school that you choose focuses on the particular field you plan to work in once you become a journalist.
Fourth, get out into the field. You will probably spend a lot of time working with your editors and producers, so you will have to develop a good relationship with them. Try to make friends with several of them to get to know each of them better. Find out what makes each of them tick, and make friendships outside of work. The more you know about your coworkers, the more you will be able to tell your readers about your own experiences.
Finally, practice your new skills. Once you have spent several months practicing your new craft in the field, you will probably be ready to hit the ground running. Make plenty of copies of your work and post it online for others to view. If you are feeling particularly brave, give your superiors a copy as well, and ask for critiques from your co-workers. You will need all of the help you can get once you start becoming a journalist aesthetic.