Why Journalism Students Tend to Be a Step Ahead of Other Students

It's not because they get more sleep.
September 24, 2018
6 mins read

Every professional field has its benefits and shortcomings, but journalism is one field where perfection is always the goal.

Journalists have many traits that make them unique individuals and give them an edge in society and in the world in general.

1. Attention to Detail

Journalism is a field that requires explicit attention to detail. It also requires the ability to guess what someone’s next move may be before they actually do it. Not only does journalism require attention to people, but it also requires attention to places, things and events.

Journalists ask why something is happening, who is making that happen and what the consequences may be. It is a skill that some are born with and others have to work toward. Either way, detail-seeking is just one of the traits that are necessary for all journalists to be great.

2. People-Reading Skills 

Due to the fact that journalists always pay the highest attention to detail, they can read people like a book.

Having this ability is beneficial because journalists are rarely blindsided. They can anticipate things based on the way a person speaks, where they look while they’re talking and even the way they shake hands when first meeting someone.

3. Abundant Curiosity

Journalists are also curious by nature. When something happens around them, they want to get to the bottom of it. No stone is ever left unturned. The characteristic of curiosity makes journalists inherently “in the know,” so to speak. They always have a plethora of information on several subjects.

Paying attention to the world and constantly asking questions makes a person completely in tune with the events happening around them. Many people walk through life barely taking notice of the goings-on, let alone asking questions about why things happen or what the consequences of those things are. Journalists, however, are always curious and always questioning.

4. Command of the English Language

Another benefit that journalists experience is the absolute understanding of the English language. They are also usually profound and creative writers outside of their news-telling stories. Journalism requires people to always know, concretely, what they are talking about.

If a journalist spells a word wrong or does not adhere to proper grammatical procedures, they lose their credibility. They are often perfectionists and refuse to publish any work that is inaccurate in any way, shape or form.

5. Professional Demeanors

Journalists make sure to only exhibit themselves in the most professional light.

Journalism students understand the importance of appearance, meaning they generally have a better sense of self-awareness. (Image via Center for Creative Leadership)

Due to their perfectionistic nature and the fact that what they produce is tied to their names, journalists never release work that is incorrect or not worthy of news. They are held accountable for every word that they produce and therefore ensure that their work is perfect before publishing it.

6. Networking Know-It-Alls

Knowing how to interact with people is a key trait of journalism. They must know how to talk to a person to entice them to release key information for their stories. One characteristic that makes a great journalist is an outgoing and welcoming personality.

When a source feels comfortable with a journalist, they will be more apt to speak freely and divulge information they may not have if they had been on their guard. This trait comes in handy in day-to-day life as well. Being the friend, sibling, child etc. that is known as a person who is always willing to talk and pay attention to what is being said is always a great trait to have.

7. Capably Creative

Creativity is yet another skill that journalists must possess. Telling stories is not simply about delivering facts to an audience. It’s about being able to put someone in an event without them ever leaving their seat. Being creative individuals gives journalists the ability to deliver stories in a way that leaves people feeling fulfilled and educated. Having the trait of creativity also puts them a step ahead of most people because creative people are usually better at problem-solving and thinking of productive ideas.

Journalists have a wide array of unique characteristics that tend to put them a step ahead of most other people. They never leave a question unanswered or an idea unexplored. Their attention to detail, curiosity, professionalism, creativity and more make them highly successful individuals.

Anastasia Cottone, St. Bonaventure University

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Anastasia Cottone

St. Bonaventure University

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