IELTS Reading: How to get a job in journalism
Cambridge 11 Test-2, Section-2, Passage-2, General Training (GT) Question 23-27.
How to get a job in journalism
You can get a good qualification in journalism, but what employers actually want is practical, rather than theoretical, knowledge. There’s no substitute for creating real stories that have to be handed in by strict deadlines. So write for your school magazine, then maybe try your hand at editing. Once you’ve done that for a while, start requesting internships in newspapers in the area. These are generally short-term and unpaid, (Question no: 23, Answer: Internship) but they’re definitely worthwhile, since, instead of providing you with money, they’ll teach you the skills that every twenty-first-century journalist has to have, like laying out articles, creating web pages, taking good digital pictures and so on (Question no: 24, Answer: Skills).
Most reporters keep a copy of every story they’ve had published, from secondary school onwards. They’re called cuttings, and you need them to get a job — indeed a few impressive ones can be the deciding factor in whether you’re appointed or not (Question no: 25, Answer: Cutting). So, start creating a portfolio now that will show off your developing talent.
It seems obvious – research is an important part of an effective job hunt (Question no: 26, Answer: Research). But it’s surprising how many would-be journalists do little or none. If you’re thorough, it can help you decide whether the job you’re thinking about applying for is right for you. And nothing impresses an editor more than an applicant who knows a lot about the paper.
There are two more elements to an application – your covering letter and curriculum vitae. However, your CV is the thing that will attract an editor’s attention first, so get it right. The key words are brevity, (no more than one page) accuracy (absolutely no spelling or typing errors) and clarity (it should be easy to follow) (Question no: 27, Answer: Errors).
In journalism, good writing skills are essential, so it’s critical that the style of your letter is appropriate. And, make sure it conveys your love of journalism and your eagerness to do the work.
Complete the flow-chart below.
Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the text for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 23-27 on your answer sheet.
Getting a job in journalism
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