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Important Characteristics of a Good Journalist

Ruby writes from the Philippines. She teaches communication and education courses in a HEI. She enjoys reading and travelling.


Do well-known journalists and the moral ideals they uphold inspire you? Maybe you're wondering. What distinguishing characteristics do they possess? There are certain essential traits that a professional journalist possesses, from courage to honesty, integrity to determination. You should possess these traits if you want to pursue a career in journalism.

Complete knowledge

You must be current with events in order to be a good journalist. To keep up with current events, read a variety of news sources in both print and digital formats. Before you go out to cover a story and write about it, you should also have some background knowledge. Your ability to conduct research to learn the crucial information about a story is very beneficial.

The Art of Words

How can you tell the difference between a mediocre news story and an intriguing news piece? Writing effectively can make a huge difference. An article's factual information should pique the interest of the reader, and the writer should be able to produce one that is free of errors, grammatically correct, and concise.


Analytical Techniques

When working on a story, a journalist relies on facts and evidence rather than feelings. An ideal journalist should be perceptive and have the analytical capacity to determine whether there is more to a situation. A journalist should be able to weigh a situation critically, whether it is determining the veracity of sources or evaluating an incident. Prior to writing the story, use good judgment to confirm the information.

Skills in Effective Communication

An ideal journalist needs to have strong communication skills, just like in any other profession. If you understand people and have a good rapport with them, you can gather the necessary details for a story. Journalists should be fluent in English and knowledgeable about how to write a story that would interest the target audience. An ideal journalist should also be able to take charge of a situation if the interview goes wrong.

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Confidence and competence

Even though you are still in your internship phase and a fresher, you should view yourself as a professional. Meeting deadlines, being prepared to start work before regular business hours, and having the courage to accept editorial criticism are all examples of professionalism in the journalism field. In order to succeed, journalists should also exude confidence. However, you should always be eager to improve your skills and learn from your shortcomings.


Persistence and self-control

Journalism is a career that demands effort and perseverance. Sometimes it takes months to track down a lead and get a story into the papers. An ideal journalist must maintain discipline and not give up on a story during such times. Even if they have been praised for their work, a journalist's ultimate goal should always be to discover the truth and pursue justice.

Ethics are also crucial.

Journalists occasionally compromise their ethics for fame and money because there is so much competition to advance in the race. Even if it aids in learning the truth behind a story, a good journalist should always act morally and never engage in illegal activity. Writing a new piece should place more emphasis on accuracy and sincerity.
From newspapers to magazines, from print to electronic media, the field of journalism requires a certain set of critical abilities and personality traits to succeed. If you want to work in journalism, you should consider whether you possess these necessary abilities.

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