Journalism School and Finding Your Niche

Ben Carney writes about his experience as an international student in BC studying journalism.

For an aspiring journalist, entering a training program inherently poses a number of questions about what type of approach a curious mind should take in their career going forward. Aside from learning about ethics, technique, or practical skills, I think that you need to be able to establish your focus and approach early on, so that you can not only pursue a career in a subject that will be fulfilling for you, but learn to fine-tune your particular style and in turn, develop professionally.

I feel that it’s essential to continually remind yourself of these ideas when approaching your writing, only then can you stay on the right track. But finding your stylistic and technical niche is not the only responsibility for a young journo. One of the primary duties of a journalist is to inform the public, so in turn they should (unless they have explicitly stated otherwise) be extremely informed on the story they’re telling — finding your niche only works if you have a strong platform to build from.

For me, the main focus in my life has been music, it’s the subject I’m most passionate about and feel like I have enough experience to communicate my feelings on and analyze effectively. Still — this doesn’t mean that the hard work will be done for me, in fact, when focusing on a subject that’s inherently subjective (as is in the case of music), it is always important to be cautious in your approach so as not to pigeonhole yourself or pit fans against you. One thing’s for certain, finding your niche takes time and consideration, and ironically journalism students don’t have much time at all.

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