Interview questions for Journalism

While there are some fundamentals that all journalists need, such as basic knowledge of journalistic standards and practices, your interviewer will be more interested in your own individual take on what characteristics are ideal for a journalist. While it is important that you make your interviewer aware that you understand what the position entails, they want to know about how you approach the position and the qualities you possess which you feel will help you the most in the position.

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The top Interview questions for Journalism

1. What Qualities do you need to be a Journalist?

Working as part of a team is common in many media jobs. It is important that you can get on and work quickly and efficiently with the other technical and creative production team staff. Time very literally is money in media production so there is no room for staff difficulties or temperament. When there are tough deadlines or late nights everyone must pull together to complete the task at hand. An employer will want to know that you can meet these demands and that you can establish a working relationship very quickly with people who you may be meeting for the first time.

2. How Do You Stay Informed on the News and Current Events?

As journalism is particularly concerned with the news, illustrating that you are totally aware of current events, as well as the current cultural zeitgeist, is important. Listing the newspapers, magazines, television shows and websites you use to stay on top of events will help establish you as a candidate.

3. Where Does the Expression “op-ed” Come From And What Does It Mean?

The op-ed page is the page directly opposite the page that contains that particular newspaper’s editorials. It is a forum for views from people, columnists from other papers, readers and letters to the editor, etc.

4. In a world filled with fake news, how do you ensure the legitimacy of your sources?

Ensuring that your sources are legitimate is a massive part of your success and reputation as a journalist. There are so many accounts of lousy reporting, fake news and illegitimate sources these days, so you must share with the interviewer what you do to avoid this embarrassing mistake from happening to you.
One of my fast and firm rules is that I never allow for the use of anonymous sources. This rule has saved me from many embarrassing instances where I could have irresponsibly reported fake news. If I have to grant anonymity to a source, there is a lot of due diligence that must occur first.

5. What Are Tear Sheets And Clips For Copy Editors?

You can make color reductions and I am sure they will be acceptable. Journalism graphics majors at our university usually buy large portfolios–at least 12 by 17 to put their design tear sheets. Electronic PDF are becoming more and more acceptable. Some of our students here have made online digital portfolios and put their resumes and all of their tear sheets (article and design) on a website.

6. If you could write about anything, which topic would you choose and why?

I was thrilled to see your job posting for a sports writer because I live and breathe sports. I have played many sports competitively and write a sports blog in my spare time. If I could write about anything, I would choose to focus on stories of athletes who have overcome incredible obstacles, to reach their goals.

7. How Many Photographs Are Published Annually In U.s. Print Media? Is There A Declining Or Growing Market For Freelance Photography Or Stock Photography?

There is no way of knowing and no one tracks this information. There are 18,000 magazines in the U.S. published at least quarterly (and most monthly), 1,500 daily newspapers, 3,000 weekly newspapers. As far as the second question as to whether there is a growing or declining market for freelance photography–please e-mail one of my colleagues–a professor of photojournalism at Ball State University.

8. Who were the two masters of yellow journalism?

Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst

9. Name 3 qualities you include in every story you write?

I think that every story should contain characters that people can relate to, a storyline that is easy to follow and well planned, as well as a clear setting that can be imagined by the reader. When I write a story or an article, it’s important that the reader can place themselves smack dab into the middle of the story.

10. What should An “editors Note” Contain? How Does One Write It?

An editor’s note is usually found in the first several pages of a magazine and can contain anything from the editor’s most recent experiences to his/her opinion on the contents of the magazine. Editor’s notes can also contain responses to readers’ letters, new research on whatever the subject of the magazine is, event tips.

11. Why Are Professional Ethics So Important In Journalism And The Legal World?

Lawyers are held to a code of ethics by law (not that they necessarily follow it). As far as journalists are concern, it is more like a suggested set of guidelines. These days it is very rare to find any kind of ethics in Journalism.

12. What Is The Difference Between Journalism And Professional Writing?

They are very similar. Journalists generally write for the public (newspapers, magazines, websites, etc.) Professional writers can write for any kind of business, but normally must have a specific topic to write. Journalism is more general in that you learn how to write for the public. Professional writing is more private because you would likely be doing it about a specific subject and/or for a specific industry.

13. What Is The Difference Between Electronic And Print Journalism?

Electronic journalism uses electronic stuff (read computers).Print journalism uses ink (read newspapers).

14. What Is The Definition Of Journalism Ethics?

Journalism is the creativity and view of the journalist. It is writing for a newspaper or magazine, but it is the journalist opinion, view and heart on the issue.

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