With the ever-changing role of the journalist, it is becoming increasingly important to cover as many bases as possible within the realm of communications. Because of the diminishing demand for ink-on-paper, now is the time to strengthen another skill—be it web design, photography, social media, or mastering the Adobe Creative Suite—to best position yourself against the competition.
You don’t need to be an art major do explore the possibilities of design. Learn the basics; pad your resume. Start online, the resources are never-ending. If you are interested in mastering PhotoShop, check out www.psdtuts.com for instructional videos and tutorials. Get your feet wet in the world of web design: explore the option of website templates—putting together a website is easier than you might have thought, you don’t actually have to spend the next 5 years locked in your basement studying HTML, Java, CSS, etc. Check out some amazing free templates. Make your first project to put your portfolio online.
And the best secret on the web (my favorite, at least!): www.design–newz.com. This website hand selects around 30 of very best design articles on the web each day (many of them relevant for the journalist), including everything from typography to blogging advice.
So ask yourself, what do you think the role of a journalist should include? How can you prepare yourself for your first job? What are you doing to set yourself apart from the next J-school grad? Don’t overwhelm yourself; start taking baby steps now to discover the possibilities. Read more about the changing roles of journalists.