Journalist

Cities are dynamic hubs of physical, social and economic actions and interactions, with fast changing environments, adapting to, for example dense housing that integrates well with surroundings, increasing demand for safe and clean energy, green open spaces, water efficiency, carbon efficient transport, amongst others. Relevant and current information fosters an understanding of environmental trends and patterns that can inform sustainability actions in government, business and households. Environmental journalism collects, processes, packages and distributes information to keep people informed about current environmental affairs.

Journalists gather information and prepare stories through varied media to inform the public about local, national and international noteworthy and current events. They collect information through research, observation, sources, briefings, events and interviews and verify data collected before collating it into a format that will be shared. Some investigate specific topics such as environmental incidents and can report on environmental policy changes, disputes as well as environmental wins.

Journalists engage with a variety of stakeholders from citizens to policy makers to obtain information about their topic of interest. They can travel to sites of interest, returning to office environments or research centres to obtain further insight and to develop stories.

Skills

Journalists require a comprehensive understanding of physical and digital media production and communication and the ability to quickly develop clear, concise and objective content. They will also benefit from:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Extensive interpersonal and social skills
  • Strong research and investigative skills
  • A keen attention to detail

Tasks

Collect information through research, interviews and other investigation methods

Factcheck, analyse and verify information for accuracy

Write and assemble material for publication

Liaise and network with stakeholders of interest

Studies

B.A., B.A. (Hons), M.A. in Journalism at RU, SU, UFS, UJ and Wits

B.A., B.A. (Hons), M.A. in Media Studies at NMU, UCT, UKZN, UL, UNISA and Univen

Diploma, Advanced Diploma, M.Tech in Journalism at CPUT, DUT, TUT and WSU

Employers

National, provincial and local government.

Newspaper and magazine houses.

Radio and television studios.

NGOs, community-based and development organisations and private consultancies.

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