Friday - - Grooming -

Q I’m in 9th grade and peo­ple are al­ready ask­ing me about what ca­reer I’ll be choos­ing. I think I might be in­ter­ested in be­com­ing a travel jour­nal­ist. Do you have any tips on how I can pur­sue this ca­reer?

AIt goes with­out say­ing that as a travel jour­nal­ist you should have ex­cel­lent writ­ing skills and be ar­tic­u­late in com­mu­ni­cat­ing your thoughts. In ad­di­tion, you should en­joy trav­el­ling to ob­scure places, meet­ing peo­ple and have a nose for a story based on facts.

A travel jour­nal­ist tells a story in­volv­ing peo­ple that are unique to that place and does so in a way that re­lays the facts. The au­then­ti­ca­tion of facts is cen­tral to be­ing a jour­nal­ist.

You may find it dif­fi­cult to land a full-time job as a travel writer as the ma­jor­ity of pub­li­ca­tions re­sort to free­lance writ­ers for their ar­ti­cles. They tend not to be on their pay­roll.

Hav­ing said that the ad­van­tage of be­ing a free­lance writer is that you could ei­ther make it a full-time pro­fes­sion or com­bine it with an­other job.

While the art of jour­nal­ism and skill of writ­ing is not in­nate to every per­son, it can be taught. A jour­nal­ism de­gree will be use­ful. It will fo­cus on the ba­sic writ­ing skills re­quired of any free­lance writer, and pro­vides tu­ition for those wish­ing to write travel pieces. To be­come known and even be­fore you em­bark on for­mal education it is pru­dent to start writ­ing a blog on travel. Rather than writ­ing about the most com­mon and well-trav­elled cities and sights, try and carve a niche. If the ma­te­rial is al­ready in a guide­book you are not adding any­thing of value.

Se­lec­tion for a job or ar­ti­cle will be less based on the de­gree you are pur­su­ing but more on the ar­ti­cles and blogs you have writ­ten.

You also need to de­cide the type of jour­nal­ism you would like to pur­sue such as news­pa­pers, mag­a­zines, tele­vi­sion, or on­line – each re­quires a dif­fer­ent skill set.

SAN­JEEV VERMA is an in­ter­na­tional education coun­sel­lor

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