Interpersonal Skills Relevant to a Journalist
Journalism is a calling, just like nursing and spiritual matters. The long working hours, the patience, and negativity that comes with the job are of another level.
Without a hard and strong-willed heart, you will leave the career along the way. We also can’t forget the fun that comes with the job.
You go to places where you can’t access without the media tag. The adventure when reporting high-level events; the test comes when given challenging assignments like reporting a terror attack or a rebel group.
The confidentiality and high level of privacy characterize this noble profession.
The social skills that support the interaction to get information are vital for any journalist. That explains why introverts can’t be journalists.
How will they get information from people when they are reserved with theirs? Can they change roles and put on a delay control helmet and report while inside a nuclear industry?
- Communication skills
You will only get information when you communicate. As a journalist, at times, you go to a scene where the event had already taken place.
You have to get information from different sources and pile them together for a press release.
In that case, you need to have top-notch communication skills. There are three types of communication
Whatever your choice, use it wisely to get the right information from witnesses. Non-verbal communication says a lot about your attitude.
If you are friendly, it can be seen from your outward look. Verbal communication has to do with tone.
Visual communication not only involves the use of traditional and digital technologies to communicate in picture form. You have to use all of them appropriately to choose what works for you.
- Team player
Journalists never walk alone. It’s a comprehensive career that needs support from all departments for its success.
A news reporter needs video editors, producers, and camera operators for their work. There is no way a journalist can be a lone ranger; unless it’s during exam time.
Working as a group to complete tasks is the real definition of teamwork in the media industry.
It simplifies work and makes it fun and enjoyable despite the challenges and challenging environment associated with the profession.
- Conflict resolution skills
At times you are reporting a humanitarian situation that needs conflict skills to get information.
Look at a case where you are reporting the dire need for food in a refugee camp. You want to film and report how they are fighting for food, and in a real sense, they are getting a physical injury.
You have to control the issue at hand and get the right information to get relevant bodies’ attention.
- Listening skills
You don’t have the information. You also don’t want to misquote reports in the name of journalism.
Some of the cases are technical that needs a lawyer’s mind to gauge what is right or wrong. Take note; you are supposed to be non-partisan at all costs.
Your only savior in such a situation is that you have to be an excellent listener to sieve the right and the wrong.
That proves as the only way to get valuable, factual, and relevant information. You are on the news desk, and a reporter gives an account of the event- breaking news.
You have to listen carefully and relay the right information lest you go through a legal battle due to misinterpretation of information.
What is your confidence level? What can people say about your integrity?
Do you stand for what is right even when you get compromised with material or financial gains?
If you aren’t assertive in this industry, your days are numbered.
You have to stand for what is right even if it will rub shoulders with who-is-who in society in the wrong way.
It reaches a point in this profession where your consciousness and level of professionalism give you the year’s tag- media personality.
- Decision making
Whether you are in the field or at the editor’s desk or the news desk, you have to decide in the industry.
Remember, you carry the mantle of millions of readers or listeners or viewers who wait for your decision in very sensitive matters.
Use some level of wisdom in such a situation. That now dictates why you should report some things and leave the others.
You have minimal time allocated for some news, yet all of them seem to be of public interest.
You have to embrace string negotiation skills to convince your boss why you need to air some information and leave the rest due to the interest of time? (TV) or space ?( newspaper).
That is the point your negotiation skills are put to the test.
What are your strengths as a journalist? What are you doing about your weaknesses? It is a journey; identify your strength and capitalize on them as you also work on your weaknesses to become better every day.