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Why I want to help you get admitted to Graduate School in Journalism

As an old man who has spent his life engaged with issues of social justice and social change, journalism has always been close to my heart since it is the foundation of social change and renewal. As someone with a PHD in Social Ethics, I have always been especially engaged with the moral implications of journalism, While journalists in the United States and European countries have led in formulation and adoption of codes of ethical conduct, these standards can be found in news reporting organizations in most countries with freedom of the press. The written codes and practical standards vary somewhat from country to country and organization to organization, but there is a substantial overlap among mainstream publications and societies. The International Federation of Journalists launched a global Ethical Journalism Initiative in 2008 aimed at strengthening awareness of these issues within professional bodies.

Career Possibilities in Journalism

Study how journalism is presented today, how cultures have communicated such information in the past, and how to work within the structure of the industry with a degree in journalism. College degrees in journalism come with a range of options, from broad-based communications degrees to focused electronic communication studies. Choose among the following popular journalism degree options:

  • Visual Journalism
  • Journalism
  • Electronic or Print Journalism
  • Mass Communication
  • Media Criticism

Journalism combines elements of sociology, economics, politics, communication, and psychology within print, broadcast, or electronic media. By earning a journalism degree online, you get a chance to look deeper into a field with a rich history and evolving future.

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Typical Coursework in Journalism Career Training

The coursework in a journalism major depends highly on the specialization you choose. In an investigative reporting major, for example, students might expect to complete the following courses:

  • Journalism Ethics
  • Advanced Reporting
  • Elective Reporting Topics
  • Media Criticism

In general, expect associate degrees in journalism to offer a basic, focused look at the field, bachelor's degrees to provide a broad base of education, and graduate degrees to give students a chance to focus their education based on their specific research interests.

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The Humanitarian Side of Journalism

You can make your journalism career humanitarian faster than you can say Scooby Doo, and frankly, it´s brave to even consider moving in this direction.

According to Maia Gedde, the authors of Working in International Development and Humanitarian Assistance: a career guide, there are lots of opportunities, but a master´s degree alone won´t guarantee you a job. The most important thing is relevant experience, says Maia. Here are some more tips from this author:

  • It might be easier and faster to gain experience within the corporate sector first, if you´re a graduate that´s just left college. Corporate employers have more resources for your professional development, which you can use to gain skills and experience, before slipping seamlessly into the competitive world of nonprofits.
  • Don’t jump straight into a master´s. You might find out you don´t like working in the area you´ve specialized in way too late, and have to go back and study another expensive graduate degree, or end up bitter about your options. Not nice. Working between your bachelor´s and master´s for a few years will help you focus and find out what´s really out there for the taking, and how you can do the most good through something you´re passionate about.
  • Don´t forget that you don´t need to study in your own country to get a master´s. Gedde recommends the programs offered by institutions in Scandinavian countries, which are free of charge for EU nationals.
  • Note that the communications roles within NGOs are varied: there´s internal communications, corporate communications for PR and advocacy, and communications for development C4D. Try each one, perhaps before you do a master´s, and you´ll know which you´d like to specialize in to make you stand out from that big old crowd.
  • Don´t forget that you can freelance, especially for smaller nonprofit organizations, which usually can´t afford to take on a full-timer, and may allow you to gain experience early or in a more flexible manner.

 There are many things you can do to crack into this rapidly changing sector. Work hard, remain determined no matter what happens, and try some tricks of the trade for getting inside that door.

Volunteering in a country you´re interested in can give you some great insights into what it´s like to work for an NGO. Tapping into your social and professional networks can unearth some interesting connections you could use to your advantage. Starting a blog, writing guest posts in the development space and showing you´re a motivated, effective communicator can´t hurt your career prospects. could be a cool place to begin.


There are many opportunities out there to get involved in human rights, aid organizations and NGOs of all types. Journalists for Human Rights is currently looking for volunteers with a journalism degree to contribute to media development and human rights awareness in Eastern and Southern Africa for periods of up to 12 months at a time. If you don´t want to travel, there are opportunities that allow you to work from home.

As mentioned, communications jobs allow you to work within the many humanitarian organizations that don´t work with news coverage specifically, but liaise with the media about their various activities, like The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), a humanitarian organization with 60 years´ experience helping create a safer life for refugees. It is currently looking for a Media Adviser, who will be responsible for implementing NRC´s international media relations, external communication and its day-to-day appearance in international media; providing media training and support to relevant NRC staff; gathering media content and archiving photos and B-roll, etc.

The required qualification for this role include a minimum of 3 years of experience in professional media and communication work; experience in the field, preferably within NRC program countries; experience with photography and/or video editing. The duty station is in Oslo and the contract period is 12 months.

Save the Children is currently seeking an Information and Communications Manager. This 6-month contract position involves: delivering vital information and communication products during emergency response, enabling excellent media and fundraising activities for Save the Children Members and across Save the Children International. A master´s degree or equivalent field experience are listed as essential. You will be posted in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, where there is a large expatriate community.

Master´s Programs

There are a number of ways to specialize if you´re interested in development and humanitarianism. Here are a few options.

The M.A. in Journalism, War and International Human Rights at the University of Lincoln, UK, is a 12-month program that costs GBP 15,605 per year. You can focus on war and the media, journalism and conflict resolution, international human rights for journalists, core broadcast or core writing for your final project. Teachers on the program have produced seminal texts on the field of peace journalism, according to their website, and they have connections with CND, MoD, Peace Pledge Union and other organizations.

The M.A in Journalism, Media and Globalization at Aarhus University, Denmark, is a European Erasmus Mundus Master´s program for those who wish you acquire the intellectual tools to practice journalism in our globalized world. This two-year program costs 8000 Euros per year for international students and non-EEA members. You can gain knowledge in one of the following specialist areas: media and politics, business and finance reporting, journalism and media across cultures or war and conflict.

The M.A. in The Politics of Conflict and Violence is a 24-month, online program offered by the University of Leicester that costs GBP 7805 for the full program. It´s designed to equip you with all the skill and resources you need to ask critical questions about the politics of conflict and violence occurring in the world, and includes the study of the following course: the politics of war and peace, the changing character of war, the nature and theoretical conceptualization of violence, humanitarian intervention. It´s also great for your professional development if you want to tackle a position at a non-governmental organization, the UN or in the media.

Ready to start your master´s study program? It´s bound to be an unforgettable period of your life, but sometimes it´s hard to get onto the program you want to be accepted onto the most. Need some assistance starting your humanitarian academic career? That´s what we´re here for! Get in contact as soon as you can so we can begin on your statement right away.

Sample Introduction to PS in Journalism, Master's Degree, Chinese Applicant

Becoming a world class journalist without national boundaries is my goal, acting always in the public interest and staying loyal to the truth to the extent to which it is possible to do so – especially in China. I look forward to a long professional lifetime of conversation with people from all walks of life, embracing the intellectual diversity of multicultural minds. I aspire to have the courage to step on the toes of important entities. The MA Program in Journalism at XXXX University if my first choice for graduate school because …

Personal Statement of Purpose for Admission to Graduate School in Journalism, Master's MA, PHD.

Few fields of study prepare a young person for as wide a range of interesting and challenging careers. Journalists first and foremost learn to write, to accumulate and analyze information. This set of skills is in demand in a host of fields beyond traditional mass media.

The study of journalism exposes a student to current affairs and problems, from issues of campus governance to international news and concerns. Journalism students are expected to question, challenge sources of information, and seek a variety of data and opinions on any serious issue. These skills are useful in many interesting professions as well as the media itself. Journalism students are given the daily opportunity to practice what they learn, in hands-on student publication laboratories, culminating in a professional internship. The world of work is but a quick step from the world of the classroom and laboratory.

Please note, however, that while almost all Western countries have "freedom of the press", where journalists can have great control over what they can research, write and publish about. Not all countries have this privilege. Many countries oppress the freedom of speech and of the press. In fact, many journalists in these countries are oppressed or censored by their governments.

Many journalists are held hostage, captured or detained during conflicts in other countries. They are expected to be treated as civilians and to be released to their home countries - however this is not always the case. Situations such as these can become extremely dangerous.