Journalism Topics: 20 Subjects Briefly Explained

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Journalism Topics: 20 Subjects Briefly Explained

Journalism is a vital part of society that provides us with the means to gather, communicate, and even interpret events. Some journalism topics are rather mundane, focusing on entertainment or hobbies. Others are undoubtedly essential to maintaining freedoms in the modern world through encouraging transparency in government and finance as well as keeping people educated about current events. The following are some topics that apply to journalism on various levels.

Starting with the Basic Areas of Journalism

1. General Journalism

General journalism refers to both the act of performing journalism as well as the study of its theoretical groundwork. This groundwork includes the process of news making, journalism principles and applications, the relation of news to reality, and the social functions of the press.

Both these areas can vary greatly between countries and regions based on various factors. Some governments try to control and limit journalism for personal gain. Others just don’t have the means to allow journalism to flourish. It is often a battle between power, ethics, and society to make journalism successful.

2. Visual Communication

Visual communication is the use of various information and ideas in a visible form. It involves the transmission of data through imagery and symbols. The field itself relies on eyesight in part or whole and is very prominent in advertising through visual media. This includes televisions, print publishing, and websites.

Journalists put visual communication to use when they report live, use photography, or create diagrams, caricatures, and cartoons. Visual stimuli help keep readers and viewers engaged, as well as explain ideas more clearly.

The Original Media Used in Journalism

3. Newspaper Reporting

Reporting for a newspaper is one of the classic and most common topics in journalism. It involves gathering news, interviewing subjects, writing stories, and much more to distribute current information to the public. The physical (or online) newspaper itself is just a small part of the process.

A newspaper reporter can either choose to work on certain specialized issues or deal with general issues, and may either work for a larger firm or as a freelancer. They need to be adept at dealing with people, following leads, fact-checking information, and being fair and thorough.

4. Broadcast Journalism

Broadcast journalism is a field of news which typically publishes by electronic means instead of other conventional methods like physical newspapers and magazines. Like other areas of journalism, it aims to present information in a concise, accurate, and interesting manner. But, it does so by using medium such as radio, television, and the Internet.

This helps the information disperse more quickly while being more available to a greater audience of people. With broadcast journalism, news of events can be updated and efficiently communicated to millions of people across the globe almost instantaneously. However, it is also often much less formal, allowing for more flexibility in standards in areas such as social media.

Newer Media Recently Introduced to Journalism

5. Photojournalism

Photojournalism is an interesting form of journalism which uses powerful photography in addition to or in place of words to present information. It includes editing, collecting, and presentation news and other information for broadcast or publication. Traditionally it has only included images, but nowadays videos are also used in photojournalism.

While a regular journalist uses a paper and pen to tell their story, a photojournalist uses their camera to get a visual representation of the story. This can add impact to the viewer by helping them fully imagine the reality of the story by essentially seeing it with their own eyes, if indirectly.

6. Social Media

Social media is a computer-based technology that brought about the sharing and creation if ideas, career interests, information and other types of expression through networks and communities. It fully relies on the internet and it facilitates the sharing of information and ideas and the building of communities and virtual networks.

As a topic in journalism, journalists can use social media in various ways to help reach a wider audience. Although social media is less formal than other journalistic avenues, this has its own benefits. Through social media, journalists can share larger quantities of information, and personalize it more to their own interests. They can also communicate directly with readers through online messaging and comments.

Fields in Journalism Heavy in Writing

7. Freelance Writing

Freelance writing is a field of journalism in which writers are self-employed and working outside the confines of an office. It is a highly flexible form of work allowing writers to work on various types of projects for different organizations and publications at one time.

The scope of the writer’s skills determines their level of pay for their work. Freelance writers usually get gigs from freelance websites which work to connect writers with clients in need of completing fitting projects.

8. Technical Writing

Technical writing is a form of writing that usually aims to solve different technical questions for different audiences. This topic in journalism usually involves writing for formal sources on technical or serious matters. These might range from technology, to science, to world events and politics.

This form of writing requires instruction, direction, and most importantly, explanation. Technical writers can prepare journal articles, instruction manuals, and some other documents to help communicate technical and complex information easily.

Literature as a Topic in Journalism

9. Comparative Literature

Comparative literature studies the common features of literature across geographical and national boundaries. It takes an interdisciplinary, intercultural, global perspective to explore the relationship between cultural expressions within different media.

Literature is not only compared to other literature, but also to other parts of society such as government, entertainment, science, art, and more. This then helps us compare and understand differences in cultures through time and location, and sheds light on historical events and modern movements. In this sense it is similar to international relations. Both comparative literature and international relations are key to successful journalism, especially in the global setting.

10. English Literature

You guessed it; English literature is the study of literature as expressed in the English language from around the world. It dates back more than 500 years and covers every dominant genre and writing style. These days, literature includes a growing number of mediums, expanding the field even further.

As a journalism topic, it is useful for ensuring proficiency and expertise in the language. While communication of ideas and information is key in journalism, the way we do it is important, too. The study of English literature allows for greater eloquence and precision in any given form of communication.

11. History of Literature

History of literature can be defined as a historical development of writings in poetry or prose that tries to provide enlightenment, entertainment, as well as instruction to the listener/observer/reader.

Studying this history is applicable to the field of journalism because it allows for understanding past methods. Learning from the past then leads to improvement of current methods. Like all historical study, it provides a reference which can show the effects of certain changes in the past. Then, with this reference, we can hopefully decide if certain actions should be repeated or avoided.

12. Literary Theory

Literary studies is the study of different works of imagination, of which drama, narrative fiction, and poetry constitute today the most familiar genres or types. Most teachers and students of literature, however, see it as a complex matter. Literary studies can also be defined as a set of methods for examining the diversity and richness of experience through the use of language.

Journalists need to capture an audience through their work. Being familiar with literary theory gives them the tools to write in a captivating manner on whichever topic it may be. Then, literary devices can guide the reader through the thought process of the journalist or the story of someone that the journalist is writing about.

Areas in Journalism that Focus on Building Relations

13. Communications

Communications is the field of generating messages that can be sent and understood across gaps between people. This means gaps in culture, language, knowledge, and other contexts which we experience daily with every other person we meet. Figuring out how to communicate ideas so that they close these gaps is an art that allows us to better understand our differences, as well as our similarities that we may not have even known existed.

Communications is (optimally anyway) applied in all areas of society. From basic conversations and debates between people, as well as to negotiations between nations and businesses. Even the Voyager space telescope is equipped to attempt communications with other lifeforms in the universe on its journey through space. In journalism, this topic helps ensure information gets across clearly to all available recipients.

14. Public Relations

Public relations means the relationship between various groups of people, such as the public, companies, and government agencies. The work of public relations includes projecting a positive image for a particular group when communicating with others. This helps them achieve their goals by getting others on their side of an issue.

PR is becoming increasingly important in the modern world. The public is able to obtain information more easily and form opinions on practically any given matter. Thus, it’s important to maintain positive public relations in journalism to keep the audience focused on the information at hand without being distracted by other aspects of the organization.

Journalism Topics that Embrace Creativity

15. Creative Writing

Creative writing is an area that extends beyond the confines of writing news, education material, or other fact-based information. It includes poetry, fiction, non-fiction novels, short stories, playwriting, screenwriting, and more.

It usually emphasizes character development, narrative craft, and the use of literary tropes. Through these devices it aims to elicit thought, feelings, and emotions from readers. These qualities help it reach readers on a deep level to share experiences and emotions that otherwise might be hard to capture. This is why opinion pieces, short stories, and cartoons are common topics in journalism publications.

16. Poetry

Poetry is an aspect of literature that uses rhythm and aesthetic qualities of languages to evoke meaning. These qualities include sound symbolism, meter, and phonaesthetics. These qualities let poetry express ideas and feelings with increased intensity and style, evoking specific emotional responses through the choices in language.

Poetry and journalism don’t typically share a similar space, but there can still be some overlap. There is even significant research in the area by universities and foundations. They argue that poets can act as journalists by using poetic prose to convey perspectives that otherwise can’t be properly presented.

Fields in Journalism That Can Take You International

17. Foreign Correspondence

Foreign correspondence is the act of stationing journalists in various parts of the world in order to ensure reporting capabilities at a moment’s notice. A foreign correspondent is a journalist stationed in another country from their agency base, and who can cover a variety of topics. However, unlike a general reporter, they often focus on a specific topic or specialization. They also act as the public’s eyes and the ears around the world.

18. World Literature

World literature involves the circulation of work into the global sphere beyond its originated country. It also sometimes refers to the total of the literature in the world. In the modern sense, world literature refers to the translation of a literary work into multiple languages around the world. Many journalistic sources are even translated into multiple languages to aid in their circulation across the globe. This includes not only news, but also more literary pieces and books circulating through websites focusing on journalism.

A Few Miscellaneous Subjects in Journalism

19. Linguistics

Linguistics is the study of the scientific side of language. It looks at the governing structures of languages and the extent to which these structures are language-particular or universal. Through this study it analyses the interactions of sound, meaning, grammar, ambiguity, semantics, and other characteristics of language and communication.

Language is one of the greatest barriers between people of different ethnic, cultural, and geographical backgrounds. Thus, in the field of journalism, it is important for creating a level playing ground where everyone understands one another, especially when working in areas with high variations in language. This doesn’t even necessarily mean entire language barriers, but even just dialects can cause large differences in communication and understanding between people.

20. Investigative Journalism

Investigative journalism involves reporters investigating a single topic of interest such as political corruption, corporate wrongdoing, and serious crimes. An investigative journalist can spend months and even years preparing and researching a report. Investigative journalism also reports on and probes private entities, government officials and other items of interest. Because of the nature of the work, it can be especially dangerous. Large entities like governments and criminal organization don’t want their wrongdoings coming to light thanks to journalists.

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About the author Megan Matheney
Professional technical writer specializing in material relating to Earth sciences, environmental economics, and developmental economics. Megan has a B.S. in Geophysics from the University of Texas at Austin, as well a M.S. in Environment and Sustainable Development from the University of Glasgow. She has worked in the government sector for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and currently lives in Mexico City where she works as a freelancer.

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