Journalism Interview Questions & Answers

Journalism Interview Questions

Are you a mass communication student? Interested in journalism? Want to become a journalist? Then this is the perfect choice for you. If you are looking for a job in journalism then prepare well with our interview questions page.  Search and apply for the latest jobs posted on wisdomjobs. Journalism is the production and the distribution of reports on recent events. The word journalism applies to the occupation, the methods of gathering information, and the organizing literary styles.There are different part time and full time jobs in journalism like HR journalist, political journalist, sports journalist, SR-Reporter, senior reporter, public relation executive and freelancers etc. Please go through our journalism jobs interview questions and answers page to short list in your interview.

Journalism Interview Questions And Answers

Journalism Interview Questions
    1. Question 1. Where Does The Expression "op-ed" Come From And What Does It Mean?

      Answer :

      The op-ed page is the page directly opposite the page that contains that particular newspaper's editorials. It is a forum for views from people, columnists from other papers, readers, and letters to the editor, etc.

    2. Question 2. In Publishing, What Does Volume/issue/number Refer To, As In Architectural Digest Volume 63/issue 6/number 1?

      Answer :

      Volume generally refers to the year published, so Column 63 would mean it was the 63rd year a magazine was published. Issue 6 would be the sixth of the year, if it was monthly it would be June bimonthly, December.

    3. Question 3. What Are Tear Sheets And Clips For Copy Editors?

      Answer :

      You can make color reductions and I am sure they will be acceptable. Journalism graphics majors at our university usually buy large portfolios--at least 12 by 17 to put their design tear sheets. Electronic PDF are becoming more and more acceptable. Some of our students here have made online digital portfolios and put their resumes and all of their tear sheets (article and design) on a website.

    4. Question 4. What Are Reporter Credentials? How Are Credentials Obtained?

      Answer :

      There is no standard for a reporter's credentials; the only thing I ever had was my employee ID card issued at the time I got the job, and that was always fine. There may be something issued for entertainment or sports journalism, but I do not know those areas.

      Some venues may require that you send in a request on corporate letterhead (stationery) for a special event's credentials, but those standards would vary from event to event.

    5. Question 5. What Is The Difference Between A Magazine And Newspapers In Term Of The Content Of Each Media?

      Answer :

      The simple answer is that newspaper contains news articles and magazines contain feature articles. However, the U.S. has 18,000 magazines and about 4,000 newspapers. In addition, both contain some of both. The main difference is in audience. Newspapers focus on a broad audience of all ages in one specific city or location. Magazines go to a national or international audience who has an interest in a specific subject, such as gardening, photography, Christianity, history, etc. Newspapers are published daily or weekly; magazines are published monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly. However, those are generalizations and this kind of question, probably a homework question, escapes simple answers.

    6. Question 6. How Many Photographs Are Published Annually In U.s. Print Media? Is There A Declining Or Growing Market For Freelance Photography Or Stock Photography?

      Answer :

      There is no way of knowing and no one tracks this information. There are 18,000 magazines in the U.S. published at least quarterly (and most monthly), 1,500 daily newspapers, 3,000 weekly newspapers. As far as the second question as to whether there is a growing or declining market for freelance photography--please e-mail one of my colleagues--a professor of photojournalism at Ball State University. He can probably answer this question for you as he has done a considerable amount of freelance photography in his career.

    7. Question 7. When A Person Has Information About A News Story Or Information Worthy Of Reporting How Do They Go About It? Do They Set An Appointment With A Reporter Or Does The Reporter Seek Them?

      Answer :

      You can call your local newspaper and tell whoever answers the telephone that you have information they might be interested in as news.

      In the newspapers I worked for, your call would likely be transferred to the City Room, and would be answered on the City Desk by a clerk. The clerk would ask you questions to determine what you had, and what its news value was. Be prepared to answer specific questions about the facts of the story.

    8. Question 8. When It Comes To Working In Book And Magazine Publishing, Is It Always Necessary To Be A Writer First, Then An Editor?

      Answer :

      No, it is not necessary. There are some different skills required to be a successful editor than to be a successful writer. Of course, there is some overlap. However, many people have fine editing skills that are not necessary great writers. Most entry-level position at magazines is as editorial assistants or assistant editors. Magazines use mostly freelance writers and few of them have full-time writers. Editors in chief need good supervisory and management skills as well.

    9. Question 9. What Should An "editors Note" Contain? How Does One Write It?

      Answer :

      An editor's note is usually found in the first several pages of a magazine, and can contain anything from the editor's most recent experiences to his/her opinion on the contents of the magazine. Editor's notes can also contain responses to readers' letters, new research on whatever the subject of the magazine is, event tips.

      Editor's notes usually reveal the editor's personality, which makes readers come back for more!

    10. Question 10. What Effect Did The Yellow Journalism Used By Hearst And Pulitzer Before And During The Spanish American War?

      Answer :

      Yellow Journalism has always had an effect on the way people view different subjects, and how governmental policies are made.

      The more sensational the assertion, or outright lie, the more people seem inclined to believe it.

      Back in the days of Hurst, and Pulitzer, the media was much less accountable for what it printed, and there were few laws, or rules of conduct for the media to adhere.

    11. Question 11. Why Are Professional Ethics So Important In Journalism And The Legal World?

      Answer :

      Lawyers are held to a code of ethics by law (not that they necessarily follow it). As far as journalists are concern, it is more like a suggested set of guidelines. These days it is very rare to find any kind of ethics in Journalism.

    12. Question 12. How Should You Dress The Characters In Video Journalism Movie?

      Answer :

      Old woman should be wearing a nice classic dress, with pearls, pearl necklace and earrings, maybe a pillbox hat, shawl very Jackie O, or Queen Elisabeth. Egotistical businesspersons usually wear nice suits, slicked back hair, and cocky stern look on face.

    13. Question 13. How Does The History Of Journalism Relate To Australias Democratic Government Today?

      Answer :

      Australia has always been a democracy and it has always had a free press. The two go hand in hand -- you cannot have a democracy without a free press and you cannot have a free press without democracy.

      Are you looking at specific events in Australia's history, with regard to how these events were reported in the Australian press? If so, you will have to be more specific.

    14. Question 14. What Censorship Is There In Journalism In Your Country?

      Answer :

      Here is the lowdown for the UK.

      1. Censorship exists in many forms in the UK but is about what the paper's think they can get away with.
      2. We have no freedom of speech but what has evolved is through Acts of Parliament and court judgments.
      3. Government controls
      what the media can say through a number of ways: 

      ► Restricting information but the Freedom of Information Act has eased this.

      ► D notices which restrict information if there is security issues.

      ► Court orders preventing newspapers from publishing stories if they are considered to prejudice a case but only when someone has been charged and trial is proceeding. See the current cash-for-honors scandal where The Guardian got permission to reveal details about an e-mail sent by an aide of Tony Blair.

    15. Question 15. What Is The Difference Between Journalism And Studio Television?

      Answer :

      Journalism is to Studio Television as Newspapers are to Magazines.

    16. Question 16. What Is The Status Of Written Journalism These Days?

      Answer :

      I job shadowed a newspaper reporter when I was a senior in high school, him and his boss basically laughed at me because they said that journalism was a dying thing

      If you do not necessarily agree with that though, there will always be a need for journalists, whether on newspapers or internet.

    17. Question 17. What Is The Difference Between Journalism And Professional Writing?

      Answer :

      They are very similar. Journalists generally write for the public (newspapers, magazines, websites, etc.) Professional writers can write for any kind of business, but normally must have a specific topic to write. Journalism is more general in that you learn how to write for the public. Professional writing is more private because you would likely be doing it about a specific subject and/or for a specific industry.

    18. Question 18. What Are The Problems Of Investigative Journalism?

      Answer :

      Among the problems I encountered was finding, gaining access to, & then protecting the identity of sources for inside info. Then you still have to get some type of confirmation the info you have obtained is accurate & verifiable.

      Many source documents needed for corroboration are difficult or impossible to gain access to as they are protected by security classification or have been destroyed.

    19. Question 19. What Is The Difference Between Saying Journalism And Communications?

      Answer :

      When you write a letter to someone, you are communicating.
      Journalism is someone writes in a newspaper or magazine for the whole world to read.

    20. Question 20. What Is Yellow Journalism?

      Answer :

      It is the practice of over-dramatizing events in order to sell newspapers.

    21. Question 21. Why Was Yellow Journalism Used?

      Answer :

      It is to "Smear" the opposition. To exaggerate news and enrage readers.

    22. Question 22. What Is The Modern Understanding Of The Word Yellow In The Term Yellow Journalism?

      Answer :

      The Journalism favors sensationalism over carefully researched facts.

    23. Question 23. Who Is The Us Newspaper Magnate Who Changed The Face Of Journalism With The Introduction Of Sensationalized Stories?

      Answer :

      That would be William Randolph Hearst with his introduction of Yellow journalism that helped contribute to America and the war with Spain.

    24. Question 24. What Role Did The Apple Macintosh Play In Graphic Journalism, As We Know It Today?

      Answer :

      The Apple Macintosh played a primary role in creating the career of graphic journalism in the mid 1980s. With the introduction of the first Macintosh, artists in newsrooms were able to reduce the time it took to produce illustrations, maps, diagrams, and explanatory graphics, which contributed to the visual display of news, features, and editorials. Proactive newsroom artists were then able to participate in the newsgathering process and then design and produce graphics on deadline.

    25. Question 25. How Did Yellow Journalism Affect The Americans Toward The Cuban Revolt?

      Answer :

      The press played a tremendous part in leading the charge toward America's involvement in Cuba. Two publishers, William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, stood out among these opportunists. They perceived the conflict with Spain as their chance to increase circulation of their newspapers. Seizing upon the opportunity to capitalize on the growing spirit of American patriotism, Hearst and Pulitzer printed sensational anti-Spanish stories.

      Graphic illustrations commissioned from some of the country's most-talented artists and stories written by premiere authors and journalists of the day were fodder for fueling the flames of war. Together, Hearst and Pulitzer created frenzy among the American people by reporting the alleged brutality of the Spanish toward the Cuban rebels. (However, acts of outrage committed by the Cubans were seldom mentioned.) By the time the USS Maine exploded in Havana Harbor, the pro-war press had roused national sentiment to the point that President McKinley feared his political party would suffer if he did not engage in war with Spain.

    26. Question 26. Define The Terms Yellow Journalism And Muckrakers.

      Answer :

      It means a journalist who writes about bright stuff and about hope

    27. Question 27. How Internet Journalism Is Different From Electronic Media?

      Answer :

      Web or Internet journalism helps one to read, hear, and view the news, all at the same time! Those who cannot access television, radio and newspapers, keep themselves updated, courtesy the electronic edition of newspapers. Yes, change is the only constant!

      Web journalism entered India about ten years ago. Initially, it had to cope with the pressures posed by the post-liberalization era. The deteriorating plight of web journalism led one to question its very survival. However, some companies decided to stick it out, come rain or shine and availed, during the period 2000 - 2002, the services provided by the search engines like Google.

      The web revolution started soon thereafter, with newspapers launching their Internet editions. Foreign majors like Yahoo, Google, and MSN also played the role of sheet anchor. These portals also recognized the importance of Hindi and other regional languages. The agreement between Yahoo and Jagran, to initiate a portal, could be an important milestone in the history as well as the future of e-journalism. It will also boost dissemination of news. The linguistic purity associated with web journalism is still a debated topic. It must always be kept in mind that news is read from a newspaper, heard over radio, and viewed on electronic media. However, with web journalism we can read, hear, and view news, all at the same time.

    28. Question 28. How Does Freedom Of Press Affect Journalism?

      Answer :

      It affects by journalists can write what they want as long as it does not cross certain limits.

    29. Question 29. What Are The Different Leads Of Journalism?

      Answer :

      For the news lead, you should have the 5 W's & H (who, what when, where, why, and how). However, if it is for a feature lead then there are wide varieties. Magic Three, Descriptive, Anecdotal, Narrative, and Teaser are the main ones.

    30. Question 30. What Are News Values?

      Answer :

      News values simplified, determines how important a news story is to the media and the attention it is given by its consumers.

    31. Question 31. Why Do People Keep Journals?

      Answer :

      Well they're used to keep personal thoughts that they are to nervous to share with others.

    32. Question 32. What Is A Review In A Newspaper?

      Answer :

      Review is someone gives his or her opinion about something

    33. Question 33. What Is The Difference Between Electronic And Print Journalism?

      Answer :

      Electronic journalism uses electronic stuff (read computers).Print journalism uses ink (read newspapers).

    34. Question 34. What Is The Definition Of Journalism Ethics?

      Answer :

      Journalism is the creativity and view of the journalist. It is writing for a newspaper or magazine, but it is the journalist opinion, view, and heart on the issue.

    35. Question 35. Have You Any Questions About This Post Of Journalist?

      Answer :

      Remember that two key traits of journalists are an inquisitive nature and the ability to ask the right questions so demonstrate these at interview! The best questions to ask are those that you really would like to know the answer to, rather than those you can find in books on interview skills. If you research the company well enough, you will find a number of questions naturally arising that you wish to be answered.

      You should, though, concentrate on questions that show your interest in, and motivation to do, the job itself, rather than the rewards it will bring. So, for example, you should ask about training and career progression in preference to pay and pensions!

    36. Question 36. Are You Competitive For Journalist Job? Give An Example?

      Answer :

      A Careers Adviser recently visited the main production site of a local television station. Upon asking about opportunities for work experience for students he was told there was every chance to arrange this. What any interested student should do was to contact the company direct and make a request, stating clearly the kind of experience desired and the times when available. The Careers Adviser verified this with the personnel department and was told that while this certainly was the appropriate procedure it would not by itself secure the hoped for work experience. 

      To cut a long story short any applicant would have to make numerous applications by letter for work experience. The student must convey a dogged, persistent, resolute intent to work for the company. You may not need to express quite this level of determination at interview, but by the actions you have already taken (perhaps in obtaining the interview in the first place) you need to show your determination to work in journalism.

    37. Question 37. Describe A Big Problem In Your Life And How You Coped With It?

      Answer :

      When working with other people things do not always run smoothly. They may ask you what kinds of difficulties you have had with others and how you have overcome them.

      You should be willing to discuss this frankly, because there are bound to be times when you will face these situations in the future. As a trainee journalist on a local newspaper, for example, you may be required to get stories from people or organizations who do not wish to co-operate. Your persistence, tact and resilience could all be examined in this situation and are all features which can be expressed when discussing this issue at interview.

      Examples of problems you have coped with might include:

      * Sorting out accommodation
      * Divorce: your own or your parents'
      * Financial difficulty
      * A sudden change in circumstances
      * Having to deliver bad news

    38. Question 38. What Computer Packages Have You Used?

      Answer :

      Computing skills are becoming important in all jobs - rather like the skill of driving. If you can use a word-processor well then tell them - although some journalists type with two fingers, word-processing is a valuable skill in journalism - if you can't do it then learn! Start by word-processing your essays. 

      You could also mention if you have used a database, Microsoft Windows or email. They will almost certainly not be looking for specific skills, just a general familiarity and willingness to learn. Desktop publishing skills could be useful especially if you are aiming at sub-editing posts where a knowledge of layout, fonts and kerning will be useful - "Quark" is the industry standard DTP package.

      The Internet is becoming increasingly important and you may be asked your views on how it is affecting the traditional journalistic media. Try to learn how to use it, so you can talk from a position of experience.

    39. Question 39. How Do You Keep Informed Of The News?

      Answer :

      Here they may be looking at what papers you read and whether you know the differences between the major broadsheets. A common question for TV journalism is about the difference between BBC and ITN news coverage. Also, don't forget the Internet - this is now a major source of news and current affairs.

      Before your interview try to make sure that you keep an eye on all the major news media and the different ways they cover the news - what type of stories do they priorities, do they have a political affiliation, who is their target audience, is there a particular style?

      Consider the more popular forms of news availability in particular. How detailed are they in their coverage?

      Be prepared for supplementary questions relating to any of the following:

      * Who covers the news most accurately?
      * Who covers the news most superficially
      * What are people normally doing when they "get" the news?* Which news story has been of particular interest to you lately?

    40. Question 40. What Qualities Do You Need To Be A Journalist?

      Answer :

      Working as part of a team is common in many media jobs. It is important that you can get on and work quickly and efficiently with the other technical and creative production team staff. Time very literally is money in media production so there is no room for staff difficulties or temperament. When there are tough deadlines or late nights everyone must pull together to complete the task at hand. An employer will want to know that you can meet these demands and that you can establish a working relationship very quickly with people who you may be meeting for the first time. 

      You also need good written and oral communication skills and must have a crisp concise writing style - writing essays is not good evidence for this! They will expect you to have a good knowledge of current affairs and an inquisitive nature, and to be flexible - especially with regard to working hours. Many demands can be made on your time, so how experienced are you in putting in extra hours?

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