Credit: Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

September is fast approaching and aspiring journalists are preparing for life at university on their new journalism courses.

You might still be thinking that journalism is limited to writing for a newspaper, a glossy magazine or standing in the rain in front of the Houses of Parliament.

However, journalism has changed dramatically in the past decade, creating new and unorthodox career paths.

Here are five examples of new and exciting reporting avenues that show it is a great time to be a journalist which might spark some inspiration heading into university.

If you are preparing to start your journalism course, check out our comprehensive guide for getting started in journalism as essential reading. There is lots of advice here from lecturers and industry editors on what to expect at university and how to make the most of your experience. This includes advice around shorthand, work experience and getting hired.

Mobile journalism

One style of reporting that is increasingly adopted by major broadcasters is mobile journalism or, as we like to say, 'mojo'.

Mojo means producing video and audio content with just your mobile phone. Journalists can and do use their phones for reporting, as an easier and cheaper alternative to lugging around all sorts of TV and radio equipment.

Big broadcasters like the BBC and CNN are incorporating mobile journalism into their social media output to appeal to those audiences. Some TV stations in India are fully mojo-only to help with the logistics of breaking news and crisis situation reporting.

A solid collection of apps are vital to mobile journalism and there are loads to choose from. Here are six apps to get you started for editing and producing stories for social media, which might come in handy for university assignments or work experience stories.

There are plenty of others for transcribing interviews, video editing and creating Story templates for Instagram and Snapchat. Why not try a few out?

Other useful reading includes essential mobile journalism equipment, plus some handy tips and tricks from professional mobile journalists.

Instagram Stories

According to the Reuters Digital News Report (DNR) 2019 (which will become your best friend at university), under 35s are spending 25 per cent more time with Instagram than they were in 2018.

More and more news organisations are using Instagram to grow their younger audiences, such as The Economist and the BBC.

It is worth knowing how to upload horizontal content to IGTV and how to use other Instagram features, including filters, scheduled posts, using hashtags and more.

So there is more to journalism than writing and reporting a good story. You now need to think about presenting and distribute content on these emerging social media platforms too.

Artificial intelligence

Journalists now use artificial intelligence tools to get a head start on story leads and focus on doing what robots cannot, which is writing compelling stories.

For example, Reuters uses AI to sift through some 700 million daily tweets to flag up potential breaking news stories.

Sky News also uses automated tools, like transcription and facial recognition, to spend less time on tasks that can be done through automation and more time on creative projects.

Journalists of the future may not be required to code in Python yet, but you will need to keep up-to-date with AI in newsrooms to be a step ahead of other students.

Podcasts and voice-controlled devices

Audio storytelling, in particular podcasts, is a growing trend in the media industry. The DNR 2019 shows that around one in six people listen to a podcast on news or politics.

Many news organisations are introducing podcasts to find new listeners. Notable examples include investigative journalism collective Bellingcat, and BBC's The Sista Collective. For inspiration, take a listen to these podcasts on the media industry.

The great thing about podcasts is you do not need a big budget to start your own. While at university, this could be a great side-project to add to your CV. Here is some advice on how to launch your own podcast without breaking the bank.

Meanwhile, voice-controlled devices - you know, Google Home and Amazon Echo - are another platform that people use to listen to news.

The New York Times is experimenting in this space, as well as the Guardian and the Evening Standard.

Here are some useful starting points for setting up Alexa Flash Briefings.

Solutions journalism

Have you ever felt just bogged down by negative headlines and doom-and-gloom reporting? Solutions journalism aims to address the negativity bias which dominates our news cycle.

The clue is in the name; solutions journalism reports on an issue presenting a potential solution through rigorous reporting techniques. This way, readers can feel empowered, knowing there are ways to tackle problems, like the climate emergency or knife crime.

A lot of news organisations are taking notice of this space, including the BBC with its Crossing Divides series, reporters covering #MeToo stories, The Guardian's series The Upside and the French regional title Nice Matin.

On the job hunt? Your next position could be waiting for you on the jobs board

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