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How to Become a Journalist

How to become a Journalist. Read our free guide about becoming a Journalist in the UK.

Job Description of a Journalist

Journalists are persons who are responsible for creating pieces of text or stories for newspapers or news reports programmes. The hours vary depending on the type of writing you are required to produce and the amount of research required. It is a varied and fun job that will allow you to learn many things and educate and inform the public. Being a Journalist is a good job for many people, but the key traits to have are a great eye for detail, strong Writing ability, and ability to work alone, a good sense of humour, stylish, able to communicate well and able to work to a brief.


Entry Requirements for a Journalist

To become a Journalist you may wish to enrol on an English language, English Literature, Creative Writing or journalism course at your local college or university. It is a good idea to create a portfolio of your work to showcase your work to potential employers. The ability to create a good range of different styles of writing, such as factual reports, historical write ups and educational pieces will give you great potential for employment. An unbiased viewpoint is essential and you must be able to write formally for educational and factual pieces.

Responsibilities and duties of a Journalist

Standard duties of being a Journalist are usually to listen to the brief issued from your employer to ascertain what they are looking for from a piece of writing. You will then have to research the subject or content matter to ensure everything is factually correct. You will then have to create the piece you have been asked to create, keeping in close contact with your employer to ensure that the piece is fitting requirements. You may be responsible for investigating a piece over a period of time and taking many accounts and statements from people in order to ensure the piece is correct. You might be responsible for finding an image to illustrate the piece. You then must hand the work to your editor for proof reading, and make any amendments as requested.

Working Hours

These may vary depending on the duties and job you are doing. Journalists are generally expected to work a variety of hours as they can often be asked to do last minute pieces or cover social events. So weekends and evenings are likely to be busy times for a Journalist. News can happen at any time and it is very important that it is reported quickly.

Skills and Training Development

Many Journalists progress their career with time served and honing skills and techniques to become better Journalists. You can enhance your career prospects by learning how to do other things such as activism, blogging, and holding writing workshops. You can also offer your services as a proof-reader or editor of others work in order to gain a promotion or extra employment.

Average Salary of a Journalist

The average salary for a Trainee Journalist is £15,000 PA.
The average salary for a qualified Journalist is £25,000 PA.
The average salary for an Editor is £30,000 PA.

photo by: ana lisa

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