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Journalist

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Job Description

Journalist will research, write and assemble news stories for television, radio, newspapers, journals or magazines.  They will interview and collect opinions from experts, eyewitnesses or other related parties to represent their opinion for the article.  They will build contacts to seek out and investigate stories in a specific area, attend press conferences, launches and other events and will upload content to media websites.

Entry Requirements

The entry routes to becoming a Journalist depends of what type of journalism you would like to do:

University

Most Broadcast Journalists enter the job after completing a degree or postgraduate degree in broadcast journalism.  Some courses are accredited by the Broadcast Journalism Training Council

For newspaper and magazine journalism, it would be useful to have a degree in a subject like journalism, media or English.  If you have a degree in another subject, you could do a postgraduate course in journalism, some of these are accredited by the Professional Publishers Association

Universities vary but you will usually need two to three A levels or equivalent to get onto a degree course.

Search here for university courses 

College

You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this role. Relevant qualifications include Level 3 Diploma in Journalism or Level 3 Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.

You will usually need four or five GCSE's grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course including English

Work based route

For a newspaper or magazine journalist, you could start as a trainee at a local or regional newspaper. Opportunities are rare and you'll need to show you've writing experience.

For a broadcast journalist, you could start as a production assistant or runner with a broadcasting company and work your way up.

You will need a minimum of five GCSE's grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English, many employers will also require A levels or a degree level qualification

You could apply directly to broadcasting companies like the BBC to access their Journalism Trainee Scheme

Career Tips

Journalism is a very competitive world and you will need to prove that you have good writing experience. 

Make sure you keep a portfolio of all of your published work, volunteer to write for community and student publications. You could also write your own blog or online showreel to show potential employers examples of your work and submit articles and reviews to local newspapers and websites.

Volunteering is a good way to get experience of what it's like to work in the media industry and will help when applying for courses and jobs

You can find out more about careers and training on the National Council for the Training of Journalists

Career Path and Progression

  • Senior or chief reporters
  • Specialist writer 
  • overseas foreign correspondent 
  • with experience you could become a studio-based presenter or a special news correspondent

Required Skills

  • Very strong written and communication skills
  • A keen interest in current affairs
  • Excellent literacy skills
  • Well organised
  • The ability to understand and grasp complex issues

Salary Range

£13,000 to £80,000

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