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Journalists research, write, edit, proofread and submit news stories, features and articles for use on television and radio or within magazines, journals and newspapers.

Newspaper Journalists research and write stories for national, regional and local press as well as reporting on news and politics, sports, arts and culture, science and business. There is also coverage of national and local events, entertainment and human interest stories. Junior reporters usually write up stories allocated to them by the news desk. They pass these to the news editor, who in turn hands them to sub-editors. Other roles include correspondents, who are specialists in one field or location, and feature writers, who cover topics in greater depth, often using a more personal style.

On smaller/local newspapers journalists may have to multitask; they could have the opportunity to work on layout, photography and sub-editing as well as writing stories. Newspaper journalism is becoming increasingly multi-platform and the continuous growth of 'social media news' making IT, web and broadcast skills highly valued.

Magazine journalists research and write news articles and features for a variety of publications. There are thousands of magazine titles in the UK and, while there are plenty of opportunities, competition can be fierce when trying to get a job.

Broadcast journalists research, investigate and present news and current affairs content for television, radio and the internet. Their aim is to present information in a balanced, accurate and interesting way through news bulletins, documentaries and other factual programmes. Broadcast journalists can occupy a number of roles within the media including: editor, reporter, presenter/news reader, producer and correspondent.

Creative Writing

Creative writing focuses on works other than regular professional, journalistic, academic, or technical forms of literature. A straightforward example is writing stories and novels - fiction. Creative Writing is often identified by an emphasis on narratives, character development, and the use of literary tropes. It is the process of creating original works of the imagination, poetry or scripts.

There are many paid and free courses and resources available which focus on the skills required for different types of creative writing, such as screen writing for films & TV, penning scripts for live performances and short story or novel writing.  Writers may create works across several of these areas, or concentrate on a particular medium. 

The internet and online publishing have made it easier than ever before for aspiring writers to get their work 'out there' where it could be noticed, but there is also much more work 'out there' for publishers and production companies to sift through, so if you want to make your writing into a career, you will need to build a portfolio and target the right people and companies, possibly with the help of a literary agent. You will need to be persistent too, Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone was rejected by 12 publishers before being picked up by Bloomsbury!

There is no definitive 'route' into Creative Writing careers, so successful authors can come from literary-educated (e.g. University) or 'amateur' / self-taught backgrounds, but you will need constant experience of writing and developing your style to improve your material - and to create works for your portfolio. Crucially, writing practice is something that is relatively easy to do in your spare time, even if you are working or learning in a different industry / area.  Honest and diverse feedback is very important for honing your writing, so it is worth considering attending amateur writing groups / courses or researching appropriate online writing forums. Imagination and the ability to keep readers engaged is arguably most important, as making a career out of Creative Writing depends largely on your ability to make readers enjoy your material and wish for more! 

Having a broad level of general knowledge will always help, as you will be able to talk about and refer to things that your intended readership can identify with, even if you are writing a comedy-horror novel set 500 years in the future! Characters and their motivations still need to believable, even within the rules and setting of a fantasy universe you may be creating, so some knowledge and insight into human behaviour could be key.  Read, watch or listen to other fiction as widely as you can.

Finally, some niches of Creative Writing, such as historical fiction will require you to be well educated in the subject area, (whether that be formally or self taught) in order for your fiction to sound credible.  Writing for Satirical News sites will require some knowledge of current affairs and pop-culture as the published pieces are largely topical, but they can be a great, free way to learn this form of comedy writing.  Some sites allow amateur submissions from anyone, along with feedback from other participants.

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In 2019, 81,000 people in the UK worked as a journalist or newspaper or periodical editor.

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