Magazine Journalist

Average Salary: £27,000 - £32,000
Competition: MID-HIGH
Years Experience: 2-5 years

Job Summary

Whether you think of yourself as a fashion queen or you think have better tactics than José Mourinho. There’s a magazine for all of our beloved interests! Magazine Journalists have to cater for that and be specialists themselves. They conduct research, write articles and features for magazines on subjects of their niche.

Duties

Generally, there are three types of magazines: Consumer, Trade and Customer. Consumer magazines like Vogue and Men’s Health covers a broad interest, which normally appeals to wide audiences. Trade magazines are industry or occupation specific, only appealing to people who work in the same industry. And last but not least, we have Customer magazines which businesses such as supermarkets, use to communicate directly to customers to promote its products. Whichever type of magazine you specialise in, you’ll normally have the following job responsibilities:

  • Conducting research and gathering material to form a subject and a story
  • Writing, proofreading and editing articles or features that will appeal to readers and fits the magazine’s image
  • Attending related events, conferences and seminars
  • Interviewing individuals and verifying information, whilst building new contacts
  • Sourcing relevant images for written pieces
  • Keeping up-to-date with the latest news and developments in the magazine’s subject matte

Key Skills and Characteristics

A Magazine Journalist should:

  • Have excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Possess strong investigative, questioning and listening skills
  • Have strong research skills with a great attention to detail
  • Be accurate with spelling, grammar and punctuation
  • Show a great interest in the magazine subject

Entry Routes

Your journey in becoming a Magazine Journalist will be tough. But nothing in this world worth having, comes easy. Shout-out to Theodore Roosevelt for that line. A good start would be to complete a degree in Journalism or in the specific magazine subject. So if you want to dip your feet in becoming a Magazine Journalist for a Finance magazine, it could be better doing a degree in a finance subject and completing a Masters in Journalism. Your choice. Though, make sure that your Journalism courses are accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).

We can’t stress enough how much work experience is vital. It’s like internet-to-the-21st-Century vital. If you’re still at university, try and write something for the student magazines or the university’s blog. Another option would be to create your own blog, which is not technical (by your standards) or expensive (by our standards) to set-up. Also, apply for work placements, internships and even volunteer. What employers will seek when hiring candidates is a great understanding in the subject area, whilst displaying your own style of writing.

IT skills such as Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress can be useful to learn, as some employers will require you to be familiar with these software packages or similar.

Job Progression

Junior Magazine Journalist

Magazine Journalist

Senior Magazine Journalist

Magazine Editor

Managing Editor

Editor-in-Chief

Advice From Our Experts

The Good

  • Variety – There will always be a different piece to write
  • New People – You meet a lot of new people through interviewing and events
  • Travelling – Going to all the events, can also mean travelling to nice places

The Bad

  • Boring Subject – Sometimes you may be assigned a subject that doesn’t particularly interest you
  • High Pressure – You constantly need to produce good content, even when you're low on creativity and inspiration
  • Bad Copy – It’s not pretty being at the end of a bad piece or being seen as the evil person in the public eye