Newspaper Journalist

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

Job Summary

Nobody divides opinion greater than Newspaper Journalists. You know why that's great? It inspires the greatest and most in-depth conversations amongst us all. Newspaper Journalists collect information from a range of sources and carries out research to make the headlines. They write news stories on various topics such as politics, crime, entertainment, sport and many more.

Duties

Thanks to the advancements in technology, journalism has become more multi-platform than ever before. Articles are being made on Snapchat and now people are broadcasting through Periscope and Facebook Live. It’s all getting a bit fancy! Whatever platform a Newspaper Journalist uses, the ability to capture an individual’s attention is still by far the most important part of the role. Their job responsibilities are usually the following:

  • Investigating and searching for news stories using contacts and other forms of media
  • Building new contacts through interviewing and following them up for potential leads
  • Attending press events and asking questions
  • Writing, proofreading and editing articles that will appeal to readers and fits the newspaper’s image
  • Working alongside editors, photographers and designers to compile the finished article
  • Real-time blogging and reporting online, covering live events as they happen

Key Skills and Characteristics

A Newspaper Journalist should:

  • Have excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Possess strong investigative, questioning and listening skills
  • Be organised, while being able to meet tight deadlines under intense pressure
  • Have a great attention to detail and be accurate with spelling, grammar and punctuation
  • Show a great interest in news, people and current affairs

Entry Routes

Naturally, the bachelor’s degree that you would assume be most beneficial for a career as a Newspaper Journalist, would be Journalism. However, some recommend you do a bachelor’s degree in a different subject and a Masters in Journalism. These people obviously assume that you’re rich or something, but is a good suggestion. Being a specialist in a particular subject such as sports or finance with a Masters in Journalism, could develop your niche in the job market. Courses accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) are looked upon highly.

Setting yourself apart in this very competitive job market is key. So whilst having specialist knowledge on a subject is beneficial, relevant work experience is essential. Creating your own blog is an easy way to get experience, if getting work experience from internships and work placements fails. Networking is a great opportunity to meet individuals in the sector and get lucky. Get lucky in landing a job that is. Building a substantial Twitter following can also boost your profile amongst potential employers.

Job Progression

Junior Newspaper Journalist

Newspaper Journalist

Senior Newspaper Journalist

Newspaper Editor

Managing Editor

Editor-in-Chief

Advice From Our Experts

The Good

  • Variety – With news, you’ll never get two days that are the same
  • New People – The job consists of meeting a lot of different people
  • Free Events – Going to free events for work purposes is a nice perk to the job

The Bad

  • Bad Copy – Being on the end of a badly released article is not pretty
  • Demanding – Quite frequently articles need to be created within very strict deadlines
  • Long Hours – News will arise at whatever time, usually meaning you end up working long hours and sometimes on weekends