Newspaper journalists research and report the news, publishing their work in newspapers and online.

What does a newspaper journalist do?

Newspaper journalists research and report the news, publishing their work in newspapers and online. You may be working behind the scenes as a researcher or junior reporter – finding out background details about a story or interviewing people – or you may be writing your own articles.

You’ll need to work to tight deadlines, reporting breaking and unfolding news, as well as investigating your own stories. You’ll be expected to work across online and social media channels, as well as creating traditional print stories. You may be working indoors or out in the field. You’ll usually need to know tee-line shorthand or use a Dictaphone when out on jobs. It’s a highly competitive job, for which you’ll need excellent English and good communication and IT skills.

What do I need to do to become a newspaper journalist?

There are a number of different routes into newspaper journalism. You could train on the job as part of a traineeship or apprenticeship scheme, or you could do an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in journalism. The National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) website has a list of accredited degrees and postgraduate courses in newspaper journalism. You should check with colleges or universities for exact entry requirements.

Related skills

  • Administration
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • IT
  • Literacy
  • Organisation
  • Teamwork
  • Time management
  • Word processing

Related subjects

  • Drama, music, and performing arts
  • English
  • History
  • Media studies
  • Religious studies

Essential qualifications

  • Shorthand qualification

Desirable qualifications

  • BJTC accredited undergraduate degree
  • BJTC accredited postgraduate degree
  • A level English

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

You could be working indoors or outdoors. You could be self-employed, or working for a variety of companies.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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