How to become a Journalist



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What do they do?

Think you have a natural flair for writing? Are you interested in reporting the latest news? You should become a Journalist…

Journalists break the news, as, when and (occasionally) even before it happens. You could choose to write for a certain specialism (e.g. current affairs), write solely for one publication, or write for several different sources simultaneously, across a range of different subjects. Many may even work in a freelance capacity.

Day-to-day responsibilities may vary depending on publication and experience, but typical duties could include:

  • Coming up with new ideas or angles for potential stories
  • Conducting or transcribing interviews
  • Following up leads, networking and attending press conferences or media days
  • Drafting and editing new articles to submit to the editor
  • Potentially editing other writers stories for publication
Is it right for me?

To be successful as a Journalist, it almost goes without saying that excellent writing skills are absolutely essential. Creativity and the ability to meet deadlines are similarly crucial, especially with so much competition for exclusivity involved in the media today.

Being relatively well-read is also extremely helpful in this position, if only to have a comparison for your work or to help you develop an individual style.

Other key skills include:

    • The ability to multitask
    • Excellent interpersonal skills
    • Superior research skills, especially when investigating potential stories
    • A good grasp of tone, and an awareness of this when writing for different mediums
    • Conflict management and problem solving
    • Having a general knowledge of literary conventions
What's it really like?

I've wanted to write ever since I could remember, and when I got my first work experience as a journalist at a local paper, I couldn't believe my luck. After a few months of helping with smaller stories (and making coffee, obviously), I was finally offered an entry-level position writing for the sports section, and haven’t looked back since. The best thing is that I get to go to some of the biggest events, and get paid to do it. Oh, and write. That too…

Get qualified

A journalism or English-based degree would be preferential, but is not essential. A creative writing course could also be a great way to learn the basics, and start building your skills.

Diploma of Journalism

ICI’s journalism course is established with seasoned journalists to give you the best in journalism techniques and education. Journalism is a very challenging field so you need to get armed with skills that are desired by employers and appreciated by the public.

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Freelance journalism course (Level 3 Diploma)

Our freelance journalism course trains you to write compelling news and articles for both print and online publications, on a range of topics. This practical course is an ideal place for beginners to start. It covers all of the journalism basics and teaches you to work as a professional freelance journalist.

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