Journalists write and edit news reports, commentaries, feature articles and blogs for newspapers, magazines, radio, television and websites, including online publications.
Journalists may perform the following tasks:
- gather news and information by interviewing people and attending events
- undertake research to provide background information for articles
- assess the suitability of reports and articles for publication or broadcasting, ensuring they are within an established style and format, and edit as necessary
- write articles that comment on or interpret news events, some of which may put forward a point of view on behalf of the publication
- present news on air (television and radio).
Journalists usually start as cadets and report routine events. In newspapers and on radio and television, most reporters are expected to be 'generalists' who are able to cover almost any topic of interest.
With experience, and sometimes further training, journalists may perform a variety of tasks according to their area of specialisation. They may also work as editors or progress to the role of editor after several years of experience. See the separate entry for Editor.
A columnist writes a regular segment within their particular interest category (creative arts, politics or technology, for example), often incorporating a personal view or opinion.
A feature writer writes detailed stories or presents commentaries on specific news topics.
A leader writer discusses news topics in the editorial columns of newspapers or magazines.
A news reporter reports on day-to-day news events (crime, education, health or sport, for example).
A roundsperson reports on and discusses a specialised area (politics, economics or education, for example).
All journalists are required to understand the laws of defamation, contempt and copyright. They may have to work long and irregular hours and are often under pressure to meet deadlines.
Journalists may work indoors and carry out interviews by telephone or may have to work outdoors in all kinds of weather. Travel is often required.
- able to write clear, concise, objective and accurate material quickly
- good general knowledge
- interested in current events
- aptitude to learn keyboard and shorthand skills
- able to speak clearly when working on radio and television.
Education and Training, Employment Opportunities and Additional Information
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