Newspaper Journalist

Job Description:

Newspaper journalists research and write stories or articles for local, regional, and national newspapers.

Job Category:
Culture, Media & Sport

What you will do:

You could be reporting on council meetings and school fêtes for a local paper, or on general elections and world events for the national press.

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • investigating a story as soon as it breaks
  • following up potential leads and developing new contacts
  • interviewing people face-to-face and over the phone
  • attending press conferences
  • recording meetings and interviews using recording equipment or shorthand
  • coming up with ideas for stories and features
  • writing up articles in a style that will appeal to the reader
  • sub-editing other reporters’ articles for publication
  • writing up articles for online publication


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of English language
  • knowledge of media production and communication
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • excellent written communication skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • ambition and a desire to succeed 
  • persistence and determination
  • adaptable
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

You could start as a trainee on a local or regional newspaper. Opportunities are rare and you’ll need to show you’ve writing experience.

You could also get into this job through an apprenticeship.

You could also get into this career through a degree in journalism or English, or a postgraduate journalism qualification.

In the UK, you could also take a journalism qualification like those offered by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).

Working Hours and Environment:

You may work long, irregular hours including evenings, weekends and public holidays.

You’ll usually work in an open-plan office. You’ll also spend time out of the office, following up stories. If you work for the national or international press you could travel abroad.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could become a chief reporter or a specialist writer, covering areas like politics, business or particular regions of the country. You could move to a national newspaper or work as a critic.

You could move into other areas such as magazine, broadcast or online journalism. Or you could work in a press office or public relations.