Journalism jobs have evolved over the years, from newspapers to online news sources and websites. Today, you can find many different journalism job categories and titles to choose from that depend on your interests and skill set.
We’ve researched where to find journalism jobs, expected salaries and career growth rates to help you in your job search.
Main Takeaways: Getting a Job in Journalism
- Journalists serve over 90% of adults that get their news online. Though traditional newspapers may be decreasing in popularity, the role journalists play is still as prevalent.
- Jobs in journalism cover a wide range of fields. Journalists are needed for news coverage, entertainment, sports, broadcasting, and more.
- Salary ranges vary for journalists. Read on to discover average salary, growth rate, skills needed and more.
What Does a Journalism Job Entail?
Journalists gather, interpret and report news and information. The history of American journalism can be traced back to 1760, when Benjamin Harris published the first newspaper, “Publick Occurrences,” in Boston.
Roughly 9 in 10 adults (93%) get at least some of their news online, so journalism jobs in these categories are expanding, according to the Pew Research Center. Typical daily tasks for journalists might include researching and writing news stories for television stations, newspapers, online news sources and magazines.
Do I Need a Journalism Degree to Work in this Field?
You’ll likely need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in journalism, English or communication if you’re pursuing journalism as a career. Concentrate or minor in a related subject or take public relations courses if you want to specialize in a certain field such as financial news or public relations.
You can get an entry-level journalism job if you have several years of on-the-job training and a solid portfolio of published pieces to show prospective employers. A master’s degree usually isn’t required for this field.
Types of Journalism Jobs and Titles
Let’s take a look at sample journalism fields and titles that can fall under the larger journalism job category.
Entry-Level Journalism Jobs
Entry-level journalism jobs, which could be as a staff writer, staff reporter or entry-level writer, are ideal for recent college graduates. You’ll get on-the-job experience and these jobs are great for building your resume. You might be tasked with writing news copy for a media outlet or news agency, fact-checking, proofreading and researching as part of a news reporting team.
Editorial Assistant Jobs
Editorial assistants, or junior editors, support editors at traditional and online news organizations, including magazines. Typical job functions might include:
- Edit and proofread stories and social media posts
- Research and fact check articles
- Pitch and write articles
Editorial assistant jobs are geared people looking to break into the industry and are stepping stones to more senior-level positions.
Multimedia Journalism Jobs
Multimedia journalists, reporters and news writers write and report news stories through multiple media platforms such as online news sites, published newspapers and social media. You might write a news story and publish it across multiple media.
News editors, also called staff editors, read and edit content for newspapers, magazines and websites and make decisions about what should and shouldn’t be published. Editors might also review and edit layouts and photos, depending on the type of publication and its requirements.
Sports Journalism Jobs
Sports journalists and writers report and write stories about sports games, events, players and other subjects for news sites, magazines and newspapers. A sports journalist might interview a baseball player and write an in-depth story or cover a basketball game and write an after-game article.
Social Media Jobs
Social media journalists, writers and specialists write and post stories on social media sites for news organizations such as television channels, newspapers and magazines. They monitor the accounts for reader “likes” and comments and respond appropriately. Many people read and share news articles on social media and jobs in the field are plentiful.
Video Game Journalism Jobs
Video game journalists review and report on all aspects of video games, including the level of difficulty, entertainment factor and overall game design. The purpose of video game journalism is to make recommendations to current and potential players on which games are the best to purchase.
These types of writers could write for an independent magazine, website or other news organization.
Broadcast Journalism Jobs
Broadcast journalists typically write for television and radio stations and report on current news and events. Since news is always evolving, you must be able to write copy quickly to meet broadcast deadlines.
This type of journalism is a bit different than most, because what you write will be read aloud by television or radio personalities. You must be skilled at this type of specialized writing.
Salary Ranges and Expectations for Journalism Jobs
The average salary range for journalists is $24,000 to $70,000, according to Payscale.com. Writers for larger news organizations such as The New York Times earn $75,000, so salaries for this field vary depending on the size of the company you work for and the category of journalism you pursue.
Projected Growth Rate of the Journalism Field
Thinking of a journalism career? Your best bet is to look for an online journalism job. Reporter jobs are expected to decline 9% by 2026, but these numbers reflect traditional news reporters, not necessarily online journalists, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
How to Get a Journalism Job
Here are some tips to get you started on your search for a journalism job:
- Build up your portfolio: Journalists are expected to have a portfolio of their published pieces, usually in an online form, although you could also have a hard copy portfolio. Keep your portfolio updated so you can show off your best writing to prospective employers.
- Network: Reach out to colleagues and friends on sites such as LinkedIn and add them to your network. You can also join journalism-related professional organizations such as the Society of Professional Journalists to connect with other journalists and find job postings.
- Apply for an internship: Many newspapers and online news websites hire interns, so this is a great way to get your foot in the door. You can learn the business while adding to your resume and portfolio.
- Pitch a story: Send a pitch via email to a few news organizations. If they like your idea, you could be asked to be a guest contributor or get a job that way.
- Check out your college’s career center: Take advantage of your school’s career center and career counselors if you’re still in school. They can point you in the right direction in your job search.
- Apply on targeted job search engines: Job search engines such as JournalismJobs.com and Mediabistro.com specialize in posting journalism jobs, so these are good places to start.
- Tweak your resume: Journalists are expected to be 100% accurate, so have your resume professionally written and reviewed to ensure it’s error-free.
- Amp up your education: Even if you have a degree, taking online communication courses and earning certifications in specialized areas of writing will help boost your marketability.
Top 8 Skills to Be Successful at Journalism
A journalism job requires a unique combination of solid education and abilities. Let’s take a look at the top 8 skills you need to be successful:
1. Writing Skills
It may seem obvious, but you should have a flair for writing if you want to be a journalist. In some cases, good writing skills can be learned. However, it helps if you have an inherent desire and talent for wordsmithing. As a journalist, you’ll do a lot of writing on the fly whether you work for a newspaper, magazine or television station.
2. Proofreading Skills
Good writers should also be skilled proofreaders, able to catch the smallest of spelling and grammar mistakes. Of course, there are programs such as Grammarly that you can use to check your writing, but no program is foolproof, so you’ll need to be able to proofread. News organizations hang their hat on accuracy because savvy readers catch mistakes and then question their credibility and reliability.
3. Editing Skills
Being a good editor is a must for a journalist. Even though your writing will be reviewed and edited by other colleagues, you still need to know the basic concepts of content to keep and what to throw away.
4. Technical Skills
Writers today need to be tech-savvy enough to use programs such as WordPress, Microsoft Word, Google Docs and many more to succeed in the industry. You should be a pro “Googler” and adept at using a laptop or personal computer.
5. Storytelling Skills
Most news articles are presented in story-like fashion, with a beginning, middle and end, so journalists should be good storytellers. You have to give readers or viewers the who, what, where, when and why of the stories you’re telling and make them engaging.
6. Research Skills
No matter which subject you’re writing about, the stories you write as a journalist should be thoroughly researched. Researching is a big part of the job — you should know how to research topics and where to find credible sources and websites.
7. Relationship-Building Skills
Journalists need to be good at building collaborative relationships with editors, other writers, interviewees and photographers. You should be viewed as a trusted colleague, one who can be relied on to deliver accurate and timely writing, so good relationship-building skills are important.
8. Communication Skills
Overall good communication skills are needed to be successful as a journalist because you communicate primarily through your writing. However, you should also have great verbal and presentation skills. You should know who your audience is and how to convey messages to them succinctly and clearly in a way they can easily understand.
Journalism Jobs Can Pay the Bills
A journalism job can allow you to quench your thirst for knowledge and earn a paycheck and many journalism jobs can be done remotely. Lastly, writing gives you the chance to express yourself in your own unique way and leave an impact on readers.
There will always be a need for journalists to report on and deliver news to the masses, whether via print or online; a journalism job can offer job security and a solid plan for retirement.