Job type

Newspaper journalist

£15k - £50k

Typical salary

37 – 39

Hours per week

Newspaper journalists investigate and write up stories for local, regional and national newspapers.

More info

  • Investigate, write and edit stories for news outlets including newspapers and online news providers
  • You could work on general news, regional news, or specialise in an area like politics or economics
  • Progress to higher profile outlets or into editing - or switch to a career in public relations

As a newspaper journalist, you could be reporting on council meetings and school events for a local paper, or on general elections and world events for the national press.


  • 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 could work in an office. Your working environment may be emotionally demanding and you'll travel often.

You'll need

For this role, you'll need knowledge of English language, media production and communication, thoroughness and attention to detail, the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure, excellent verbal and written communication skills, ambition and a desire to succeed, and persistence and determination.

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

You could do a college course in journalism. Some colleges offer the Level 3 Certificate in Foundation Journalism and courses in Shorthand, accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).

You could start as an office assistant or a trainee reporter on a local or regional newspaper.

You could also get into this job through an advanced apprenticeship as a junior journalist.

Alternatively, you could also take a journalism qualification like those offered by the NCTJ. If you have a degree, you could do a Fast Track NCTJ Diploma in Journalism course.

Opportunities are rare and competition is strong, so you'll need to show you've got writing experience, shown through a portfolio with published work. Experience can be built up by volunteering for student and community newspapers, writing your own blog or having an online presence on social media, or submitting articles and reviews to local papers or websites.


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.