Profession journalist

  • journalist

Journalists collect and analyse facts about newsworthy events by interview, investigation, or observation. Report and write stories for newspaper, news magazine, radio, or television.

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Personality Type

  • Artistic / Enterprising

Tasks journalist

  • Select, write and report (on) current stories for publication, broadcast or narrowcast, keeping to deadlines.
  • Review copy and correct errors in content, grammar and punctuation, adhere to editorial style, formats, possibilities and limitations of the media.
  • Gather information through (desk) research, interviews, field experience and by attending social events and public functions.
  • Make significant news interesting and relevant to target audience, keep the news comprehensive and proportional, describe and illustrate detail as well as background.
  • Analyze audiences and their interests, present different sides to a (conflicting) story, use multiple original sources and verify story before publication.
  • Stay abreast of trends and issues, know who's who and how to reach them, and recognize newsworthy issues in the society.
  • Consult the persons who decide on the selection of stories (such as editors or programme directors) and technical personnel (e.g. audiovisual operators) for support, if needed.
  • Maintain independence, withstand pressure, bribes or presents from interested parties and abstain from topics involving own personal interests. Credit and protect sources, and avoid plagiarism.
  • Provide a forum for public opinion and stimulate it through editorials, columns and reviews.
  • Respond to and interact with individuals and target audiences through the media.

Related professions journalism, editing

  • Author, writer
  • Columnist, commentator
  • Editor, all other
  • Editor, books
  • Editorial assistant
  • Media correspondent
  • Multimedia developer
  • News analyst
  • Press officer
  • Proofreader
  • Publisher
  • Reporter

Knowledge

  • Copyright legislation

    Legislation describing the protection of the rights of original authors over their work, and how others can use it.

  • Editorial standards

    The guidelines on how to deal with and report on privacy, children, and death according to impartiality, and other standards.

  • Interview techniques

    The techniques for getting information out of people by asking the right questions in the right way and to make them feel comfortable.

  • Grammar

    The set of structural rules governing the composition of clauses, phrases, and words in any given natural language.

  • Spelling

    The rules concerning the way words are spelled.

  • Writing techniques

    The different techniques to write a story such as the descriptive, persuasive, first person and other techniques.

Skills

  • Follow ethical code of conduct of journalists

    Follow the ethical code of conduct of journalists, such as freedom of speech, right of reply, being objective, and other rules.

  • Develop professional network

    Reach out to and meet up with people in a professional context. Find common ground and use your contacts for mutual benefit. Keep track of the people in your personal professional network and stay up to date on their activities.

  • Use specific writing techniques

    Use writing techniques depending on the type of media, the genre, and the story.

  • Stay up to date with social media

    Keep up with the trends and people on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

  • Consult information sources

    Consult relevant information sources to find inspiration, to educate yourself on certain topics and to acquire background information.

  • Interview people

    Interview people in a range of different circumstances.

  • Apply grammar and spelling rules

    Apply the rules of spelling and grammar and ensure consistency throughout texts.

  • Evaluate writings in response to feedback

    Edit and adapt work in response to comments from peers and publishers.

  • Participate in editorial meetings

    Participate in meetings with fellow editors and journalists to discuss possible topics and to divide the tasks and workload.

  • Study topics

    Carry out effective research on relevant topics to be able to produce summary information appropriate to different audiences. The research may involve looking at books, journals, the internet, and/or verbal discussions with knowledgeable persons.

  • Build contacts to maintain news flow

    Build contacts to maintain a flow of news, for example, police and emergency services, local council, community groups, health trusts, press officers from a variety of organisations, the general public, etc.

  • Follow the news

    Follow current events in politics, economics, social communities, cultural sectors, internationally, and in sports.

  • Write to a deadline

    Schedule and respect tight deadlines, especially for theatre, screen and radio projects.

Optional knowledge and skills

ict software specifications ensure consistency of published articles watch video and motion picture production products show diplomacy meet deadlines attend performances types of literature genres press law perform image editing record multi-track sound critically reflect on artistic production processes provide written content record court procedures perform video editing rewrite manuscripts food hygiene rules set up photographic equipment desktop publishing edit photographs promote yourself test photographic equipment election law food materials economics provide context to news stories multimedia systems proofread text sport history literature law enforcement use photographic equipment apply desktop publishing techniques sport games rules art history manage personal finances analyse trends in the food and beverage industries address problems critically read books write headlines maintain an artistic portfolio adapt to type of media film studies monitor political conflicts present arguments persuasively manage writing administration check correctness of information court procedures create online news content liaise with cultural partners maintain photographic equipment attend trade fairs audio editing software political science food science history of dance style pronunciation techniques musical genres cultural projects musical theory corporate law photography adapt to changing situations observe new developments in foreign countries write captions develop film communicate by telephone select camera apertures follow directions of on-site director attend book fairs direct photographic workers rewrite articles edit recorded sound political campaigning present during live broadcasts criminal law sports competition information read articles show intercultural awareness ask questions at events study cultures rhetoric document interviews liaise with celebrities political parties speak different languages edit digital moving images financial jurisdiction promote your writings sporting events stock market analyse market financial trends do historical research musical instruments select photographic equipment edit negatives tax legislation

Common job titles

  • Staff writer/reporter
  • Writer/editor
  • Paid fellowship
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  • Reporter, social media
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  • News associate, new york bureau
  • Freelance journalist & subject hunter
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