Profession 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

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


  • Copyright legislation

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

  • Grammar

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Editorial standards

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


  • Consult information sources

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

  • 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.

  • Use specific writing techniques

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

  • 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.

  • Follow the news

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

  • Stay up to date with social media

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

  • Apply grammar and spelling rules

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

  • Interview people

    Interview people in a range of different circumstances.

  • Participate in editorial meetings

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

  • 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.

  • Write to a deadline

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

  • 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.

  • Evaluate writings in response to feedback

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

Optional knowledge and skills

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

Source: Sisyphus ODB