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

  • 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


  • Spelling

    The rules concerning the way words are spelled.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Interview people

    Interview people in a range of different circumstances.

  • 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.

  • Apply grammar and spelling rules

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

  • Use specific writing techniques

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

  • Consult information sources

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

  • Write to a deadline

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

  • Stay up to date with social media

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

  • Evaluate writings in response to feedback

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

  • Follow the news

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

  • 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.

Optional knowledge and skills

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