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Article: Journalism

Summary

This article covers the following jobs:

  • Fashion/Advertising Photographer
  • Magazine Journalist
  • Newspaper Journalist
  • Picture Researcher
  • Press Photographer
  • Radio/TV Journalist
  • Sub-editor.

The job descriptions are only a brief summary. You should find out more about the jobs that interest you.

Video: - Various: Journalism

Newspapers

Newspaper journalists need excellent writing ability and an interest in current affairs. They also need to be persistent and inquisitive, with a good understanding of their readership.

Journalists who work on online versions of the paper might also need basic web writing and editing skills, such as the ability to use a content management system and upload photos.

Newspaper Journalist

Newspaper journalists work as reporters on local, regional or national newspapers. They collect information, investigate stories and write articles.

They collect background information by using personal contacts, libraries and the internet. They gain an insight into events by interviewing people. Newspaper journalists need to produce their work to tight deadlines.

Entry to this career is highly competitive and most entrants are graduates. Nearly all journalists start by working on local papers.

Press Photographer

Press photographers (sometimes known as photojournalists) take photos for newspapers, magazines, periodicals, technical journals or web-based publications.

They often start their careers by working for local newspapers before moving on to either national publications, specialist publications or freelance work.

Press photographers must be able to set up a picture to go with a story. Some photographers may also be expected to write captions or even stories to accompany their photos.

In addition to taking pictures, press photographers may develop and print their own work. Many papers, magazines and news agencies use digital photography. They often download photos from the camera to a laptop computer and email photos to the editorial desk from the scene.

Press photographers need to be patient as well as able to respond quickly to situations. They may also have to work unsocial hours and travel, sometimes at short notice.

The minimum entry requirements for employment with training are five GCSEs at grade C or above, including English. However, due to fierce competition, candidates usually have more than the minimum requirements. A good portfolio of work is important.

Picture Researcher

Picture researchers choose relevant pictures or illustrations for use in books, newspapers, magazines and websites. The editor or author of the publication asks the researcher to find a picture that is suitable for the content and layout of the manuscript.

Researchers find illustrations by looking in the library and museum catalogues, picture agency directories, The Picture Researcher's Handbook, and by using the internet. The researcher also supplies captions (words) for the pictures.

Picture researchers can either be employed by publishers or work freelance. They must work to deadlines and to a budget.

Many researchers start their careers in a related area of work such as publishing, design or museum work. These jobs are usually graduate entry.

Sub-editor

Sub-editors make sure written work is accurate before it gets published. They work on publications such as newspapers, magazines, websites and journals.

Among other things, they make sure that:

  • the copy reads well, makes sense and is at the right level for the reader
  • there are no spelling, grammar or punctuation mistakes
  • photo captions match what's being shown
  • the writer has followed house style
  • nothing's been included that breaks the law.

If the copy is too long, the sub-editor will take text out and do some rewriting, being careful not to lose the writer's meaning.

They also need to make sure copy appears in the right place on each page. Some sub-editors design pages and edit photos.

For newspaper sub-editing, you'll usually need to take an approved course in journalism that allows you to specialise in sub-editing.

Fashion/Advertising Photographer

Fashion/advertising photographers take photos that attract attention to the product being advertised. Most work on a freelance basis from their own studio. They produce photos for magazines, newspapers, brochures, websites and posters.

Fashion/advertising photographers usually receive a brief from an art director, fashion editor or other client. This brief details the image they wish to project.

A lot of advertising work involves taking still life photos of objects in a studio. Some photographers specialise in a particular area, such as food.

Fashion/advertising photographers work under a lot of pressure and must keep within the limits of a budget and meet deadlines.

If you are interested in becoming a fashion/advertising photographer, the best way to learn about the industry is by becoming either a full-time or freelance photographic assistant, although there is a lot of competition for these jobs.

Magazines

Magazine journalists research and write news and feature articles, and some also edit what they've written.

They write about areas of interest for the magazine's readers, so they need to keep up to date with developments and trends in the subject area, as well as generate interesting ideas for new articles.

Picture Researcher

Picture researchers choose relevant illustrations for use in books, newspapers, magazines and websites. The editor or author of the publication asks the researcher to find a picture that is suitable for the content and layout of the manuscript.

Researchers find illustrations by looking in the library and museum catalogues, picture agency directories, The Picture Researcher's Handbook and using the internet. The researcher also supplies captions (words) for the pictures.

Picture researchers can either be employed by publishers or work freelance. They must work to deadlines and to a budget.

Many researchers start their careers in a related area of work such as publishing, design or museum work. These jobs are usually graduate entry.

Magazine Journalist

Magazine journalists work on a wide range of magazines. These include business, technical, professional and consumer/lifestyle magazines. They write news and features and might also edit copy.

Journalists often specialise in a particular area, such as fashion, and have to keep up to date with trends and developments in this area. They usually do a lot of research before they write their articles.

Some journalists work freelance, using their specialist knowledge to write features for a number of magazines.

All journalists need good English and writing style, and the ability to conform to a house style.

Competition for entry to this work is tough and most entrants are graduates.

Fashion/Advertising Photographer

Fashion/advertising photographers take photos that will attract attention to the product being advertised. Most work on a freelance basis from their own studios. They produce photos for magazines, newspapers, brochures, websites and posters.

Fashion/advertising photographers usually receive a brief from an art director, fashion editor or other client. This brief details the image they wish to project.

A lot of advertising work involves taking still life photographs of objects in a studio. Some photographers specialise in a particular area, such as food.

Fashion/advertising photographers work under a lot of pressure and must keep within the limits of a budget and meet deadlines.

If you are interested in becoming a fashion/advertising photographer, the best way to learn about the industry is by becoming either a full-time or freelance photographic assistant, although there is a lot of competition for these jobs.

Sub-editor

Sub-editors make sure written work is accurate before it gets published. They work on publications such as newspapers, magazines, websites and journals.

Among other things, they make sure that:

  • the copy reads well, makes sense and is at the right level for the reader
  • there are no spelling, grammar or punctuation mistakes
  • photo captions match what's being shown
  • the writer has followed house style
  • nothing's been included that breaks the law.

If the copy is too long, the sub-editor will take text out and do some rewriting, being careful not to lose the writer's meaning.

They also need to make sure copy appears in the right place on each page. Some sub-editors design pages and edit photos.

Some approved courses in journalism allow you to specialise in sub-editing.

Radio and TV

Radio and TV journalism covers areas such as researching, writing and presenting news reports and other features.

Radio/TV Journalist

Radio/television journalists collect and report on news and other items of interest for radio or television.

Journalists employed in national television and radio are either reporters who go out and collect stories, or sub-editors who write bulletins in the newsroom.

Competition for training places and employment is severe. Many national radio/television journalists start their careers by working on newspapers or in local radio.

Many entrants to this career are graduates.

Further Information

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ)

Tel: 020 78433700

Email: info@nuj.org.uk

Website: www.nuj.org.uk/work/careers/

Newspaper Society (NS)

Email: ns@newspapersoc.org.uk

Website: www.newspapersoc.org.uk

ScreenSkills

Skills for the creative industries

Email: info@creativeskillset.org

Website: www.creativeskillset.org

Creative Choices

Publisher: Creative & Cultural Skills

Email: info@creative-choices.co.uk

Website: www.creative-choices.co.uk

Creative & Cultural Skills

Skills for craft, cultural heritage, design, literature, music, performing arts and visual arts

Email: london@ccskills.org.uk

Website: ccskills.org.uk

BBC Careers

Website: www.bbc.co.uk/careers/home

Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC)

Email: sec@bjtc.org.uk

Website: www.bjtc.org.uk

Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ)

Tel: 020 7252 1187

Email: memberservices@cioj.co.uk

Website: www.cioj.co.uk

National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ)

Email: info@nctj.com

Website: www.nctj.com

Professional Publishers Association (PPA)

Email: info@ppa.co.uk

Website: www.ppa.co.uk

London School of Journalism (LSJ)

Tel: 020 7432 8140

Email: admin@lsjournalism.com

Website: www.lsj.org

Journalism Diversity Fund

Email: journalismdiversityfund@nctj.com

Website: www.journalismdiversityfund.com

Guardian Media Group (GMG)

Email: contact@gmgplc.co.uk

Website: www.gmgplc.co.uk

journalism.co.uk

Website: www.journalism.co.uk

Press Gazette: Journalism Today

Email: pged@pressgazette.co.uk

Website: www.pressgazette.co.uk

NUJ Freelance Fees Guide

Website: www.londonfreelance.org/feesguide/index.html

Scottish Newspaper Society (SNS)

Scottish enquiries

Website: www.scotns.org.uk

Careers in Journalism

Publisher: NUJ Training

Email: info@nctj.com

Website: www.nujtraining.org.uk/getdata.phtml?id=880&its=1&ref=0

Wales Online (Welsh Enquiries)

Address: WalesOnline, Media Wales, Six Park Street, Cardiff, CF10 1XR

Website: www.walesonline.co.uk

Welsh Books Council (Welsh Enquiries)

Address: Castell Brychan, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 2JB

Tel: 01970 624151

Email: info@wbc.org.uk

Website: www.cllc.org.uk

S4C (Welsh Enquiries)

Address: Parc Ty Glas, Llanishen, Cardiff, UK, CF14 5DU

Tel: 029 2046 5533

Website: www.s4c.co.uk

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