Journalists write, edit and report news stories and broadcasts across a wide variety of mediums, including print, television, and radio. They may also create articles and features for magazines, newspapers, blogs, and more.
If you’re a fantastic communicator, have a way with words, and are determined and hard-working, becoming a Journalist could be perfect for you.
- Excellent communication skills
- Impeccable presentation
- Great with language
- Ethical and fair
- Fantastic time management skills
- Good with technology
- Determined and resilient
- Creative and innovative
- Researching background information behind a potential story
- Interviewing people to gather information
- Critically analysing sources and research materials
- Writing articles, blogs, posts, commentaries, etc.
- Reporting live on current events as they are happening
- Creating content for a variety of mediums, including print, television, radio, web, and more
- Adhering to a strict code of ethics, upholding honesty, fairness, independence, and respect
Lifestyle Impact: Low
- Part Time opportunities: Moderate – around 32% of Journalists work part-time (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Average hours for full-time workers: 44 hours a week, which is average (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Journalists’ salary (average) $60,000* per year (source: seek.com.au). *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
- Future career growth: Moderate (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- You will be doing some work indoors on computers, and some work out in the field.
- More than half of workers reported that they regularly work overtime or extra hours (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au). Depending on how important a story is, you could be asked to jump in to provide coverage at any time of the day or night.
Journalists are most in demand in these locations:
This is a large occupation, with only around 16,300 people working as Journalists in Australia in 2021 (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au). Demand for Journalists is highest in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Most Journalists work in the Information Media and Telecommunications industry.
How to become a Journalist in Australia
A university-level degree in journalism, communication, or writing is generally desired if you’re looking for jobs as a Journalist.
Step 1 – Finish Year 12 with a focus on English.
Step 2 – Complete a relevant undergraduate course, such as a Bachelor of Journalism or Communications.
Step 3 – Start working freelance and trying to get your name out there. Keep a portfolio of any work you’ve done.
Step 4 – Secure work in-house for a publication or broadcaster, or continue working freelance.
Step 5 – Keep your skills up to date with short courses and workshops.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What do Journalists do?
Journalists are media professionals who report on news events and common interest stories. They write a variety of material for all sorts of interests and mediums.
What options are there for career progression?
You might start out as a junior Journalist, covering basic stories, before deciding to specialise in a particular area (such as crime, business, politics, entertainment, etc). One day you might even become the face of a particular news show.
Do I need to go to university to become a Journalist?
Yes, you will usually need to complete a minimum undergraduate qualification in order to become a Journalist in Australia. If not, you’ll need to have a very impressive portfolio of work to show off.
Where do Journalists work?
Some Journalists work in-house for a news or television studio, while others might work freelance.
What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become a Journalist?
If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as a Journalist is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:
- Get writing in any way you can – keep a journal, start a blog, or even enter short story competitions. Any practice you can get will strengthen your skills.
- See if you can find work experience in journalism or media setting. This will help you see if you might enjoy the work, and can help you start building important contacts for the future.
- Talk to a Journalist to see what a day in their life is like. If you don’t know anyone, see if you can watch videos or documentaries about a career in journalism.