Careers Service Occupations

Journalism & Writing

Journalism and Writing


Find out about the routes into the popular fields of journalism and writing.

Careers advice (journalism)

Careers advice (writing)

Useful blogs include:

Industry news

The Press and are good sources of news. 

North East Times produces printed magazines that promote the achievements of individuals, companies and organisations that are impacting the local economy. 

Professional bodies

These represent people working in the sector, providing training and networking opportunities. They often provide careers support for students and graduates. 

They also provide development for people already working in the sector. Follow them and sector skills bodies on LinkedIn, or visit their websites for news, contacts, work experience and vacancies.

Find professional bodies outside the UK on GoinGlobal by selecting ‘Professional and Personal Networking’ on each of the individual country guides. 



The National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) delivers training for the UK newspaper industry.

Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC) delivers training for TV and radio.

Industry support

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) provides support for industry professionals and students.

Other associations  


Scattered Authors' Society is a group of writers for children and teenagers. The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators supports both published and unpublished writers.

Northern Film & Media is the regional film and television agency for the North East of England. 

Arts criticism is covered by the Critics' Circle - professional association of British critics of dance, drama, film, music, visual arts and architecture.

Science and medicine

Making contacts

Talking to people in the sector can give you an insight into the roles found in journalism and writing. It can be useful for networking and making speculative applications. 

You could start with Newcastle alumni on LinkedIn – find out what our graduates did after graduation and contact them for advice.

Social media, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter, can also be useful for making contacts, finding employers and opportunities. Find out more about how to use social media for your career and subscribe to our Journalism Twitter list.


Recruitment fairs, open days, talks and events give insights and opportunities to make contacts. Regular events organised by the Careers Service include Employer & Sector InsightsRecruitment Events and our annual Newcastle University Creative Careers.

Reference books available in the Careers Service

  • Getting into films & television, Robert Angell
  • How to get a job in television
  • Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2010
  • The essential guide to careers in journalism
  • Benn’s Media
  • How to get your first job in television, Sha Richmond

Related sectors

You may also be interested in Media or Publishing.

Or see our other Explore Occupations pages for more options.

Roles & Skills

The following job profiles include descriptions of typical duties and entry requirements.

Have a look at the job profiles in this sector on Prospects and targetjobs to find out more about what these roles involve and how to get into them. These are just some of the profiles available:


For information on undertaking a postgraduate or vocational training course, see Study & Training.


Skills employers look for

Employers look for skills including:

  • the ability to write quickly, clearly, succinctly and passionately, with excellent grammar and spelling
  • commitment, perseverance and a thick skin (be comfortable asking strangers uncomfortable questions)
  • curiosity: a lively and enquiring mind
  • the ability to strike up a rapport with all kinds of people
  • Teeline shorthand at 100 words per minute or more and a knowledge of media law
  • multimedia skills, as these are increasingly essential (video and blogging skills, writing for search optimisation and multi platforms)

Gaining Experience

Work experience in this sector can be highly competitive and often unpaid.

Some recruiters advertise opportunities, but you may need to contact others with a speculative approach

Try not be disheartened by rejections. It can take a lot of persistence to achieve work experience in this field.

If you are considering working on an unpaid basis, then you may have questions about your employment or payment rights - see our page on unpaid work experience. The Careers Service provides some funding to help with low or unpaid experience – see Career Insights Bursary for more information.

Top tips for applying for work experience

  • know and love the medium you want to work in
  • whoever you apply for, make sure you're familiar with their content and show enthusiasm for it
  • do your homework and find out staff names, roles and everything you can about the company
  • call them to find out who's in charge of work experience and address your recipient by name
  • write a brief email, introducing yourself, explaining what you're looking for and your skills
  • tailor each email to the specific publication

Finding work experience

Advertised opportunities


  • News Associates - run regular free half-day journalism workshops in London and Manchester
  • Sports Journalists' Association - links to sources of opportunities, mainly unpaid
  •  - lists jobs and internships, including journalism opportunities
  • Trill! Magazine - an online magazine aimed at young people aged 18-30, regularly looking for contributors
  • SELLL Blog - regularly posts writing opportunities for current students or recent graduates
  • Cision Jobs - internships and work experience related to journalism

TV companies


For further advice on finding work experience, see TARGETjobs: Getting graduate work experience in journalism.

work experience: local or national newspapers. 

Other ways to gain experience

While at university, take the opportunity to get involved in student media.

Hospital and community radio is good for volunteer vacancies and building up broadcasting experience.

The Hospital Broadcasting Association includes a directory of member stations

Community Media Association has a list of UK community radio stations.

Consider creating your own blog, vlog or website to showcase your work. Sign up to Twitter and contribute to websites or forums which allow users to submit reviews or comments.

Competitions can be a great way to get feedback on your work, showcase your skills, make contacts and, of course, win prizes.  

BBC Writersroom: Opportunities lists competitions, courses and other opportunities from the BBC and across the industry.

Scholarships, awards and competitions 

Scholarships and awards


Finding Jobs

There are a few graduate training schemes available in journalism - competition for these is fierce.

Examples of employers that run such schemes include Thomson Reuters and the Financial Times.

For a full list of journalism graduate and trainee schemes, see Journo Resources

Use the following resources to find advertised vacancies and also research employers for speculative applications.





  • News Media Association - includes a comprehensive database of British local newspaper titles and links to their websites
  • Jobs4Journalists - job and internships in journalism and communications
  • HTFP: Jobs - includes trainee and junior reporter roles and magazine writers

The National Association of Press Agencies (NAPA) gives details of press agencies for those who are interested in working for themselves in the UK. Includes a member directory, useful for speculative applications.

Twitter can be a useful source of vacancies - see for example @journalism_jobs.

Find jobs and additional vacancy source websites outside the UK on GoinGlobal.


Writers are almost exclusively self-employed. Most publishing houses will not accept unsolicited manuscripts, so consider employing an agent. 

Technical author


For more information and advice on self-employment, visit Work for Yourself.

Study & Training

Employers in journalism are most interested in real experience and relevant practical skills.

Entry with a postgraduate journalism degree can improve your chances. This is especially true if it is NCTJ-accredited or includes relevant work experience. 

Courses can also provide valuable training in media law, ethics and shorthand. For newspaper journalism, pre-entry routes include one-year full-time postgraduate courses. These lead to a postgraduate diploma or Master's degree.

There are also fast-track, 18 to 20-week postgraduate courses. These are intensive, practical courses usually leading to the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism. 

It's worth researching potential employers to find out which qualifications they prefer.

Postgraduate entry is the most common route to a career in broadcast journalism. The BJTC and NCTJ accredit postgraduate courses that offer both theoretical and practical training.

Useful resources:

For information on postgraduate courses and funding, see Further Study.