How to become a Journalist

Journalists write and edit news reports, commentaries, feature articles and blogs for newspapers, magazines, radio, television and websites, including online publications. Journalists usually start as cadets and report routine events. In newspapers and on radio and television, most reporters are expected to be 'generalists' who are able to cover almost any topic of interest. With experience, and sometimes further training, journalists may perform a variety of tasks according to their area of specialisation.

Personal requirements of a Journalist

  • Able to write clear, concise, objective and accurate material quickly
  • Good general knowledge
  • Interest in current events
  • Aptitude to learn keyboard and shorthand skills
  • Able to speak clearly when working on radio and television

Education & Training for a Journalist

To become a journalist you usually have to complete a degree in journalism or in a related field with a major in journalism, followed by a one-year graduate cadetship involving on-the-job training. Alternatively, you can become a journalist by completing a three-year cadetship, during which you receive instruction and gain experience in practical journalism under the supervision of senior journalists. To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education with English. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. For further details, visit www.gooduniversitiesguide.com.au.

Avg. weekly wage:

$1,241

Future growth:

strong growth

Employment by state:

ACT 2.4%

NSW 37.5%

NT 0.9%

QLD 14.5%

SA 5%

TAS 3.2%

VIC 26.8%

WA 9.8%

Hours worked:

40.4

Unemployment:

average

Gender split:

Proportion of male workers 50.2%

Proportion of female workers 49.7%

Education level:

Proportion of workers who have not completed Year 10: 0%

Proportion of workers who have not completed Year 12: 0%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is secondary school: 22.1%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 1.4%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 0%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 55.3%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 21.2%

Age bracket:

Proprortion of workers aged below 35 years: 68.2%

Proportion of workers aged above 35 years: 66.3%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.




Additional Information
Cadetships are offered by national, regional and local media organisations. Entry requirements vary, but you will need to demonstrate a passion for journalism and a flair for writing. Competition is very strong. Contact the organisations you are interested in to find out about their cadetship program and application process.
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