How To Become A Journalist In UK


How To Become A Journalist In UK

Displaying traits of inquisitiveness or being a conversationalist doesn’t mean you will do well as a journalist.

There are requirements to how you become a journalist especially in the UK.

They are part of what you will find in this article to help you build a promising career.

Journalists in the UK choose their preference and stay glued to making sure don’t lose the taste of being in that profession as they move deeper.

Kindly, navigate through the table of contents to have an overview.

What Is Journalism?

Journalism is a career involving collation of information about a specific event and relaying the findings to a broad audience through either the print, digital, or broadcast media.

There are different forms a jounalist can report the information. They are features, investigative report, columns, reviews, and news.

While the feature and investigative report articles are longer and more detailed, the news, columns, and reviews are shorter and address a particular topic without having to give so much details.

Why Become A Journalist In The UK?

There are a lot of reasons why one would choose to become a journalist especially if you have a flair for writing and meeting people.

Journalism in the UK borders on the core skills needed to equip you for a career in print and online.

Apart from the fact that journalism gives you a placement in almost all firms that is literally connected with spoken and written words, you will find some other reasons outlined below.

Developed Skills

At the time of practising as journalist, there are skills you acquire which stay with you for as long as remain in the profession and even after you moved over to something else.

They are as follows

  • Teamwork and self-management
  • Ability to meet up with deadlines
  • Interviewing skills
  • Superb written and oral communication skills
  • IT and technical skills (audio and video).


Opting to become a journalist means you have dedicated a major part of your life to travelling.

There are situations that would need you to make short trips either locally or internationally to cover events and bring back reports.

That is why a career in journalism is one of the best career choice for someone who doesn’t enjoy being attcahed to a particular environment for so long.

What Are The Features Of A Journalist?

Because journalism involves discovery of events regardless of what it is and prompt delivery of reports to audience who may be in need of them, there has to be specific attributes journalists are known for.

Let’s see some of them in the list below.

  • Critical thinking
  • Curiosity
  • Accuracy
  • Thinking well on their feets
  • They enjoy establishing networks and talking to people
  • Possessing an esthetic eye
  • Like being updated about current happenings.

Types Of Journalism

There are different specializations in journalism where a journalist can choose from and perorm greatly in that particular area.

They are as follows:

Investigative Journalism

This involves in-depth research on a topic to uncover evidence and deliver results to a larger audience through a comprehensive report.

There are different tactics to which information about investigative journalism can be gathered.

This typr of journalism could either be broadcast or print media.

Watch Dog Journalism

The intent following this branch of journaism is keeping guard against any illegal activity in a society.

Although there is similarity between this and the former in the sense that both are intended towards uncovering wrong doings but, this helps maintain that societal powers are held accountable for their actions.

Broadcast Journalism

This involves the narration of a report with a related video playing in the background.

It could be reports about weather, traffic, news, sports, and entertainment.

Political Journalism

The political jounalist covers different areas of political activity ranging from the political processes to talking about the elcted officials and of course, how much they have achieved.

Here, the public is sure to be fed the information about the political ongoings.

Sports Journalism

The sport journalist is focused aminly on subjects of atheltic news and sporting events.

It can either be print or broadcast media.

Also, commentating during a sport event is a form of sports journalism.

Step-by-Step Guide On How To Become A Journalist In UK

For a new graduate who is much interested about storytelling and want to hone your writing skills, below are the easy steps to become a journalist in the UK.

Obtain Your Bachelor’s Degree

Kickstarting your career in journalism has to do with going for a bachelor’s degree in journalism, mass communication, or any other related field.

These major areas will help give you a broader view or a better perspective from where you can understand journalism better.

At the end of your baccaleaurate degree, you can either choose to further attend a school of journalism or apply for an entry-level job where you acquire an advanced knowledge on what journalism is all about.

Develop Your Writing Skills

In the UK, perofrming greatly as a journalist requires that you write extensively through a wide range of topics.

You can achieve this in either of the two ways listed below

  • Writing as a freelancer or
  • Developing your voice in a blog as a writer

This enhances yourprofessional growth.

Initiate Relationships With Reporters

In a communication related field where meeting with different personalities is unavoidable, ensure to reach out to reporters and establish a relationship with them.

Undergo An Internship With A Media Organisation

This is about the most important step in your journey on how to become a journalist in UK.

What internship does is that it opens you up to the reality of what it looks like being a journalist.

Your duties as an intern will include fact-checking stories and helping ou with the final editing before the publication process takes place.

Apply For A Job

This is where you get to apply all you learnt throughout your days as an undergraduate, intern, and your days at the school of journalism.

Also, it prepares you for further career advancement and greater opportunities.

Other Jounalism Entry Requirements

Journalists in the UK find it easier to gain placements acoss private and public sectors.

They can feature as sub-editors, reporters, proof-readers, copy writers, web editors, Public relations personnels, etc.

So, other requirements may include: A-level requirement in English language or literature, 32-34 points in your baccalaureate requirement, and the IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 or not lower than 6.0.

Where Can I Study Journalism In The UK?

To find the schools that offer the best journalism courses in the UK, we have employed the Guardian University Guide ranking for 2020 to bring you the top ten universities.

You can visit any of these schools for a worthwhile study time and for better results.

  • Oxford Brookes University
  • University of Strathclyde 
  • University of Sheffield
  • Cardiff University
  • Staffordshire University
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • University of Lincoln
  • Coventry University
  • UWE Bristol
  • Northumbria University

How Much Does A Journalist Earn In UK?

According to the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ), the average earning for a newspaper journalist is about £27,500.

Depending on whether or not you are starting out as a trainee reporter, your salary could be ranging from £12,000 – £15,000.

Also, journalists with up to five years experience earn about £25,000 – £30,000.

Payscale posits that the average salary for journalists in the UK is £24,271.

Additionally, due to the intensity of journalism jobs in the UK, BLS says that jobs for reporters will decline by 12% between 2018-2028 while jobs for editors will decrease by 3%, as well as jobs for photographers decreasing by 6%.

So, to have an edge over others, you have to garner as much experience as you can carry in this field.

How Much Does It Cost To Become A Journalist In UK?

The cost of tuition you spend at time of acquiring a program in journalism varies but, it ranges betfrm £19,00 t0 $20,000.

Tips On How To Become A Journalist In UK

For you to build a longlasting career in journalism, it is best you follow these tips.

  • Carry out a personal review on your career goals and carefully choose which career path is best for you. For instance, your desire to become an editor will lead you to follow a path in journalism editing. So, does it apply to other forms of journalism.
  • Before your expertise on a particular job is confirmed, you must meet the basic requirements that will keep you on the job. For the majority of the journalism jobs in the UK, you may be required to at least have a bachelor’s degree but for higher levels, a master’s degree or some level of experience will be required.
  • Since journalism reports are carried out through the print, online, or broadcast channels, you may have to choose which of the channels you prefer most.
  • Specialize in any area of journalism which suits you best.
  • Finally, ensure you carry out thorough research on the school’s admission requirements and cost of tuition in the school where you want to go obtain your degree in journalism.

Frequently Asked QuestionsHow much does a journalist earn in UK?

The average salary for a journalist in the UK is about £27,500.

Which schools offer Journalism courses in the UK?

These schools where you can obtain an education on journalism in the UK are:
Oxford Brookes University
University of Strathclyde 
University of Sheffield
Cardiff University
Staffordshire University
Nottingham Trent University
University of Lincoln
Coventry University
UWE Bristol
Northumbria University

What are the basic skills a journalist should possess?

The ker skills a journalist should possess are : Critical thinking,
Curiosity, Accuracy, Thinking well on their feets, etc.


If you follow this easy guide on how to become a journalist in the UK, you are not far from making a wholesome career in journalism.

Best wishes!!

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