Career Advice
Your destination for expert career guidance
🔍

Journalist

Write, edit and present new stories, articles and commentaries for a range of media.

What's it like to be a Journalist?

Journalists write, edit and present news stories, feature articles and commentaries for magazines, newspapers, online publications, websites radio and television.

Tasks and duties

  • Investigate and report on events, issues and trends by gathering information, drawing on research and interviewing case studies and experts.
  • Produce content for a particular platform, news outlet or publication, which may include photographs, video and social media.
  • Adhere to a strict code of ethics, which maintains that honesty, fairness, independence and respect for the rights of others are the core commitments of journalism.

Journalists are employed by a variety of organisations including newspapers, magazines, websites, radio stations, content agencies and television companies. Due to the shifting nature of the industry many journalists also work on a freelance basis.

Often journalists begin working as generalist reporters, however with experience often specialise.

What can I earn as a Journalist?

All
NSW
VIC
WA
QLD
TAS
SA
NT
ACT
The most common salary for a Journalist is between $45k and $55k
Source: SEEK job ads

How to become a Journalist

SEEK Learning
To become a Journalist in Australia the most common pathway is to complete a degree in journalism or in a related field with a major in journalism. This is often followed by a cadetship.
  1. Undertake a degree in journalism. This could be a Bachelor of Journalism, Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) or a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism). These are typically three-year full time courses, for people over 17 years of age or who have completed year 12 with an appropriate Universities Admission Index and relevant prerequisites.
  2. There are numerous career pathways for journalists, including working in media law, editing, advertising, marketing, communications, policy or politics.

Explore journalism qualifications

Find a course that will get you started on your path to becoming a Journalist.

3 institutions offering this qualification
Choose an institution
Institution logoInstitution logoInstitution logo
5 institutions offering this qualification
Choose an institution
Institution logoInstitution logoInstitution logoInstitution logo
1 institutions offering this qualification
Choose an institution
Institution logo
Powered bySEEK Learning
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

What skills are employers looking for?

Employers want:

  • Web savviness
  • Initiative
  • Professional ethics
  • Self motivation
  • Written skills

Shortlisted applicants:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Integrity
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

How do Journalists rate their role?

Latest reviews from 22 Journalists surveyed on SEEK

Work-life balance
3.9
Job satisfaction
4.2
Career progression opportunities
3.4
Job security
2.6
Pay / Salary
3.0
Variety of work
4.1

Latest reviews

All
Positive
Negative
Nov 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Diploma of Journalism
Experience
5 – 9 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Technology
The good things
Doing something you are passionate about and the rare chance to tell a story that is of importance
The challenges
It is a tight i dustry now, getting smaller so you have very little time to do the best work possible. Hard to disconnect and move on with life after work hours. Very competitive, sometimes amongst co...
Nov 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Diploma of Journalism
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
The good things
Diversity, profile and interviewing interesting people
The challenges
Balancing demands of job and time management
Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Graded journalist
Experience
10+ years
The good things
Working as a journalist is both rewarding and challenging. The diversity of daily tasks, including interviews, is fantastic and it's the people that you meet every day that brings joy and inspiration ...
The challenges
Journalists work to a deadline, and this of course can be challenging and at times stressful. The digital age and social media also presents more challenges, as journalists need to be proficient and a...
Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Journalism cadetship
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Magazine editor
The good things
As a journalist, every day on the job is like a lucky dip. You have no idea what you will be doing (unless you have appointments, of course), who you will meet or where you will go. No two days are th...
The challenges
As a senior journalist, you know your community and who to contact when people need help. Readers know that and rely on you to be able to help them solve their problems. The challenge is to be able to...
Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Journalism
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
The good things
No two days are the same, you are witnessing history in the making...news and events as they happen. Journalists meet and interview many amazing people, hold people and organisations to account and te...
The challenges
The challenges include the hours, the poor remuneration at the moment compared to many other roles, and limited job security or opportunities for promotion amid downsizing and redundancies as advertis...
Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Journalism/Bachelor of International Relations
Experience
1 – 4 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Special publications
The good things
Great levels of creativity, ability to impact a publication, freedom of style and expression
The challenges
Poor job security and pay
Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Completed High School (Year 12)
Experience
5 – 9 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Sports Broadcasting
The good things
The great things about journalism are the opportunities to connect with people from different walks of life and share their stories across a variety if mediums. You need to be curious, loyal, have int...
The challenges
The challenges of journalism are the inconsistent working hours, travel and time away from home and the pressures of meeting right deadlines. You need to be prepared to put the hard yards in to work y...
Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Higher School Certificate
Experience
5 – 9 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Sports broadcasting
The good things
The good things about journalism are the opportunities to connect with people from different walks of life and share their stories. If you are curious, loyal, have integrity and an eye for a good tale...
The challenges
The challenges of working in journalism can be inconsistent work shifts and contracts, pressure to meet tight deadlines and sometimes not being able to manage a story concept all the way through to fr...
Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Certificate IV in Property Services (Real Estate)
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Real estate marketing
The good things
Working as a property copywriter has allowed me great freedom. I worked flexible hours from home while I raised my son, move cities whenever I chose to, and I'm my own boss with the option to grow or ...
The challenges
Creating new expressions and finding fresh ways to interest the reader continues to stimulate my mind and captivate my thoughts. Even after 15 years, I remain in awe of the elegance, complexity and fl...
Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Master of Communication
Experience
1 – 4 years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Academia
The good things
There is a lot of pride in being a journalist. You hold a certain amount of power being able to shape narratives and so have status in the communities you work in. You also feel that you are a force o...
The challenges
It's difficult to get into the cities, so you start in regional towns which is isolating. You will find yourself in small towns with no friends or connections and it takes serious work to build networ...
Source: SEEK Role Reviews

Working hours for Journalists

Overtime
Weekends
Shift work
Late nights
Often
Sometimes
Never
Source: SEEK Role Reviews from 22 Journalists

Browse related careers by interest

See careers related to Journalist by field of interest.

Explore similar careers

Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

Articles related to this career

Read more from SEEK