Journalists and Other Writers research and compile news stories, write and edit news reports, commentaries and feature stories for presentation in print and electronic media, and compose written material to advertise goods and services.

A Bachelor Degree or higher, or at least 5 years of relevant experience is usually required. High levels of creative talent or personal commitment and interest are also important.

Tasks

  • determining advertising approach by consulting clients and management, and studying products to establish principal selling features
  • writing advertisements for press, radio, television, cinema screens, billboards, catalogues and shop displays
  • making decisions about the specific content of publications in conjunction with other senior editors and in accordance with editorial policies and guidelines
  • reviewing copy for publication to ensure conformity with accepted rules of grammar, style and format, coherence of story, and accuracy, legality and probity of content
  • collecting and analysing facts about newsworthy events from interviews, printed matter, investigations and observations
  • writing news reports, commentaries, articles and feature stories for newspapers, magazines, journals, television and radio on topics of public interest
  • researching and writing technical, information-based material and documentation for manuals, text books, handbooks and multimedia products
  • critically discussing daily news topics in the editorial columns of newspapers and reviewing books, films and plays

Job Titles

  • Copywriter
  • Newspaper or Periodical Editor, or Associate Editor
  • Print Journalist
  • Radio Journalist or Reporter
  • Technical Writer
  • Television Journalist or Reporter
  • Other Journalists and Other Writers
  • Copywriter

    Designs and composes written material to advertise products and services.

  • Newspaper or Periodical Editor, or Associate Editor

    Plans and directs editing of a publication, such as a newspaper, magazine or journal, in accordance with editorial policies and guidelines and accepted rules of grammar, style and format prior to printing and distribution.

    Specialisations: Features Editor, News Editor, Pictures Editor, Subeditor, Website/Blog Editor

  • Print Journalist

    Collects and analyses facts about newsworthy events by interview, investigation and observation and writes stories for newspapers, magazines or journals.

    Specialisations: Columnist, Feature Writer, Leader Writer, Newspaper Reporter

  • Radio Journalist or Reporter

    Collects and analyses facts about newsworthy events by interview, investigation and observation and writes stories for radio news or current affairs programs.

  • Technical Writer

    Researches and writes technical information-based material and documentation for articles, manuals, text books, handbooks, or multimedia products, usually for education or corporate purposes.

  • Television Journalist or Reporter

    Collects and analyses facts about newsworthy events by interview, investigation and observation and writes stories for television news or current affairs programs.

  • Other Journalists and Other Writers

    Includes Blogger, Critic, Editorial Assistant, Photo Journalist

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,521 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    strong
  • Skill Level

    Bachelor Degree or higher
  • Employment Size

    27,500
  • Unemployment

    average
  • Male Share

    50.8%
  • Female Share

    49.2%
  • Full-Time Share

    69.3%

Find Vacancies

This is a large occupation employing 27,500 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has grown strongly.
Strong growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 10,001 and 25,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Journalists and Other Writers work in most parts of Australia.
  • They mainly work in: Information Media and Telecommunications; Arts and Recreation Services; and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services.
  • Full-time work is fairly common. Full-time workers, on average, work 38.6 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,521 per week (higher than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 41 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Around 5 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was similar to the average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200520200
200622900
200721000
200821500
200923900
201023000
201122600
201229200
201320600
201424300
201527500
202030300

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsJournalists and Other WritersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings15211230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryJournalists and Other WritersAll Jobs Average
Full-time69.368.4
Part-time30.731.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)38.640.0

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Information Media and Telecommunications46.2
Arts and Recreation Services14.3
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services12.8
Public Administration and Safety4.1
Other Industries22.6

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateJournalists and Other WritersAll Jobs Average
NSW38.531.8
VIC27.125.5
QLD19.019.8
SA3.26.8
WA8.911.2
TAS1.02.0
NT0.11.1
ACT2.21.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketJournalists and Other WritersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.0-5.45.4
20-2411.8-9.99.9
25-3418.6-23.423.4
35-4429.3-21.721.7
45-5419.1-21.121.1
55-596.5-8.78.7
60-647.6-5.95.9
65 and Over7.1-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryJournalists and Other WritersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males50.8Males53.6
Females49.2Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationJournalists and Other WritersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate25.3-8.68.6
Bachelor degree60.0-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma0.0-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV0.0-18.918.9
Year 126.8-18.718.7
Years 11 & 107.9-17.717.7
Below Year 100.0-8.18.1

A Bachelor Degree or higher, or at least 5 years of relevant experience is usually required. High levels of creative talent or personal commitment and interest are also important.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Journalists and Writers who are literate and can interact well with others.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. English Language

    99% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  2. Communications and Media

    93% Important

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  3. Law and Government

    79% Important

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  4. Telecommunications

    60% Important

    Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

  5. Computers and Electronics

    59% Important

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

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Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Getting Information

    97% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  2. Communicating with Persons Outside Organization

    86% Important

    Communicating with customers, the public, government, and others in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

  3. Building Good Relationships

    84% Important

    Building and keeping constructive and cooperative working relationships with others.

  4. Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events

    84% Important

    Comparing objects, actions, or events, looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  5. Interpreting Information for Others

    81% Important

    Helping people to understand and use information.

Occupational Information Network Reporters and Correspondents Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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