On today\’s job market in journalism

Essential attributes
• An undergraduate degree of 2:1 or above
• Experience of writing, including features and interviewing
• Excellent spelling and grammar
• Experience of subbing
• Experience of online journalism
• Ability to write in a descriptive but concise style
• A solid knowledge of British politics
• Ability to grasp concepts quickly
• Excellent computer skills
• Good project management skills
• An ability to work quickly against a constantly changing news agenda

Desirable skills
• A post-graduate qualification in journalism
• An ability to understand basic HTML coding

Desirable personal qualities
• Self-motivated and proactive
• Flexible and adaptable
• Good team-worker with ability to work alone
• Hands-on approach to work
• Quick-learner
• Good attention to detail
• Enthusiastic


No wonder that the vast majority of journos are disgruntled lefties. Experience plus a postgraduate degree for less than median wage? In London?

10 thoughts on “On today\’s job market in journalism”

  1. Fairly bad, but other industries can be just as bad. About 15 years ago, the CEO of BAe grandly declared they were going to recruit Germans and Americans to fill British vacancies as ” there weren’t enough quality British graduates”. The previous week, I had seen a job vacancy for someone with 3 years experience in aircraft fuel control systems (highly specialist and skilled work) for 16.5K, which was about the graduate rate at the time. Quelle surprise….

  2. Perfectly logical. BAe only hire people prepared to work for half the going rate. Therefore the only people hired to work in HR are donuts who think that you can hire people for half the going rate.

  3. Yup, market rate see, lots of people want to be journos, and many of them are prepared to work for peanuts.

    Now, a market fundamentalist like yourself [;-)] should appreciate this is the only way it should be.

    But some of us think that journalism, like, for example, politics, should be a premium profession and should pay enough to attract the best, not just those prpared to do the work for peanuts.

    Tim [email protected] You didn’t quite note what I said though….no wonder this is why so many journos think that markets should be “fixed”.

  4. Excellent spelling and grammar
    Ability to write in a descriptive but concise style
    A solid knowledge of British politics
    Ability to grasp concepts quickly
    Good attention to detail

    That’s most journos out, then.

  5. “Desirable skills
    • A post-graduate qualification in journalism”

    A credential is not the same as a skill.

  6. I started on more than that over two years ago, and without a 2:1 (though my undergraduate degree was astrophysics…).

    I left that job after two months for more money.

  7. You are all missing the point: 50% of journalists are public-school; (for finance directors its 78%; barristers 70%).
    These jobs pay souped-up Intern wages which the public school types can take because they either live in London or near enough to commute (whilst no doubt still receiving Daddy’s Allowance) or they can go and live with Uncle Bender in Knightsbridge who’s been very lonely since Auntie Bunty moved full-time into their converted fisherman’s cottage in Southwold.
    It is all part of the increasing public-schoolisation of the British way of life which correlates pretty exactly with its decline.
    7% of the population are privately educated.
    P.S Let me spare you the problem of a reply:yes I am grammar-school educated Leftie; no, I don’t think you can explain everything with market forces, the lapsed Green Party member’s substitute for the Forces of Nature

  8. Peanuts -> monkeys. If he has enough of them they might write a perfect story, eventually.

    Standard myopia that is endemic in UK plc. Just the same in services and other professions like IT where young = cheap = crap but hey, still = more profit so what the heck.

    No doubt Iain will soon be blogging that young journalists today just aren’t what they used to be, bah humbug…

  9. I have been a journalist all my working life (and not a bad one… or so I’m told) the only problem is I don’t have a degree. That’s me on the scrapheap then.

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