Journalists and Other Writers
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.
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
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow moderately
- is likely to reach 17,500 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 68% of people employed as Journalists and Other Writers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is similar to the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 44 hours per week in their main job. This is the same as the all jobs average.
More than half of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).
Median full-time earnings are $1,753 per week, this is higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,262
- 1 in 4 earn more than $2,252
Median hourly earnings are $44, this is more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Journalists and Other Writers||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Journalists and Other Writers||All Jobs Average|
Around 77% of Journalists and Other Writers live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
New South Wales has a large share of employment relative to its population size.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
- Sydney - City and Inner South
- Melbourne - Inner
- Sydney - Eastern Suburbs
- Sydney - North Sydney and Hornsby
- Sydney - Inner West.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Journalists and Other Writers is 39 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 56% of the workforce. This is 8 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Journalists and Other Writers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||5.2||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A university degree in journalism, writing, communications or another related field is usually needed to work as a Journalist or Other Writer. Some workers have a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Creative Arts and Culture VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Journalists and Other Writers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||18.5||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||1.6||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Journalists and Writers who are literate and can interact well with others.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Talking to others.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Reading work related information.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
52%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
50%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
48%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
36%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Looking for ways to help people.
Teaching people how to do something.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
79%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
54%Sociology and anthropology
Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
53%History and archeology
Events of the past, their causes, how we learn about them, and how they influence the way we live today.
51%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
49%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
47%Philosophy and theology
Philosophical systems and religions, including their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and impact on society.
45%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
40%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
40%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
35%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
29%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
Compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Read and understand written information.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
50%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Remember things like words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
39%Speed of recognition
Quickly make sense of and organize things you can see like letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
34%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
See details that are far away.
Do two or more things at the same time.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
84%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
77%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
75%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
69%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
65%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
64%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
62%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
61%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
59%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
58%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
56%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
51%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
49%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
47%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
45%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
41%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
41%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
40%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
40%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
Interests and demands
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.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Work to strict deadlines.
Use electronic mail.
Talk on the telephone.
94%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
Talk with people face-to-face.
91%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
91%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
89%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
85%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
82%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.
80%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
75%In an enclosed vehicle or equipment
Work in a closed vehicle (e.g., car).
74%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
74%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
Work with people in a group or team.
64%Angry or unpleasant people
Deal with unpleasant, angry, or rude people.
64%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
Deal with conflict or disagreements.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 27-3022.00 - Reporters and Correspondents.