Career Development

What Does a Magazine Journalist Do?

Find out what a magazine journalist does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a magazine journalist.

Magazine journalists are responsible for producing content that is published in magazines, newspapers and other periodicals. They may write articles on a wide range of topics, from celebrity gossip to political analysis to investigative reporting.

Magazine journalists must be able to quickly research and write compelling stories about current events or breaking news. They also need to have strong communication skills so they can effectively pitch story ideas to editors and work with them to develop these stories into finished pieces.

Magazine Journalist Job Duties

Magazine journalists have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Writing and editing articles on a variety of topics such as politics, sports, business, or entertainment
  • Conducting interviews with public figures such as politicians or celebrities
  • Reporting breaking news stories as they occur and filing them to the news desk
  • Researching and writing stories on assigned topics, including interviewing experts in the field
  • Reviewing and editing story drafts to ensure they are factually accurate and well written
  • Editing photos and videos that accompany stories to ensure they are high quality
  • Keeping up with local and national news stories and trends in order to write timely articles that are relevant to readers
  • Conducting research to gather information about topics or people being covered by the publication
  • Interviewing and photographing subjects for news stories or features on lifestyle topics like fashion or entertainment

Magazine Journalist Salary & Outlook

Magazine journalists’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of magazine they work for. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $47,000 ($22.6/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $70,500 ($33.89/hour)

The employment of magazine journalists is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Newspaper circulation continues to decline, which will lead to more demand for freelance magazine journalists. However, some of these writers may be hired by newspapers to write feature stories rather than cover news.

Magazine Journalist Job Requirements

A journalist for a magazine typically needs the following:

Education: Most magazine journalists have at least a bachelor’s degree. Some employers prefer candidates who have a master’s degree in journalism or communications. Courses in writing, research, media law and ethics are helpful for aspiring magazine journalists.

Training & Experience: Many magazine journalists receive on-the-job training in the form of an internship. Internships allow aspiring journalists to gain experience in the field while also making valuable professional connections. Some magazine journalists begin their careers as copy editors or reporters before advancing to the role of magazine journalist.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications are not usually a requirement to become a magazine journalist, but they can help you stand out from other candidates when applying for jobs.

Magazine Journalist Skills

Magazine journalists need the following skills in order to be successful:

Research: Researching is the ability to find and interpret information. As a journalist, you need to be able to find and interpret information to create stories. This includes finding information about your subject, finding sources to interview and finding information to support your story.

Communication: Communication is the act of conveying information to another person. As a journalist, you use communication skills to interview people, write articles and communicate with your editor. You can also use communication skills to communicate with sources and other journalists.

Editing: Editing is the process of reviewing written work to ensure it’s free of errors and consistent in tone and style. As a journalist, you may be responsible for editing your own work or someone else’s. This is a crucial skill for any writer, as it ensures your work is clear and professional.

Critical thinking: Critical thinking is the ability to analyze information and make decisions based on the information you have. As a journalist, you need to be able to think critically to make decisions about what information to include in your story and how to present it. You also need to be able to think critically when you receive feedback about your story to determine if you need to make changes.

Time management: Time management is another skill that can help you be more productive as a journalist. You may have multiple deadlines throughout the day, so it’s important to prioritize your tasks and manage your time accordingly. This can help you meet your deadlines and complete your work on time.

Magazine Journalist Work Environment

Magazine journalists usually work in an office environment, although they may travel to interview subjects or to attend events related to their stories. They typically work a standard 40-hour week, although they may work longer hours to meet deadlines. Magazine journalists may also work on weekends and holidays to attend events or to meet deadlines. The work can be stressful, and magazine journalists may face deadlines that are impossible to meet. However, they also find the work to be exciting and gratifying, and they feel that they are making a difference in the world by informing the public about important issues.

Magazine Journalist Trends

Here are three trends influencing how magazine journalists work. Magazine journalists will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Rise of the Digital Magazine

The digital magazine is quickly becoming a popular format for reading magazines. This is due to the fact that it offers many benefits over traditional print magazines, such as easy access and searchability.

As more and more people turn to digital magazines for their reading needs, journalists will need to learn how to create content that works well in this format. This includes learning how to use multimedia elements, such as videos and animations, to enhance the reader experience.

A Focus on Long-Form Journalism

Long-form journalism is making a comeback, as readers are looking for deeper insights into the topics that interest them. This trend is especially evident in the world of business journalism, where readers are interested in learning more about the people and companies that shape our economy.

Magazine journalists can capitalize on this trend by writing longer pieces that go beyond the standard news article. By doing so, they can provide their readers with a deeper understanding of the topics that matter most to them.

More Collaboration Between Writers and Designers

In recent years, there has been an increasing demand for collaboration between writers and designers. This is because both professions have come to realize that they need each other in order to create the best possible product.

As a magazine journalist, you should be prepared to work with designers in order to create a publication that is both visually appealing and reads well. This requires a deep understanding of both design and writing, which can only be acquired through experience.

How to Become a Magazine Journalist

A career as a magazine journalist can be both rewarding and lucrative. It’s important to start by developing your writing skills, so read magazines you admire and try to emulate their style. You should also build up a portfolio of clips that showcase your best work. This will help you land jobs at smaller publications where you can gain experience before moving on to bigger outlets.

As you progress in your career, it’s important to stay current on trends in the publishing industry. Read industry blogs and attend conferences to learn about new technologies and techniques for storytelling. Network with other journalists and editors to find out what they’re working on and who they’d recommend for freelance assignments.

Advancement Prospects

Magazine journalists can advance their career by writing articles that are well researched and well written. They can also try to get their articles published in well-known magazines. As they become more experienced, they can apply for jobs that have more responsibility. They can also advance their career by becoming an editor or a managing editor.

Magazine Journalist Job Description Example

[CompanyX] is a well-respected voice in the industry, and we’re looking for a magazine journalist to help us maintain our high standards and continue to grow our readership. The ideal candidate will have a passion for the industry, as well as experience researching and writing articles for a trade publication. He or she will be able to work independently to generate story ideas, conduct interviews, and write articles that are both informative and engaging. The successful candidate will also be able to work collaboratively with the editorial team to ensure that all articles meet the publication’s standards for quality and accuracy.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Write articles for assigned magazines, following editorial guidelines and deadlines
  • Develop story ideas by researching industry trends, interviewing experts, and observing people and events
  • Write compelling copy that engages the reader and tells a story while conveying accurate information
  • Edit and revise own work to ensure accuracy and clarity before submitting to editors
  • Take high-quality photographs or secure images to accompany stories when needed
  • Work with art directors and other designers to select layouts and photos that complement the text
  • Adhere to strict ethical standards when gathering and reporting information
  • Keep up to date on developments in the field of journalism through continued education and professional development opportunities
  • Attend conferences, workshops, and other events related to the magazine industry
  • Maintain strong relationships with sources and others in the industry
  • Handle administrative tasks such as invoicing, expense reports, and contract renewals
  • Perform research for potential new stories and pitch article ideas to editors

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, English, communications, or related field
  • 3-5 years professional writing experience for a magazine or similar publication
  • Outstanding research, interviewing, and reporting skills
  • Exceptional writing ability, with a strong portfolio of work
  • Flexibility to pitch and write both short- and long-form stories on tight deadlines
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Adobe Acrobat Pro

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Experience with content management systems, WordPress, etc.
  • Proofreading experience and familiarity with standard style guides
  • A keen eye for detail and appreciation of great design
  • Interest in pop culture, current events, and trends


What Does a Dental Scheduling Coordinator Do?

Back to Career Development

What Does a Photography Teacher Do?