Not signed up?


Newspaper journalist: Training

So you think you want to be a

Newspaper journalist?

See how well you suit this job in Career Planner.

Try Career Planner

After an initial probationary period, many trainee reporters follow basic journalism training under the terms of a training contract, usually lasting up to 18 months.

All trainee journalists must pass preliminary examinations to be eligible to sit the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) National Certificate Examination (NCE) or the National Qualification in Journalism (NQJ), depending on your specialism. These are the professional qualifications for senior newspaper journalists.

Entry requirements include:

  • a grade C or higher in the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism;
  • a shorthand examination pass with a speed of at least 100 words per minute;
  • at least 18 months' paid employment as a trainee journalist;
  • an e-logbook of stories from newspaper employment.

The NQJ for reporters, for example, comprises four sections:

  • media law and practice examination;
  • news interview;
  • news report;
  • logbook.

Trainees with large newspaper groups and national newspapers may also receive structured training in reporting, writing, proofreading, sub-editing, layout and design and production.

Smaller newspapers may not be able to provide training opportunities in these areas to the same extent.

Courses run by the NCTJ are recognised in the industry and can lead to a variety of further qualifications, including NVQ/SVQs.

The National Union of Journalists' NUJ Training also offers a range of training courses.

There are 7 jobs available in media and internet

View jobs >

Written by AGCAS editors
October 2015

Search postgraduate courses


Sponsored links


This website is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with CSS enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets if you are able to do so.