Career Planning for Freelance Journalist Jobs

Freelance journalist jobs and careers have become far more wide ranging over time as the journalism profession has expanded into web media. Freelance journalist jobs can work across a range of different types of journalism and media formats. That means the skills requirements are constantly developing, and freelance journalists are always evolving their range of capabilities.


The usual requirement for qualifications is a journalism degree, although in many cases experienced pro writers and writers in particular fields work as freelance journalists without these qualifications. Many freelance writers who’ve done press release work or other related forms of writing can also do freelance journalist jobs, because they know the information requirements and news media issues.


Most freelance journalists spend at least some time developing their skills, either in a news media environment, through an internship, technical writing or through online news media contributions. These types of experience have varying levels of relevance to editors and media distributors if you want to do freelance journalism for a living.

Important: Experience and your portfolio of published articles is critically important for freelance journalists. You must be able to prove you can provide good quality materials.

If you’re looking for work in a particular area as a freelance journalist, investigate the types of qualifications required and what’s needed for publication. Contact the outlets or other media direct, and find out their contributions guidelines, payment rates, and methods of submission.

Freelance Journalist Jobs Basics

The nuts and bolts of freelance journalism are straightforward, but there are also conditional situations involved:

  • Freelance journalist jobs as a commercial process are actually the sale of journalistic information to media outlets.
  • As journalism, you’re getting stories on your own, or under commission from a media outlet.
  • You receive income on the basis of agreed payments, under whatever contractual or other conditions which apply.
  • Working as a freelance journalist, you must fully understand the working processes of your media outlets. That includes their legal requirements regarding content, and any liabilities on you as the source. 
  • Working with editors and media outlets- This is a client relationship, and it’s the relationship that provides the income and career opportunities. Do not tell editors how to do their jobs, unless you’re 200% sure you’re right, and can prove it. You can lose a lot of business in a hurry that way, sometimes with whole media distribution networks. Editors have a responsibility to publishers and in many cases are under constraints and guidelines regarding publication of materials. As a freelance journalist, you’re unlikely to be fully aware of situations affecting editorial decisions.  

Career Development for Freelance Journalists

Freelance journalist jobs can be the great chance to work in your preferred area of expertise. If you’re absolutely obsessive about a particular subject, you’ll make a very good journalist, because you can soak up information very effectively, and know the issues involved. 

Freelance journalist jobs and the “portfolio effect” can help you create a career which can take you to major syndication and fantastic work in your favorite areas.