Magazine journalists need to be able to uncover a great story and report it accurately, but they also need the ability to communicate with people.
They need to empathise and connect with people from all walks of life who have a story to tell. This is a very special skill. Reporters who specialise in magazines must also be aware of how their stories will affect the business of the magazine. They need to ask: Will it please the readership demographic of the magazine? Will it attract advertisers to the magazine website?
Some journalists begin their careers in magazines starting as an editorial assistant and working their way up to writer or features writer. This takes many years and a lot of time performing administrative duties which have no connection to journalism.
Formal training in magazine journalism, such as that provided by the NCTJ, is the best way to go straight into magazines as a journalist. NCTJ accredited magazine courses are run at various colleges, universities and private companies - see the accredited courses section of this website for further details.
NCTJ magazine courses cover media law, ethics, government, shorthand to 80wpm, news and feature writing, production and design, sub-editing and an overall background to the magazine industry. There is also a period of work experience on a magazine. NCTJ preliminary examinations will be undertaken, together with the assessment of a portfolio of work produced on the course.
Many journalists who sat NCTJ newspaper journalism courses successfully move from newspapers into the magazine world. NCTJ accredited newspaper journalism courses are listed in the accredited courses section of this website.
To apply for an NCTJ-accredited magazine course contact the course provider directly and then the institution will advise you on how to apply.