How Do I Become a Magazine Journalist?

G. Wiesen

There are a number of paths you can take to become a magazine journalist, though there are a few general guidelines that can help you along the way. It is often easier to become a journalist if you already have experience, so you should look for any and every opportunity to write and gain experience. You should also consider the educational background typically found among magazine journalists, which means you should look into receiving a degree in journalism or communications. Once you have the education you need, then you should begin contacting editors, look for chances to intern at a magazine, and pursue other opportunities to become a magazine journalist.

Photojournalists sometimes work for magazines.
Photojournalists sometimes work for magazines.

You should typically consider both educational and professional experience that can help you become a competitive job candidate. Look for opportunities to write for student magazines or newsletters at your high school or college, and choose a college or university with a journalism program. While you can receive a degree in communications, especially mass communications, to help you become a magazine journalist, it may be easier with a degree in journalism. A bachelor’s degree is fairly standard within the industry, though you can receive a master’s or doctorate if you want to pursue greater opportunities.

A bachelor's degree is generally required for becoming a magazine journalist.
A bachelor's degree is generally required for becoming a magazine journalist.

Working on a college or high school newspaper or other publication not only gives you experience that can help you find employment, but may also help you determine if journalism is really a career you want to pursue. You should also look for additional experience and training opportunities during and after your education, such as internships at magazines. While these are often unpaid internships, the experience and contacts you make during such a program can help you as you work to become a magazine journalist.

Once you have completed your degree in journalism or a related field, then you can begin looking for opportunities to become a magazine journalist. You should read as many different magazines as you can while you are still in school, and create a database of periodicals for which you may want to write. Once you have finished your degree, then you can begin contacting editors with any samples you may have and express your interest in writing for them. You may need to write your first articles without compensation, but this can help you become a magazine journalist by providing you with professional experience and published works you can then use to find paid opportunities.

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