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How to Become a Journalist

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Journalism is the backbone of the media industry and most jobs within the media require some degree of knowledge of journalism. As a journalist you would produce copy for the internet, television and newspapers. Journalists usually specialise in a specific subject, such as politics, fashion or sports as you generally find it easier to write copy if you have a genuine passion for a specific area!

Entry paths to journalism can be direct entry or pre-entry. Direct entry is where you train on the job, for example with a local newspaper, and pre-entry is where you train at college or university. It is advantageous for either entry path if you have relevant experience, and this could be:

  • Writing for student newspapers
  • Writing articles online
  • Keeping an online journal or Blog
  • Working at a local or student radio stations
  • Submitting articles and reviews to local newspapers and so on

The most common path is pre-entry, through a training course at college or university, examples of these are:

  • National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCJ)
  • BBC Training

The NCJ accredited courses hold a lot of 'clout' in the media industry, so their courses are highly recommended. Most courses will accept you on five GCSEs (including English) and two A-levels but equivalent qualifications are also accepted. Some courses do require you have a degree and sometimes you’ll be able to do an 18 to 20 week Fast Track course if you have a degree.

As part of any Journalism course, you will need to pass the NCTJ preliminary exams before you can be taken on as a trainee. Alternatively you could become a Journalist though direct entry by on the job training. For this you'll need to apply to editors of local and regional newspaper, attach your CV and examples of your work.

To apply you will need a minimum of five GCSEs (including English). It is becoming more difficult to get accepted at this level as more than 60% of recruits have a degree, and the others tend to have at least two A-levels. Once you have gained the necessary experience, there are many directions you can take. One for example is becoming a freelancer. You may find our page on ‘The benefits of freelancing’ helpful.

Finding Freelance Work

Elance is an online marketplace for freelancers which has a good following, giving you access to thousands of potential clients. As a freelancer, you sign up, fill out your profile and then you bid on jobs.

Being the lowest price though doesn’t guarantee the job, as potential clients have the option to pick more skilled bidders. This said, there are hundreds of positions to bid on and as long as your profile showcases your work successfully, your chances of successfully securing a contract is high.

Elance also gives you access to a daily newsletter with targeted jobs, so you don’t need to worry about missing out on any opportunities. A subscription to Elance does cost, but it is a great tool for a freelance writers, especially if you are new to the scene.

How Easy Accountancy can help

Easy Accountancy specialises in offering fixed fee accountancy solutions to the self employed and small limited companies. Our fixed fee solutions will take care of all your personal and business taxation needs and you'll never have to worry about any unexpected costs.

As a freelancer or sole trader our all-inclusive accountancy services start at just £60 a month, and include:

  • Unlimited telephone and email access to your accountant
  • Completion of your Self-Assessment Tax Return
  • Advice on Income Tax payments
  • Guidance on National Insurance contributions and PAYE
  • Advice throughout the year on how to manage your business
  • Ongoing proactive tax advice
  • Help dealing with Inland Revenue
  • Free bookkeeping software
  • Updates and reminders of important accounting dates

For more information on how we can help you and your business with your taxation needs or to appoint us as your accountant, please call 01442 275767 or email

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Why Clients Choose Easy Accountancy

Easy Accountancy offers a low cost, fixed fee accountancy package with all clients receiving their own dedicated, friendly, approachable accountant.

All of our accountants specialise in providing accountancy services to the self-employed, freelancers, sole traders, small to medium sized limited companies and private individuals. All accountants are employees of Easy Accountancy and we never outsource or offshore work.

Our low cost, all-inclusive fixed-fee accountancy service includes unlimited access to your own dedicated accountant throughout the year and covers all your business and personal tax affairs needs.

All our accountancy services include:
  - Unlimited access to your accountant
  - Ongoing advice on how to manage your business
  - Proactive tax advice throughout the year
  - Updates and reminders so you'll never miss a deadline
  - Free bookkeeping software

As a sole trader our fees start at just £60 + VAT a month, for this you receive the above plus:
  - Completion of your Self-Assessment tax return
  - Advice on how much Income Tax to pay
  - Guidance on National Insurance contributions

As a limited company our fixed fee packages are bespoke to your needs, however typically you’ll receive the above, plus:
  - Completion of your year end accounts*
  - Completion and submission of your annual return Companies House
  - The director/s Self Assessment tax return
  - Payroll bureau
  - Dividends and corporation tax computations

We’ve saved our clients up to half on their accountancy bills – if you’d like a quote, click on the quote me button to the right of this page. Alternatively, call us on 01442 275767 or email

*If you would like us to complete your company year end accounts we simply ask that you have been a client of Easy Accountancy for one year or have made 12 monthly payments.