14 Jobs You Can Get at a Newspaper (Plus Tips for Pursuing Them)

Updated June 24, 2022

If you're interested in a media career, consider pursuing a job at a newspaper. Newspapers around the country offer a wide variety of career opportunities, including everything from reporting to page design. Understanding the jobs you can get at a newspaper can help you search for jobs more efficiently and find the role that's right for you. In this article, we list various jobs you can get at a newspaper and offer tips for getting a job in this field.

Related: 14 Well-Paying Jobs for Journalism Majors

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14 jobs at newspapers

Whether you have strong writing skills or artistic abilities, you can find an array of jobs available at a newspaper. Here are the different newspaper jobs you can pursue:

1. Freelance photographer

National average salary: $20,706 per year

Primary duties: A freelance photographer takes photos for a newspaper on a non-contract basis. Like full-time photographers, they conduct research for each shoot and use photo and lighting equipment to capture their images.

2. Columnist

National average salary: $30,818 per year

Primary duties: Columnists write opinion pieces for newspapers. They have columns of public interest within a specialized area of interest. For example, they may write on topics like politics, sports or entertainment or offer personal advice to readers.

3. Copy editor

National average salary: $33,346 per year

Primary duties: Copy editors proofread articles from reporters and columnists. They correct grammar, spelling and punctuation errors. Copy editors also change text to ensure a more natural flow and to ensure it's easy for newspaper readers to comprehend.

4. Journalist

National average salary: $35,378 per year

Primary duties: Journalists research and write stories for a newspaper. They may write local, regional or national news. Journalists typically write for the news, sports or arts and culture section of a newspaper. Many journalists also cover live events, such as political rallies, to help them write their stories.

Related: Learn About Being a Journalist

5. Photographer

National average salary: $39,740 per year

Primary duties: Newspaper photographers capture images for standalone features or to accompany a news or feature story. They may take photos to document an event or to convey a message. These photographers also use professional lighting and camera equipment and shoot indoors or outdoors depending on the event and the lighting.

6. Reporter

National average salary: $42,664 per year

Primary duties: Newspaper reporters perform research and write articles based on their findings. While they receive assignments from their editor, they may also investigate new leads or tips. Reporters also verify and analyze newsworthy information and abide by journalism ethics.

Related: Learn About Being a Reporter

7. Assistant editor

National average salary: $43,152 per year

Primary duties: Assistant editors provide support to a newspaper editor. They pitch story ideas, perform research, write and edit articles and select photos and graphics for stories. Some assistant editors may also help with the newspaper's social media accounts.

8. Marketing assistant

National average salary: $48,290 per year

Primary duties: Newspaper marketing assistants provide support to the marketing department. They help with the development of marketing campaigns and sales strategies. Marketing assistants may also compile financial information, execute a marketing strategy, perform market research and create reports to analyze the newspaper's marketing performance.

Related: Learn About Being a Marketing Assistant

9. Illustrator

National average salary: $51,802 per year

Primary duties: Illustrators working for a newspaper create 2D images that often correspond with news articles. They create rough sketches and use design software to make digital illustrations. Illustrators also work alongside graphic artists, reports and editors.

10. News editor

National average salary: $52,707 per year

Primary duties: News editors assign and edit articles for the news section of a newspaper. As they edit, they verify facts and ensure an article's readability. News editors work alongside reporters to help them improve their writing. They also rewrite articles and determine which stories the newspaper prints.

11. Managing editor

National average salary: $57,163 per year

Primary duties: Managing editors supervise a team of newspaper reporters, editors and graphic artists. Working under the editor-in-chief, managing editors oversee the publication's editorial activities. They also hire and fire staff members and enforce deadlines.

12. Editor-in-chief

National average salary: $57,747 per year

Primary duties: As the highest-ranking staff member of a newspaper, an editor-in-chief manages the entire editorial team. They oversee all writers and editors, may write editorial columns and represent the newspaper as a whole. An editor-in-chief also manages the newspaper's budget, reviews editorial content and delegates tasks to staff members.

13. Publisher

National average salary: $60,164 per year

Primary duties: Operating like a CEO, publishers oversee the newspaper's entire publishing process. They employ the newspaper staff, set the editorial tone and direction and make important business decisions. Publishers also ensure the newspaper's profitability and at small newspapers, may perform the duties of department heads.

14. Art director

National average salary: $65,785 per year

Primary duties: Art directors oversee a newspaper's visual aspects. As the leader of the art department, they coordinate their team's work. Art directors also oversee the page layout of the newspaper, ensuring a visually appealing design. They also coordinate with section editors and photographers.

Related: Learn About Being an Art Director

Do you need help with your resume?

Tips for getting a job at a newspaper

Use these tips to help you secure a job at a newspaper:

  • Check journalism job boards. Apart from checking regular online job boards, consider using job search sites specific to the journalism industry. This can help you find jobs relevant to your search.

  • Ask your professors. If you're pursuing a journalism degree, ask your college or university professors if they have any leads about open positions. They may refer you and write a letter of recommendation on your behalf.

  • Visit your school's career center. Consider visiting your school's career center to learn about potential newspaper openings in your area. They may even help you prepare a strong resume and cover letter for your job application.

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