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Overview of the role

Creating news items using a combination of words, pictures and moving images.

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Journalist

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in media businesses such as TV, radio, online, social media and print (newspapers, digital publishing and magazines), public relations and communications.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to inform the public- either through news and current events, or through the creation of authoritative features, opinion or analysis.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with colleagues within the same organisation, representatives of other businesses/organisations and members of the general public.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for finding, researching and creating journalistic content tailored to brand needs and target audience in a deadline driven environment. The content can include: news, features, reviews, documentaries, covering live events, researching data, shooting, recording and editing video, recording and editing audio interviews and creating podcasts.

The content could be used to inform or entertain on TV, radio, online, social media or in print. This could be across multiple genres; from crime to politics, to technology to sport to fashion. A journalist will source material, speak to contacts, conduct interviews and produce content as required in a timely way. 

They will talk directly and engage with the audience in what can be unpredictable and testing circumstances. They understand the need for audience/reader engagement and evaluation of audience analytics. They will also source contributions to stories through verified user-generated content and the public.

Throughout, good editorial judgements must be demonstrated with a clear understanding and application of the law, relevant codes of practice and ethical principles.

A journalist will typically report to a senior colleague within their area of working. Typically, work will be completed in an office or in varied locations, including remotely from home, and will usually involve unsociable hours or shift working.

Typical job titles include:

Data journalist Digital journalist Journalist Multimedia reporter Reporter Social media producer Trainee reporter


Occupation duties

Duty

KSBs

Duty 1 Create journalistic content for publication on any platform, using brand tone rules and conventions.

K6 K7 K10 K19

S1 S2 S3 S5 S10

B2

Duty 2 Ensure work and professional practice complies with legal, regulatory and ethical codes, guidelines and principles.

K2 K3 K15 K18 K20

S1 S5

B3

Duty 3 Apply and review equality, diversity and inclusion best practice in all aspects of your work and consider the impact on the audience.

K15 K20 K21

S5 S17 S18

B3 B7 B8

Duty 4 Assess and select the most appropriate platforms in line with brand priorities, to achieve maximum audience engagement.

K6 K11 K12 K14

S4 S9

B1 B2

Duty 5 Interpret and apply audience analytics to inform content development to meet brand strategies and objectives.

K1 K5 K17

S4 S8

B1 B5

Duty 6 Source and maintain diverse contacts to develop current and future content.

K2 K3 K4 K21

S2 S7 S18

B3 B6 B8

Duty 7 Conduct sufficient primary and secondary research to produce error-free content.

K2 K3 K4 K9 K10

S1 S2 S3 S14 S15

B2

Duty 8 Adopt appropriate strategies and techniques for effective interviewing in a wide range of settings. Demonstrating empathy and making a connection with interviewees, while applying legal and ethical principles.

K2 K3 K9 K16 K18

S1 S3 S7 S14 S15

B3 B6 B8

Duty 9 Create and publish content from a variety of settings, such as the scene of an event.

K2 K3 K7 K9

S5 S6 S10 S11 S12

B2 B3 B4 B8 B9

Duty 10 Shoot and record video and audio and produce images which are turned into engaging video stories, audio stories and content for multi-platform journalistic use.

K12 K13

S5 S6 S11 S13 S16

B1 B2

Duty 11 Research and interpret data to inform journalistic content creation.

K8 K9 K10

S2 S11 S13 S19

B1 B2

Duty 12 Verify and curate user-generated content.

K4 K11 K20

S2 S6 S7 S9 S16

B4 B5 B9

Duty 13 Work collaboratively with others to produce content and achieve results required by the brand.

K16 K18 K19 K20 K21

S6 S12 S17 S18

B6 B7 B8

Duty 14 Undertake continuous professional development to aid career progression, maintaining a wide industry awareness.

K15 K17 K18 K19 K21

S16 S17 S18

B1 B7


KSBs

Knowledge

K1: Own role within the business, the brand's business model and target audience, both in terms of demographic and sociographic profile; and understand audiences’ needs from the media. Back to Duty

K2: The relevant legislation affecting journalists: defamation; contempt of court; reporting restrictions; privacy, copyright, confidential sources. Back to Duty

K3: The relevant regulations and more general ethical issues and how they can affect a journalist’s work including; the codes of conduct/practice and relevant regulatory bodies to comply with such as the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), the Ofcom Broadcasting Code, BBC editorial guidelines and employer guidelines. Back to Duty

K4: How to identify, find and establish physical and on-line contacts/sources to inform and contribute to content. Back to Duty

K5: How to use audience analytics to inform content selection and story telling. Back to Duty

K6: The techniques for planning and structuring content narratives, including working to a brief, which adopt the brand’s tone and follow brand rules and conventions. Back to Duty

K7: How to generate original and exclusive content, and the contexts within which the content can be used. Back to Duty

K8: How to identify and use techniques to extract data which will support content creation. Back to Duty

K9: Interviewing techniques, strategies and lines of questioning to extract the maximum, relevant information from interviewees whether face-to-face, by telephone or electronic means in many settings, including press conferences, formal one-to-one interviews, on-the-doorstep and in the street. Back to Duty

K10: How and when to obtain specialist subject knowledge selecting appropriate research techniques to ensure accuracy. Back to Duty

K11: The theoretical and practical uses of social media platforms, the issues/risks of these and how this aligns with the employer’s target audience and protocols. Back to Duty

K12: The technical requirements and use of multi-platform digital/social journalism recording equipment, editing and publishing applications/programs. Back to Duty

K13: How to shoot and edit video and audio to meet standards for publication on different platforms. Back to Duty

K14: Own employer’s recording and editing protocols and programs; how to proof read content and edit as required. Back to Duty

K15: How to maintain professional ethics and practices and keep abreast of new developments within the media industry. Back to Duty

K16: How clear, timely communication contributes to productive working relationships. Back to Duty

K17: The value of brands, how they are developed and enhanced and how they can be damaged. Back to Duty

K18: The requirements of health and safety legislation in day-to-day work. Back to Duty

K19: Own workplace terminology, equipment and programs. Back to Duty

K20: Procedures for dealing with complaints. Back to Duty

K21: How to integrate equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Back to Duty

Skills

S1: Undertake research before reporting to ensure that journalistic content/material published or broadcast is accurate, impartial, balanced, engages the audience and is verifiable with industry standard use of English. Back to Duty

S2: Identify, select, and verify multiple sources of information, including people, reports, data and social media, cross-checking and corroborating when necessary. Back to Duty

S3: Take accurate, relevant notes when and where needed, use shorthand where required by your employer. Back to Duty

S4: Assess the strengths/weaknesses of available platforms and where and when journalistic content is likely to work best. Back to Duty

S5: Assess and produce journalistic content in accordance with legal and regulatory requirements; ethical issues and organisational specifications, alerting senior managers when necessary. Back to Duty

S6: Make decisions and judgements at speed and when under pressure, on the way stories are researched and presented, aiming to lead when breaking news. Back to Duty

S7: Find and use contacts to create journalistic content and exclusive stories which meet the needs of the target audience. Verify information from contacts and critically review its short and long-term implications. Back to Duty

S8: Use audience analytics to evaluate the success of the journalistic content and how that can inform future decision-making. Back to Duty

S9: Monitor relevant social media on a systematic basis. Proactively seek, verify and curate sources of user-generated content that will help improve targeted content, grow the audience and the depth of engagement. Back to Duty

S10: Produce journalistic content using language which resonates with the audience as measured by audience analytics, social media interaction and reach or other internal "tools" used by employers to understand audience sentiment. Back to Duty

S11: Produce journalistic content in multimedia combinations as required which "draw in" the viewer/listener/user to tell the complete story. Back to Duty

S12: Report live to the audience from the scene of an event using remote technologies. Back to Duty

S13: Publish journalistic content, using all available tools to enhance the user experience. Back to Duty

S14: Undertake different types of interviews to extract information, identifying and selecting the right interviewing technique to suit the interviewee and seeking to make a connection with the subject. Back to Duty

S15: Evaluate answers from interviewees to inform further questioning, probing for detail and inconsistencies in replies given. If needed, identify other people to speak to. Back to Duty

S16: Check and evaluate own work in relation to industry standards, adhering to employer guidelines. Ensure it is of a quality to maintain the organisation's reputation in the industry. Back to Duty

S17: Seek constructive feedback from relevant people about your performance; taking action as required. Back to Duty

S18: Consider the impact of equality and diversity practices on individuals and groups and ensure those practices are inclusive. Back to Duty

S19: Locate, clean and interrogate datasets to inform content generation. Back to Duty

Behaviours

B1: Proactive and is curious, forward-looking, and open to change and emerging trends, to enhance the overall experience of the reader, viewer, or end-user. Back to Duty

B2: Work on own initiative to prepare accurate journalistic content in the most eye-catching and compelling manner, getting it ‘right first time’. Takes responsibility for seeing the "big picture" amidst a mass of information or data. Back to Duty

B3: Work ethically and with integrity and knows when to seek advice from more senior staff. Back to Duty

B4: Work in a transparent and open way; making judgements free from bias. Back to Duty

B5: Act to build and enhance the brand (employer’s and personal) and considers the consequences of any actions. Back to Duty

B6: Works collaboratively with stakeholders and colleagues, developing strong working relationships to achieve common goals and promote mutual respect. Back to Duty

B7: Recognises and complies with equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Back to Duty

B8: Is empathetic, builds trust and contact networks, recognising a duty of care may be owed to sources/contacts, and is a good listener while still critically evaluating the information being received. Back to Duty

B9: Adapts positively to changing work priorities and patterns, ensuring deadlines continue to be met. Back to Duty


Qualifications

English & Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Other mandatory qualifications

Diploma in Journalism

Level: 5

Ofqual regulated

The NCTJ Diploma in Journalism is the Gateway qualification for the apprenticeship.


Additional details

Occupational Level:

5

Duration (months):

14

Review

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 5
Reference: ST1324
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 13/12/2021
Approved for delivery: 13 December 2021
Route: Creative and design
Typical duration to gateway: 14 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £13000
Trailblazer contact (for apprenticeship standard content and trailblazer membership queries only): lyn.jones@nctj.com
Employers involved in creating the standard: Newsquest, Sky Sports News, Archant, BBC, City of Wolverhampton College, dmg media, Future Plc, Guardian News & Media, Iliffe, JPIMedia, London Evening Standard & Independent, Mark Allen Publishing, MNA Media, Reach Plc, Sky News, talkSPORT, The Telegraph, NCTJ
LARS Code: 670
EQA Provider: Ofqual

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