The Content Track in Newspapers
Editorial or Desk Assistant: The entry-level position in the world of newspapers. Duties range from administrative tasks to writing brief articles if the copy desk is overwhelmed. Smaller newspapers are more likely to offer more responsibility than larger newspapers, but have fewer resources. With cutbacks in staff, editorial assistants are playing a more direct role in the newsgathering and reporting process.
Salary range: $20,000 to $30,000
Copyeditor or Proofreader: This position requires meticulous attention to detail. They are primarily responsible for checking spelling, grammar errors and facts. They may also check layouts or proofs. No one likes to have their work picked apart, so don't take anything personally when a reporter gives you some guff. It's your job to make the copy look perfect. Generally, you either pass or fail a copy test to land the job.
Salary range: $10 to $35 per hour
Reporter: The frontline position of newsgathering and reporting on news events. Most of the time is spent chasing down interviews, verifying facts, developing sources and gathering facts and quotes into a cohesive story. Reporters today are also called upon as experts of their beat or the topic area they cover, like business, health or politics. They are interviewed by other journalists in other media like radio, magazines and television.
Salary range: $25,000 to $125,000
Photographer: Photography is largely contracted out to freelancers. Most newspapers also depend on photos from archives like Getty Images or the Associated Press. If you are just starting out, establish a relationship with the local newspapers in your area, as well as signing up with a local recruiting agency.
Graphic Artist: Responsible for development of graphics, illustrations and other non-photo images. Depending on the size of the newspaper, they also oversee the layout and design of each edition.
Salary range: $20,000 to $65,000
Editor: Assigns stories, oversees the layout of the newspaper and ensures the editorial standards of the newspaper are maintained. In a management capacity, they also hire and fire reporters, photographers and graphic artists, as well as oversee the budget.
Today, many editors are also required to keep an eye on the latest market trends and readership surveys. In smaller markets, they may also write some of the copy. At larger papers, an Editor-in-Chief, may oversee several editors responsible for different sections of the newspaper, including national news, local news, international news, sports, business and the arts.
Salary range: $25,000 to $150,000