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By Thea Theresa English

How to get a job at a newspaper

Although online journalism offers plenty of job opportunities, it is still possible to find work in newspaper publishing. It takes networking, effort and a strong skill set that potential employers look for. A college degree in journalism or related field is generally required for the field of newspaper publishing, especially if you plan to work at a major daily newspaper.

Start out as a copy editor

Copy editing is one of the best ways to enter newspaper publishing. As a copy editor you would be responsible for editing all stories for correct grammar and accuracy. Copy editors often research what is mentioned in the article to check facts. They also create headlines for the articles, write captions and choose the pictures for the articles. They might also suggest that writers make changes for clarity. Once you succeed in copy editing, you can get promoted to positions such as assistant editor or section editor.

Find people to mentor you

If you are in college, join the campus newspaper and other organizations related to this field. This is important because it helps you find mentors in the industry who can assist you in locating work at a newspaper. Mentors can look over your resume and cover letter to see if they need corrections. Sometimes the mentors might offer you an internship if they hold the title of editor or publisher.

Be willing to work during hours you don't like

When you first enter a career in newspaper journalism, you probably will not work a standard 9 to 5 schedule. Some employers will have you work mostly at night or on weekends and holidays. You will need to adapt to the newspaper's schedule.

Know Associated Press style

Before finding work at a newspaper, it would be a good idea to become familiar with Associated Press style of writing. This is standard in the field and most newspapers expect their writers and editors to understand it. Purchase the AP Style book and study it while looking for work. This gives you an advantage over other applicants.

Contact old classmates

If you still have contact information from your old classmates, you can call them and inquire about any job openings at the companies they work for. Another idea is to locate them through social media and discuss your desire for work at a newspaper.

Walk-ins and cold calls

A literal way to get your foot in the door of a newspaper job is by making cold calls in person. Not all newspaper jobs are advertised online and sometimes this is one of the best ways to find work. But this will only work at small papers in small cities. Bring your resume, cover letter and writing samples.

Job fairs

At the job fair you get to meet the hiring managers and ask questions about what potential employers look for in applicants. Bring copies of your resume and a positive attitude.

These strategies are helpful in locating a good newspaper job. You might need to start out at small weekly newspapers to build your work history before moving on to the larger markets.

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