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Employment Outlook

Freelance Journalist

Freelance Journalists investigate current affairs and produce news reports, opinion pieces and feature articles for publication in print and electronic media on a casual or contractual basis.


Average wage for

Employment Levels

Around 24,400 people are currently employed as Freelance Journalists in Australia. This is set to increase slightly to 26,900 people by 2019, according to the Department of Employment.

Employment by State

45.4% of all Freelance Journalists are employed in NSW. The area with the lowest number of Freelance Journalists is NT, with only 0.6%.

Gender Split

This is a slightly male dominated industry with 53.4% of Freelance Journalists being male and 46.6% female.

Age Brackets

The most popular age for people working as Freelance Journalists is 25-34 years old, with 33.7%. A small percentage (3.9%) of people get into this career path older, aged 65 and over. There is also a number of people who enjoy a career as Freelance Journalists, with 9.7% aged 20-24.

Hours Worked

Freelance Journalists work an average of 42.7 hours a week which is 1.8 hours higher than the average for all occupations.

Education Level

The majority of Freelance Journalists have a Bachelor Degree qualification (41.3%) or are at a Year 12 level (25.8%). 74.1% of people have a Cert III or higher, whilst 25.9% have a qualification which is Year 12 or lower.

Freelance Journalist Duties & Tasks

  • Check copy for publication to ensure conformity with organisational style guides.
  • Gather and analyse facts about newsworthy events from interviews, published material, investigations and experience.
  • Compose columns, reports, commentaries, articles and feature stories for newspapers, websites, magazines, television and radio.
  • Manage own workload as various clients need jobs completed quickly.
  • Discuss and explain daily news topics in the editorial columns of media publications and review books, films and plays.
  • Identify what is truly newsworthy, and which leads are likely to pan out.
  • Maintain networks of sources and experts in order to obtain background and quotes.



*The information provided on this page is from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website. All salary ranges are from Payscale. Where jobs are not exact matches, job areas have been used. This information is to be used as a guide only.