Every show hopes for good reviews. Journalists get the word out about the show to the public. They make sure people know what shows are on offer and what is happening in the world of theatre.
What is the job like?
Arts journalists interview artists and go to see productions, then write up reviews. Journalists work for local, regional and national newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations, and websites.
The goal of making a living entirely from your writing will take time to achieve. You will need to build your experience over time.
As a successful arts journalist, you would be invited to press nights of many shows. You might well spend a lot of evenings working. Your work may often be very pressured and deadline-driven.
Many arts journalists are freelance and work for themselves, often making a living by regularly telephoning or emailing editors with ideas for stories, features and reviews.
Often as a journalist you would be paid per article rather than a regular salary, although it is possible to occupy a position as a regular columnist with a particular publication.
How do I get into arts journalism?
Most journalists have a journalism qualification of some kind or have undertaken some form of journalism training. You should have excellent written English skills.
Some arts journalists are career journalists who just end up specialising in the arts by chance. Others are passionate about the arts first and are journalists second.
For more information on getting into journalism:
- The National Council for the Training of Journalists offers training and information about how to train
- The National Union of Journalists is the main campaigning body and union for journalists in the UK.
The goal of making a living entirely from your writing will take time to achieve. Even if you qualify formally, you will need to build your experience over time.
You should aim to see as many arts events as you can, get involved with local or student publishing opportunities, and submit as many article pitches to publications as possible.