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How to Get Into Music Journalism in 2024

How to Get Into Music Journalism
January 10, 2023
Offering a pathway to those able to write compelling copy and turn their passion into a career, music journalism is a great way to get stuck into the music industry in 2024.

We’re here to help introduce you to the world of music journalism and map out how you can start to make money from your writing!


What is music journalism?

As the name suggests, music journalism is writing and reporting on all things music. Often working as freelance bloggers, music journalists can cover all sorts of music industry news and post content across a range of different outlets and formats.

Interviews with artists and industry professionals make up a large part of music journalism. Typical work can include reviews, reporting on industry news, opinion pieces and special features.

How to Get Into Music Journalism

Navigating this fiercely competitive field, aspiring music journalists need to be both patient and competitive, with opportunities often few and far between. You need to bide your time and really nail your shot when it comes around!

It's also important to remember the basics when working with artists you’re interviewing. Always keep in mind what your editor and audience want answers to and don't just go along with your personal interests.


What does a music journalist do?

As with most jobs within the music industry, a music journalist role will cover many different responsibilities, with much variety between each job and company. Some of the main requirements of music journalism do stay consistent however, so here’s a list of what you can expect to get up to.

Clear communication

Cross-channel communication is vital to building a successful career in music journalism. As a passionate writer, you’ll already have strong writing skills, but you’ll also need to consider your spoken, interviewing, and presenting capabilities - as well as your social media music promo skillset.

Think about what you’re good at and what you might need to improve. Are you confident enough to conduct an in-person interview with a band at a festival? What about if this interview is in front of a camera? Any extra way that you think you’ll be able to come up with engaging content will ultimately help you grow your career in this field.

How to Get Into Music Journalism

You might also want to think about getting into music photography too - including photos you’ve taken to go alongside any live reviews you’ve written, adding another string to your creative bow. Your photography style will also help develop your website’s brand and identity.

The more skills you have, the more appealing you'll be to employers and the more chance you'll have of being able to build up a popular and informative blog or website.


Carrying out research and gathering relevant information will be a key part of your day to day activities as a music journalist. You may have to search for review opportunities - checking out the latest album releases and festival season headliner gossip.

Whatever piece you’re writing, you’ll also want to ensure that your work has been thoroughly researched and is informative to your readers. Having your ear to the ground and a wide network of contacts (particularly in your own local area) is extremely valuable to any aspiring music journalist.

That said, it’s still important to add in your own personal take on things. After all, music journalism is based on taste and opinion!

How to Get Into Music Journalism

Time management

Journalists working in any field need to be able to work to really tight deadlines, but this is even more essential if you’re working in music. If you’re focusing on live performance work, you’ll often be expected to have a full review complete and ready for publishing by the next morning. Get some coffee at the ready.

Summer is normally a period of relentless activity, with festivals happening all over and artist interviews taking place almost constantly. Expect long days and irregular working hours during peak festival season.

As with any job though, there will be quieter periods, allowing you to plan and organise your future schedule. Personal organisation is pivotal to making it as a successful music journalist.


How to become a music journalist

Do you need a music or journalism degree?

Probably the most asked question when it comes to considering a music journalism career - and one which doesn’t have a straight answer. There are obviously pros and cons to both sides of this argument, so let’s break down some of the different routes you can take to become a music journalist.

How to Get Into Music Journalism

With a degree

Unlike a lot of traditional career pathways, music journalists can often get hired for roles without a related degree - or without one at all. Candidates will however need, at the very least, good work experience.

Degrees can help develop writing, practical and time management skills - as well as providing you with a useful professional network of like-minded peers.

It’s not just a case of applying for a music or journalism course though. There are many different avenues into landing a music industry job, with business and marketing degrees also offering solid backgrounds for aspiring music journalists. Nailing that knowledge of how to build a personal brand, accounting, and business frameworks can be far more practical than music or communication specific degrees.

There are specialised courses available nowadays too, with some universities offering full music journalism courses. These courses are geared towards setting you up with a portfolio ready to head straight into the world of work.

If you’re leaning towards university to set you up for a music journalism career, we’d suggest choosing a campus located close to a thriving music scene and one that you want to get involved in. This’ll not only make your time studying more enjoyable but it’ll also help you establish yourself in a collaborative and creative environment.

Without a degree

Not feeling uni? That’s absolutely fine too! There are plenty of other ways to get into music journalism without a degree.

Having a solid understanding of the music industry is often enough of a starting point to get your foot on the ladder. Many of the best music journalists are ex or current musicians with little professional writing experience.

If you have decided to go down this route however, we would recommend developing your writing style, and research skills. Any way that you can make your CV and portfolio more attractive to employers is going to benefit you, so try and get those skills sharpened and get applying for jobs.

How to Get Into Music Journalism

Try getting some experience at a local magazine or radio station to boost your CV and meet new people who can help you along your journey. Are there any freelance opportunities available that you could help out with alongside managing your blog or portfolio?

If you aren’t able to land an entry-level role at a big company, then why not start your own? It might sound daunting, but if you have the skills to write for other people then you’ll be able to write for your own website.

Interview local indie bands, review local performances and soon, you’ll have picked up a host of skills. You’ll build up a serious portfolio and avoid work paralysis by getting stuck in and taking initiative. This’ll also give you a perfect reference point for any interview questions at bigger companies.

Develop your network

The music industry is all about who you know. Although not quite the same as building up a fanbase for your music, developing your online network is a sure way to get yourself known and opens you up to opportunities that you otherwise may not have known about.

You’ll also be able to promote your website and blog posts via your social media accounts and grow your music industry network.

How to Get Into Music Journalism

Social media has given us an amazing - and mostly free - marketing tool to promote ourselves. A viral tweet, blog article or trending TikTok video can easily attract potential employers to your content. Music industry figures may also post job openings on Twitter or Instagram so you’ll want to make sure you have an online presence on social.

Music journalism offers an exciting career pathway into the music industry. With various avenues for you to take, you can weigh up which part you enjoy the most - whether that be writing, interviewing, or photography. What are you waiting for? Make a start on your own creative portfolio in 2024!

How to Get Into Music Journalism in 2024

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