Steps to Become an Architectural Journalist


The job of an architectural journalist is one that is pursued within a small niche industry. As the overall field of journalism contracts, specialties like architectural journalism provide employment challenges for many of the people with the right qualifications and experience to report on architecture or related topics. However, if you want to become an architectural journalist, some simple steps can help boost your chances of landing a job within this specialized field.




Get architectural "bona fides."    Having qualifications in architecture can help you become an architectural journalist by proving that you have the expertise to understand all of what goes into building design.
Acquire the right architectural degrees. A college degree is often a necessity for someone who wants to become an architectural journalist.



Start building journalistic qualifications. Qualifications for becoming a journalist also involve a college degree in print media or a related discipline.
Get internships if possible. One of the best ways to enter a field like journalism is to get involved in an internship with a company directly out of college, or during the term of a college career. An internship may help you get a foot in the door of your desired field. Those who have gone on to become architecture journalists or reporters in the past often started with an unpaid internship at a newspaper or other publication.



Work with architects. In becoming involved in the field, you can build more of the skills and expertise that you will need to report on the architectural field in the future.
Use architects as sources. You may be able to break into architectural journalism from a more general newspaper or magazine assignment. Part of this is through identifying architects as sources for a general story, then maintaining and developing those contacts into a closer relationship.
Work with architects as collaborators. If you do reporting for an architectural journal, you may also have the kinds of close associations with architects that will get you closer to a career as a professional reporter on architecture or other visual arts.



Collect clips. As in any kind of journalism, your published clips will be a major part of your effort to secure future jobs in reporting. Show off any specialized clips relating to building projects, architecture or a related field.
Leverage general journalistic assignments. It's important to know that a variety of different reporting jobs provide peripheral focus on architecture. For example, a municipal reporter may report on various stages of building plan approval, view blueprints and talk to public engineers. An arts reporter may report on gallery buildings as part of an overall assignment. Any of these types of journalistic jobs can lead you closer to specialized reporting on an architectural project.



Approach publications. Send query letters to architectural journals and public interest magazines as possible to grow a list of contacts and maximize the possibilities for future projects in the precise field of architecture reporting.



Stay involved in the general arts community. Since architecture reporting does track closely with other arts reporting in some ways, branch out into other areas of the visual arts to help in your pursuit of a career as an architectural journalist.


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