Journalism Cover Letter Examples (and Guide)

A journalism cover letter is a brief formal letter that accompanies the resume of someone applying to be a journalist.

The cover letter usually includes information about the applicant’s qualifications, including their journalism experience, in order to show employers that they have the necessary skills, such as reporting, investigating, interviewing, etc., that are needed in a journalist.

The main purpose of a cover letter is to introduce the applicant to the potential employer and provide a summary of their background and qualifications. Therefore, the cover letter should be brief, yet informative. The letter can be addressed to different individuals, such as an editor or reader at a particular media/publishing company, as well as any hiring managers for an individual position within that company.

The cover letter is an effective way of distinguishing yourself from other applicants with similar credentials. This can greatly boost your chances of securing the job, more so in entry-level positions.

In addition, writing a cover letter ensures you create a lasting impression on the employer by offering them additional information that was not communicated through your resume. As such, your cover letter will outline your specific skills with context, reasons why you want and qualify for the job, contribution to your previous job position, and other details that illustrate your suitability and competency.

Often the personalization of the cover letter is advised. A personalized cover letter shows that you are dedicated to the job offered and are not just applying for the position with a generic journalism cover letter.

This article will competently guide you on how to write a solid journalism cover letter and offer examples of how to write its components and other informative details.

How to Professionally Format Journalism Cover Letter?

The format of a cover letter usually depends on the job description and its requirements. However, some standard formatting essentials will aid you in creating a professional cover letter. Knowing how to format a cover letter requires you to have an understanding of what information should be included in it.

Here are tips and guidelines for professionally formatting a journalism cover letter:

  • Use a one-inch margin on all sides.
  • Ensure the spacing of the letter is 1 or 1.15. Also, leave empty spaces between sections of the letter and paragraphs.
  • Write the letter in elegant and professional font and the same one that you used in your resume.
  • Use a font size of between 11 pt to 12 pt.
  • Align the contents of the letter to the left.
  • Maintain the length of the letter at a maximum of one page.

6 Steps to Write Good Journalism Cover Letter

If you are looking for work as a journalist, you will want to create a cover letter that shows your journalism experience as well as your interest and suitability for the position. A journalism cover letter should follow all of the standard rules for writing and formatting a cover letter.

The following are the six steps to follow when writing a good journalism cover letter:

Step 1: Briefly introduce yourself

Briefly mention who you are and the purpose of the letter, which is to apply for the journalist position. A strong introduction prepares the reader for what to expect in the cover letter. Mention the position you are applying for as well as an achievement or a testament of why you are suitable for the job.

For example:

I want to apply for the editor-in-chief position at your company. My work experience is as a full-time reporter and editor at The Phoenix. In addition, I was the assistant editor of The Drape Newspaper. I have also worked as a staff reporter for Sunlight Times and as a news editor at the local print publication, The Daily Journal. As such, I believe my vast experience qualifies me as a suitable candidate for the position.

Step 2: Show that you are the perfect candidate

The body paragraphs should include information about the applicant’s related experience or credentials that are relevant to the job description. Each point should be relevant. Look at the employer’s needs and expectations in the job description before you begin writing your cover letter.

This gives you an idea of the ideal candidate the employer is looking for. Ensure to check out each organization’s specific job description and what they are looking for in an employee.

Reference your portfolio. For example, if you have worked as a reporter or columnist for your school magazine or newspaper, then be sure to mention that in your cover letter by inserting relevant links. If you have received awards or professional accomplishments in journalism, be sure to mention them.

For example:

I worked as a news reporter and editor while attending New York State University, earning Outstanding Achievement awards for my work both in my journalism career and in other professional settings. I am currently a staff reporter at the local newspaper, The Flag News. In my recent seven months there, I have been able to conduct investigations on major crimes such as mass shootings and sexual assault. My local reporting experience has also prepared me to work with ABC Inc. as a journalist on investigative projects.

Step 3: Explain why you want the position

This is one of the the key sections of the letter that should be highlighted. Explain how the opportunity to work for the employer would positively impact your career and personal growth in this step. You can achieve this by referencing any of the publisher’s past articles that have caught your attention and/or interest.

Show genuine interest in the organization and indicate your intentions to stay with them for a significant period by mentioning any long-term benefits you can gain from the job, for example, networking.  You can also achieve this by expressing shared professional beliefs and shared values.

This is one of that should be highlighted. Explain in this step. You can achieve this by referencing any of the publisher’s past articles that have caught your attention and/or interest.

Show genuine interest in the organization and indicate your intentions to stay with them for a significant period by mentioning any long-term benefits you can gain from the job, for example, networking. You can also achieve this by expressing shared professional beliefs and shared values.

For example:

As a journalist and editor, I have developed the skills to research, write and publish investigative reports as well as more traditional news reports and stories. I also possess excellent interpersonal communication skills. I am familiar with modern journalism practices from my experience in online media and blogging, regularly contributing to sites including The Daily Journal, Sunlight Times, Blogging for Change, and others.

Step 4: Discuss what impact you can make for them 

In the body of your letter, you should focus on a few key points that demonstrate why you can be an asset to the company. It is important to address this using examples from previous job positions and highlighting qualifications specifically in terms of the job description.

Quantify what you can do for them by referring to the achievements in the resume. Avoid reiterating your duties in detail and focus on the impact or results of your contributions at work. You can determine what to include by identifying the challenges the employer is currently facing and the primary job requirement. 

For example:

My work has been published widely in local newspapers. I intend to produce industry-standard publications. I’m able to produce 5 columns of reports per week. My ability to convey information guarantees to attract a wide audience and retain returning readers. I can bring my expertise in article blogging to help The Mirror News transition into online publishing.

Step 5: Show how passionate you are about the job

You should establish how serious you are about performing the job in addition to wanting to work for their organization. This is a good way to demonstrate your enthusiasm which employers look for in their employees.

Demonstrate how you are driven by your career and ensure that you show your commitment by emphasizing how your background will positively contribute to the organization. Also, show how your goals and that of the organization align.

For example:

I enjoy working with companies such as yours that support the community’s interests by promoting positive solutions to social issues. I’d like to join your organization in informing your readers and ensuring the people have a voice and medium to reach authorities.

Step 6: Incorporate call to action and sign off

The closing paragraph should re-emphasize why you are an ideal candidate for the job and how you would like to be contacted about an interview or job offer. This should be a call to action.

You can request a call or meeting. This demonstrates that being hired will be more valuable to the organization than to you. Then sign off the letter with a complimentary close and your name.

For example:

I am highly motivated and eager to work with you and help build your business. If you’re interested in my application, please contact me at for an interview.

Cindi Gibbons

Sample Cover Letter

Craig Duffy

Investigative Journalist

8222 3082 0012

5 August 2022

Marque Harrison


ABC Michigan Printers

33 Peach Street

Princeton, MI 30287

Dear Mr. M. Harrison,

My name is Craig Duffy. I am interested in the position of entry-level journalist at ABC Inc. I have a personal and professional interest in your organization and know that it is exactly the kind of workplace I am interested in joining. My extensive experience in investigative journalism can be useful in gathering reports for the Sunday post under the Dangerous Quests column.

I have experience writing for the local newspaper, The Daily News, about the local news, entertainment, and events. To date, most of my work has been published online or in print for a number of small-scale publications.

I am also interested in the open position because of your company’s goal to support the local community. I am certain that I can work with you to uphold that responsibility and mission. I am committed to investigating and reporting new and original material.

I have the skills to conduct investigations on certain social and political issues, a niche I understand you are looking to fill. I interned at VF5 News for more than a year and participated in preparing more than 50 reports – visual and written. I’ve also conducted investigations for my personal blog – My reports have touched on culture, politics, climate change, and crime.

I look forward to speaking with you about the position and how my experience and skills demonstrate why I am the right candidate for this position. Thank you for considering my application.


Craig Duffy

Journalism Cover Letter Templates

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investigative journalism cover letter

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      How Long Should Journalism Cover Letter Be? 

      An employer typically has limited time to go over the multiple cover letters they receive, so you should keep your cover letter at a maximum of one page. It should be clear and concise. Include a few relevant skills and noteworthy achievements to ensure the length is retained.

      Key Takeaways

      • A journalism cover letter is fundamentally a document that briefly introduces a candidate and their experience to the employer.
      • The cover letter should have a concise introduction and body paragraphs that demonstrate your interest in the specific job, relevant skills, qualifications, and the impact you can make on the organization.
      • Cover letters are often attached to CVs, which are mailed or delivered to employers.
      • The journalism cover letter should be brief, professional, and focused on attracting an employer.
      • In the cover letter, you can reference the experience gained from writing news items from primary sources, conducting interviews, and editing news items for accuracy.

      About This Article

      Megan V.
      Authored by:
      Award-Winning Resume Writing, Cover Letters, Executive Bios, Public Relations
      Megan V. is an acclaimed resume writing professional, celebrated repeatedly as one of the "Top Ten Best Resume Writers in the Bay Area," a title she proudly reclaimed in 2023. Transitioning from her extensive experience owning and steering a public relations agency since 2009, Megan has tailored her writing prowess to cater to individuals seeking standout resumes, compelling cover letters, and detailed executive bios.

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