Journalism is a vast field, and many journalists act in various capacities throughout their respective careers. But there are several important journalistic roles that most major newspapers and magazines center their publication schedules around. Here are just a few of the most important journalism jobs that today’s top writers fulfill.

Opinion Writers

Often tasked with writing “op-eds” for newspapers, opinion writers can come from a wide variety of different backgrounds. They often use their expertise on niche subjects to comment on important issues of the day. Op-ed writers may also act as regular columnists for newspapers. Many op-ed writers have previous experience in government or fields such as education or consulting.

Arts Critics

Arts critics will often review new book publications or attend musical performances. These roles are great positions for people passionate about creative work and have something informative to say about works of art. Famous arts critics include Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times and Pauline Kael of The New Yorker; film directors François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard were film critics at the French publication Cahiers du Cinéma before they launched successful directorial careers.

Investigative Journalists

Investigative journalists follow leads to important stories and often hold powerful individuals and organizations accountable for their actions. The work of investigative journalists is very important and can have far-reaching and important ramifications for society. For example, Washington Post investigative journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were responsible for bringing the illegal activity of President Richard Nixon to light during the Watergate scandal. Their reporting even forced Nixon to resign as President.


Editors ensure that news reports published by journalistic outlets are accurate, well-written, and reliable. While they may also act as reporters, most editors are charged with maintaining the integrity of the publications that they work for. Editors work closely with fact-checkers to provide readers with up-to-date information. They also ensure that fellow journalists are held to very high ethical standards.

Foreign Correspondents

Foreign correspondents work closely with contacts abroad to provide important updates on international issues. Some foreign correspondents are embedded with military personnel to report on wars. They may also act as freelance writers who provide important information about little-known stories taking place abroad. The work that foreign correspondents do can sometimes be dangerous. Foreign correspondents have reported on important events in human history, ranging from the Tiananmen Square Massacre in China to Hiroshima’s atomic bombing.