Many freelance journalism course graduates liaise with news and picture agencies, pitching ideas to them and being assigned commissions.

As news organisations around the world cut back their operations because of the advertising downturn, they rely more on agencies to provide copy and pictures. And this provides plenty of opportunities for people doing our freelance journalism course

Many UK newspapers, both provincial and national, rely on the Press Association for a sizeable chunk of their news. With reduced staffing levels, they don’t have the resources to cover all events and buying in pictures and copy is a cheaper alternative than taking on more staff of their own.

Another growth area are news and picture agencies dealing in celebrity news and gossip, for which there is an insatiable appetite both at home and abroad.

The chances are that you will undertake work with many different agencies, both hard news and celebrity ones, The best route to getting work as possible is to not pigeon hole yourself about the kind of work you do.

To survive you must show news and picture editors that you are adaptable and are as happy sitting outside a celebrity’s house for a day waiting for an interview with them, as you are being camped outside 10 Downing Street waiting for a shot of the Prime Minister.

This is particularly the case in the early part of your career. You can think about specialising later on when you’ve built up a name for yourself and an impressive portfolio.

A quick scan of the internet will yield a surprising number of news and picture agencies in the UK, alongside the more well-known ones such as Reuters and PA. Each city will have at least one agency and they thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

For instance, Cascade News is based in Manchester and SWNS is based in Bristol, but had offices across the UK and abroad.

See this comprehensive list of the main national news and picture agencies

See our freelance journalism course