Work to a brief for editorial content

Business Sectors (Suites): Journalism
Developed by: ScreenSkills
Approved on: 31 Mar 2019


This Standard is about working to a specific brief for editorial content as a member of an editorial team, or, being commissioned as a freelance journalist.

It involves identifying objectives, budget, and target audiences, and working effectively with whoever has set the task or commissioned the work. It is about clarifying areas of responsibility and identifying the appropriate media and deadlines.

In some circumstances, it may involve a competitive commissioning process.

This Standard applies to all those who work to a brief in journalism.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. engage in a positive manner with the person who has set the brief for editorial content

  2. use information from reliable sources to identify the objectives, budget, intended target audiences, timescales and medium for the editorial work agree with relevant people the resources you are expected to work with

  3. establish and agree areas of responsibility with relevant people, writing up the brief when required

  4. keep the person who has set the brief informed of progress at agreed intervals

  5. offer viable alternative options and agree the way forward with the person who has set the brief when problems or obstacles arise

  6. develop editorial content that meets the objectives for the work

  7. deliver the editorial content on time and to budget

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. the context for the commission, the style, culture and editorial policy of the organisation or brand, the target audiences 

  2. where to obtain reliable information about the brief, objectives, budget, target audience, timescales and medium

  3. how to communicate effectively with editors or commissioners and clients 

  4. techniques for listening and asking pertinent questions to establish the fixed and negotiable elements of the brief

  5. different ways of responding to a brief for editorial content

  6. how to factor in contingencies and respond to changing circumstances

  7. how to write up a brief and the formats it might be in

  8. the different processes to follow when it is a competitive commission


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2022





Originating Organisation

Screen Skills (formerly Creative Skillset)

Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Media and Communication, Media Associate Professionals

SOC Code



content, editorial, journalism