"Tal is a journalist."
Translation:טל הוא עיתונאי.
I thought here is the word היא required, because a substantive after another is wrong? Or is there an exception for names after substantives?
I don't exactly understand your question. Tal is a man therefore "טל הוא עיתונאי". If Tal was a woman then you would say "טל היא עיתונאית". If your task was to translate from English to Hebrew, than both forms should have been accepted.
I had to choose the right answers and there was written 'טל עיתונאי'. So don't you need the הוא in this sentence?
Ideally, using a copulative pronoun should divide the subject from the predicate in cases where there might be confusion about the proper division, e.g. the Hebrew equivalent of "A child is hungry." vs. "A hungry child". ( I tried to come up with a better example off the top of my head, but that's the best I can do for the moment.)
In this example, there wouldn't be any confusion. So it seems to me that sometimes the copulative pronoun is simply used because a verb sounds like it belongs there.
There tends to be some confusion surrounding this in Arabic, as well, although I think the rules are a little more clearly spelled out for it in that language.