Careers in Media, Journalism and Publishing - CV Plaza

Careers in Media, Journalism and Publishing

Overview

Do you have creative flair?
Are you interested in working in a fast-paced, high-spirited environment?
If so then a career in the Media, Journalism and Publishing sector could be perfect for you!

We are all living in a media-saturated society.

From the moment we wake and turn on the TV whilst eating breakfast, to listening to the radio on our way to work, to browsing the internet and reading a newspaper just before we go back to sleep. Every single one of these activities is derived from the Media sector.

The Creative Industries Economic Estimates (CIEE) reported that the UK’s creative industries are now worth 46.7 billion to the UK economy. Furthermore, this sector enjoyed a growth of almost 10%, outperforming all other sectors in the UK job industry (www.gov.uk, 2014).

Clearly the media is a thriving and vibrant sector with fresh, exciting opportunities for students and graduates.

Media careers are about image, information and representation. It’s about visual cues and how good you are at manipulating the tools at your disposal (e.g. your spoken words, your written words, physical prompts, images, video) to achieve your aim and get your message across to your audience.

Specific areas of work

This sector is incredibly diverse, with a vast range of different fields available to pursue a career in.
The following areas are the most dominant fields in the media sector.

1) Media

production-studio

Media are channels through which information is transmitted to the public.

The Media aspect of this sector covers a wide variety of areas such as Television, Radio, Internet, Film, Games and much more. It consists mainly of production and broadcasting companies, studios, technology companies, post-production houses and film distributors.

The most popular job roles in this field are:

  • Presenter
  • Production Manager
  • Production Assistant
  • Camera crew
  • Scriptwriter
  • Sound Engineer

2) Journalism

camera-tv-journalists

In the 19th Century, newspapers were commonly said to be “the greatest organ of social life”. The extent to which this remains true today is doubtful. Nonetheless, there is still a lot of fire left in the printed news market: approximately 13 million newspapers are sold daily in the United Kingdom—this impressive number is despite the afore-mentioned digital boom. Clearly our nation is still full of avid readers, and journalists are the ones who provide us with news to read.

The main aim of journalism is to:

  1. Provide news and information to the general public (or more specific audiences)
  2. Keep the readers/consumers up-to-date on current events, both globally and locally
  3. There are three main types of journalism:

Broadcast journalism: involves bringing news to the people through electronic means such as TV, radio and the Internet. For example, the daily evening news or the radio breakfast bulletins.

In this area of journalism, excellent personal image and communication skills are the defining traits. There are many roles both in front of the camera and behind the scenes, all of which are needed for a successful news segment.

When you are in front of the camera, interviewing or delivering a news story, you are representing your whole company; so confidence and professionalism is vital to further your career.

Jobs behind the scenes can include producing, writing and editing news stories.

Investigative journalism: This type of journalism involves lots of research and story-telling. These are the journalists who expose world wrong-doings and hold those in power accountable for their actions. Determination is required, as well as good investigative ability. If you are truth-seeking and naturally inquisitive, this will be the ideal career for you.

Photojournalism: A picture can tell a thousand words. Some of the greatest events in history have been most powerfully depicted by digital captures. From the falls of the Berlin Wall and the World Trade Centre, to the Libyan Civil War and the Boxing Day Tsunami; all of these significant moments of our human history have been captured by photojournalists and shared with the world through images.

Photojournalists tell a story through pictures rather than words; sometimes a single click can have more impact than a two-thousand-word article.

Photojournalists must be adept at all the technological software available to them; being technologically savvy is an absolute must. This area of journalism is perfect for applicants who have a desire to travel and work freelance, and to be witness to some of the world’s defining events.

However, journalism is no longer only confined to these traditional fields.

Journalism has increasingly shifted to the online realm, using multi-media platforms to broadcast information to wider audiences. OfCom found that 41% of people in the UK now access news mainly from websites and apps as opposed to newspapers and other forms of print (TechCrunch, 2014).

The key essential skills one needs for a successful career in journalism is, as you can guess, excellent creative writing ability and a strong grasp of the English language. Without these core skills journalism is unlikely to be the most appropriate field for you, and you will have little chance of carving out a successful career for yourself in this environment. Other key skills include the ability to research, report and interview.

Importantly, journalism can also often prove to be a very solitary profession; you will not always be in an office surrounded by your colleagues. Sometimes your home will be your office. Therefore journalism requires a lot of self-discipline and independent work, and a strict adherence to things like deadlines and word counts. At the same time however, journalism is also about networking and creating branches for information to flow through.

Importantly, the skills needed from a journalist have evolved in response to the digital revolution. Now it is also very useful for a budding journalist to have an excellent grasp of Information Technology and other electronic services to capitalise on their journalistic proficiency and compete with other journalists on a digital platform; particularly social media. Fortunately, many journalism schools now offer multi-media degrees which include studying the multiple things which journalists use in their jobs in the 21st Century (e.g. web design, professional blogging, audio-visual recording).

It must also be noted that some areas of journalism are extremely aggressive and some would say ruthless—particularly the world of broadcast journalism. You will need a strong backbone to surpass all your competition.

3) Publishing

printing-press

Publishing is the profession of preparing books, journals and other such material for sale to the general public. Summed up by Wikipedia:

“Publishing includes the stages of the development, acquisition, copy editing, graphic design, production – printing (and its electronic equivalents), and marketing and distribution of newspapers, magazines, books, literary works, musical works, software and other works dealing with information, including the electronic media.”

Clearly there are a lot of processes involved within the publication of material, so anybody who wishes to pursue this career must become knowledgeable in the many methods and practises of this field.

Publishing involves layers upon layers of processes and procedures before material reaches its “published” status. It requires input from many individuals with their own specialities. Thus, good punctuality is crucial. For example, if you miss a deadline then this will lead to a ripple effect throughout the whole process and impact your co-workers’ schedules.

Having the ability to interact well with your colleagues is also critical in the publishing industry; there is commonly constant communication via phone, emails and faxes during the publication process. Publishing is about networking; finding and creating contacts across the industry to build a reputation and call in favours. Therefore, a pleasing personality could be key to succeed in this sector.

There is also the new multi-dimensional sphere of publishing (and indeed many other media-sector careers) to consider. Traditionally, publishing has been associated with print press such as novels. But due to the modernisation of the way in which people interact with literature, the publishing industry has begun putting significant attention on digital forms of releasing literature. This marks a new age in the Publishing world; the digital permeation of literature has meant that the nature of publishing has changed vastly. Therefore, fluency in technology will certainly be a major boost for your CV.

Education and qualifications

The minimum entry requirement for junior roles in this industry is having at least a level-3 Media-related qualification. Having at least a 2:1 degree in Media Studies, Communications, Journalism or any other related subject is the minimum requirement for many graduate schemes.

Since the job roles in this sector are very practical, candidates that show some relevant experience (in the form of movie clips, audio tracks, portfolios, etc.) tend to be favoured more over those that may have the right qualifications but lack work experience.

Skills and personal attributes

  • Research Skills: Media jobs usually involve lots of research, study and enquiries; particularly for journalism. Excellent research skills are essential.
  • Communication: Good communication and inter-personal skills are needed in the media sector because it is a human-oriented environment with constant interaction with colleagues, superiors and contacts from other sectors.
  • Multi-Talent: Due to the expansion of most media into digital platforms, applicants with a wide range of talents are most sought after; having knowledge on traditional methods of media as well as the digital versions will be sure to make your CV stand out from the rest.
  • Personal Image: The media sector is also a very visual-oriented domain. Many careers within media are fully based upon personal image (e.g. any TV-related jobs). Even generally, in all media careers you will be representing yourself and your company. You must always be professional, stylish and have a consistent personal image.
  • Creativity: Whether it’s creative writing, drawing or verbal prowess; the media sector is no doubt one of the most fresh, lively and artistic industries. You will need a creative spark to fit in and be successful.
  • IT competency: due to an increasing shift from print to the Internet, basic IT capability is increasingly demanded from applicants in the media sector.
  • Determination: You will need to devote yourself to your career to outshine your competitors.
  • Meticulousness: A careful eye to detail is crucial in this sector; every detail counts. A false fact in an article or a spelling mistake in a headline will not only affect your own professionalism but also impact on the credibility of the company you represent.

Pay and benefits

Individuals working within this sector receive good salaries with an entry-level salary starting between £16,000 and £21,000 and graduate positions can expect to be paid between £19.000 and £28.000 per year. With experience this could increase to and in excess of £40,000.

Executive positions can earn salaries of up to and in excess of £80.000 + bonuses.

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

Likes and advantages

  • You will be able to witness, investigate, write/talk about crucial parts of history, and stay up-to-date with all the events.
  • You will have the opportunity to meet high-profile, important people who you would otherwise probably never even come close to.
  • There is certain glamour to working in the media sector which isn’t found in many other 9-5 jobs.
  • Media environments are exciting, high-adrenaline, and have fresh challenges daily; which lowers the chances of you becoming bored of your job.
  • Media careers can be immensely rewarding and pleasurable—seeing the project you’ve been working on finally printed/published/on TV/radio for the world to see can bring immense satisfaction and inspire you to improve yourself even more.
  • This sector has lots of job opportunities in smaller independent media companies, which is perfect to build your portfolio.
  • There is a lot of freelance work in the media sector, which has many benefits. You won’t be trapped with one particular company and can pick and choose which job offers to go for, allowing for flexibility.
  • Journalism in particular can have lots of travel opportunities, which is no doubt a great bonus to have in any job.

Challenges

  • The media sector is incredibly competitive, a cut-throat environment. There is a lot of pressure for deadlines and consistently high-quality work. Immense perseverance is required to survive and succeed.
  • Careers within the media are usually very time-consuming and all-encompassing, operating at unsocial hours. This can put a strain on personal relationships, which is a sacrifice not everybody can make.
  • The media sector has a reputation of being ruthless—it has more cutbacks and downsizing than many other career sectors, and it is very hard to endure unless you dedicate yourself completely to your career.
  • Since this sector is in such high demand, a lot of work experience is often required to get the better jobs (“getting your foot in the door”)—which can take a lot of time and is often very low-paid because the companies know you need them more than they need you.
  • The high amount of freelancing work in media can be disadvantageous to your career too; you will often not have a steady income and it is also considerably hard to secure jobs and gain a strong reputation in such a competitive and saturated group.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, the world’s second-largest professional services network, estimates that the UK entertainment and media market will be worth approximately £42bn by 2019. This prediction is based on the strong and steady growth of this industry which shows no sign of easing any time soon—on the contrary, it actually seems to be accelerating.

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    OVERVIEW

    • SALARY RANGE
      £16.000 – £55.000
    • ENTRY
      Degree or Relevant Work Experience
    • WORKING HOURS
      37 – 45 hours per week

    SKILLS PROFILE

    • Creativity
      Generating novel ideas and finding “better ways” of completing required tasks
    • Public Speaking
      Ability to speak in front of a large audience in a clear and audible fashion
    • Time Management
      Staying focused and avoiding distractions from interfering with work completion
    • Editing
      Preparing a written piece for publication by correcting and modifying the content
    • Reading
      Ability to read in a selective and focused manner
    • Decision Making
      Making important decisions in pressurised and time-critical moments
    • Ambition
      Ability to stay motivated despite facing obstacles and setbacks

    JOB DESCRIPTIONS