Article: Creative Media Careers
This article covers the following jobs:
- Broadcasting Production Assistant
- Broadcasting Researcher
- Disc Jockey
- Magazine Journalist
- Newspaper Journalist
- Picture Researcher
- Radio/TV Journalist.
The job descriptions are only a brief summary. It is recommended that you do further research on jobs that interest you.
TV and Radio
There are various careers in TV and radio, in areas such as presenting, research and admin. Competition for entry to these careers is severe, so it is often necessary to have a degree, although it is possible to enter with fewer qualifications.
Broadcasting researchers provide the basic material for radio and television programmes. This involves developing ideas for programmes, finding out relevant information, interviewing people, and writing briefs for presenters and interviewers.
It's sometimes necessary to travel to do research, so long hours can be involved, including evenings and weekends.
Entry to this job is very competitive. Most entrants have a degree, training in journalism and relevant work experience.
Disc jockeys (DJs) present and play music to an audience. They operate technical equipment and use a microphone to communicate with the audience. They also use creative skills, eg, when mixing tracks, carrying out interviews or talking to the audience.
Relevant experience, eg, in hospital or campus radio, is very useful.
Broadcasting Production Assistant
Broadcasting production assistants (PAs) provide administrative support to producers. They work on programmes in either TV or radio.
Tasks can include typing scripts, booking studios, organising and attending planning meetings, making arrangements for actors and other artistes, sorting out travel and accommodation for film crews, and working in the control room.
Entry to this type of work is very competitive. Entrants often have A levels or equivalent, or a higher qualification such as an HND or degree. Secretarial skills are also usually needed.
There are a number of presenting roles in radio and television, including programme presenters, continuity announcers and newsreaders.
Programme presenters keep shows and programmes running. They introduce guests and performers, providing a link between each part of the programme.
Continuity announcers provide the vocal link between programmes.
Newsreaders present news programmes and bulletins. They introduce pre-recorded news stories and live reports from journalists on location. Some newsreaders write and edit scripts.
Shift work, including nights and weekends, may be required for all presenting jobs.
There are no formal recognised entry routes into presenting. Most presenters enter the career after gaining relevant experience. You need confidence and clear speech to do this job.
Radio/television journalists collect and report on news and other items of interest.
Journalists employed in national television and radio are either reporters who go out and collect stories, or sub-editors who write bulletins in the newsroom.
Competition for training places and employment is severe. Many national radio/television journalists start their careers by working on newspapers or in local radio.
Many entrants to this career are graduates.
Newspapers and Magazines
Careers in newspaper and magazine journalism involve research and producing reports or articles, often with pictures. All journalists need to have an excellent command of English, persistence, inquisitiveness and a good understanding of their readership.
Competition for entry to these careers is intense and many entrants have a degree.
Newspaper journalists work as reporters on local, regional or national newspapers. They collect information, investigate stories and events, and write articles.
Reporters collect background information by using personal contacts, libraries and the internet. They gain an insight into events by interviewing people. They need to produce their work to deadlines.
Entry to this career is highly competitive and most entrants are graduates. Nearly all journalists start work on local papers before they can move to the national press.
Magazine journalists work on a wide range of magazines. These include business, technical, professional and consumer/lifestyle magazines. They write news and features and may also edit copy.
Journalists often specialise in a particular area, such as fashion, and have to keep up to date with trends and developments in this area. They usually do a lot of research before they write their articles.
Some journalists work freelance using their specialist knowledge to write features for a number of magazines.
All journalists need good English and writing style, and the ability to conform to a house style.
Competition for entry to this work is tough and most entrants are graduates.
Picture researchers choose relevant pictures or illustrations for use in books, newspapers, magazines and websites. The editor or author of the publication asks the researcher to find a picture that is suitable for the content and layout of the manuscript.
Researchers find illustrations by looking in library and museum catalogues, picture agency directories, The Picture Researcher's Handbook and using the internet. The researcher also supplies captions (words) for the pictures.
They must work to deadlines and to a budget. Picture researchers can either be employed by publishers or work freelance.
Many researchers start their careers in a related area of work such as publishing, design or museum work. These jobs are usually graduate entry.
The National Union of Journalists (NUJ)
Tel: 020 78433700
Newspaper Society (NS)
Skills for the creative industries
Publisher: Creative & Cultural Skills
Creative & Cultural Skills
Skills for craft, cultural heritage, design, literature, music, performing arts and visual arts
Wales Online (Welsh Enquiries)
Address: WalesOnline, Media Wales, Six Park Street, Cardiff, CF10 1XR
Welsh Books Council (Welsh Enquiries)
Address: Castell Brychan, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 2JB
Tel: 01970 624151
Cyfle (Welsh Enquiries)
Address: S4C Media Centre, Parc Ty Glas, Llanishen, Cardiff, UK, CF14 5DU
Tel: 029 2046 5533