About Broadcast Journalism Jobs
Before social media took over, we had two primary sources of information: print media and television. The way we consume new information started to change rapidly with the development of digital platforms. One of the biggest changes is the increased amount of information we go through every day. Fewer people take the time to read an extensive article, and the majority of them are more likely to scroll through their feeds and digest news through videos.
And this is where our overview of broadcast journalism jobs starts. Broadcasting encompasses TV and radio, but it has also managed to adapt successfully to digital platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Today, working in broadcast journalism means working in a growing and exciting industry that fulfills the dreams of every journalist familiar with multimedia. So let’s check what it’s all about and what you need to do to get work experience in this field.
What Do People With Broadcast Journalism Jobs Do?
In broad terms, people employed in broadcast journalism research, write, and present news and stories. They do so in a manner adapted to the audience that listens and watches the news and stories. Their main task is not only to inform but also to engage the audience.
However, this rarely means that a single person is responsible for every stage of broadcasting. As you’ll learn in this overview, broadcast journalism careers are quite diverse, depending on the job you’re most interested in.
Duties generally depend on your role. Are you a researcher, video editor, or news presenter? You can occupy many roles, but your main duty will be to follow the editors’ and directors’ guidelines. Their main job is to choose the type of content and oversee the entire process by ensuring that all pieces of the puzzle fit together perfectly. Aside from following the guidelines, your main duty is to contribute to building compelling broadcasting content.
Types of Broadcast Journalism Jobs
As is the case with every type of journalism, the process behind a news story can be a long one. Unless you’re working entirely on your own (working online with smaller audiences), your job will likely be just another step in the broadcasting process. Many veterans in the industry note that it’s best to think of broadcasting as an orchestra; each piece in the process has a specific role and impact on the final product. Let’s see which jobs in broadcast would fit you the most.
Writing, Reporting, and Editing: Fundamental Careers in Journalism and Broadcasting
These three are the essence of journalism, including broadcast journalism. Before the news story is presented, it has to be researched, put in writing, and edited. Usually, the editor will assign a story to a journalist, who will then do necessary research (including field research). If necessary, field footage will be made (both video and audio).
In large broadcasting companies, it’s not unusual for several journalists to work on a single story along with the reporter who will present the story. Editors are there to follow the development of the story they’ve assigned and make sure it fits the original idea. It’s important to note that broadcast journalism jobs are not jobs for broadcast journalism majors only, as they are often similar to traditional jobs in journalism.
Broadcasting doesn’t only depend on journalists. Both in television and radio broadcasting, broadcast engineers are necessary for media outlets. Their job is to take care of the technical aspect of broadcasting, especially when it comes to live broadcasting. They need to be formally educated engineers with at least some experience in the field.
But as many experts note, it’s difficult to find an engineer with actual broadcasting experience. Being a broadcast engineer is one of the jobs related to broadcast journalism that certainly pays off. In fact, because they’re so rare, they’re often paid even more than journalists and reporters.
Field Reporters and News Anchors
Field reporting is what many young journalists have in mind when they first start their education. This is hardly surprising as the history of broadcast journalism has shown that many field reporters manage to rise to fame, especially those reporting from war zones or delivering shocking and original stories. However, the vast majority of field reporters started off as researchers, writers, and journalists. If you’re at the beginning of your career, this can be an excellent motivator.
That’s especially true for broadcast journalism anchor jobs. If your dream job is to be a radio or TV presenter, you should know that it can take a while before you snatch that position. News anchors are a rare breed in the industry with an impeccable set of skills. However, all the hard work will pay off as news anchors can be paid four times more than regular journalists.
Researchers and Writers
If you’re just starting off, these job positions are great as entry-level broadcast journalism jobs. Behind every great story, there’s a lot of research involved before journalists come in. Usually, researchers will work with editors to check whether the story is worth pursuing. They team up with journalists to check the sources, available data, and other facts that will back up the story down the line.
On the other hand, writers in broadcast journalism also have an important role. Summarizing stories or writing news bulletins are day-to-day jobs, not only for the sake of content broadcasting but for editors and journalists as well.
Sports Broadcasting Jobs
One of the most successful niches in broadcasting is sports journalism. As you probably know, the sports industry is a big one with millions of sports fans. Sports broadcasting events are usually the most-watched television content.
Typically, a degree in sports journalism is the best way to start, but it’s not a strict requirement. If you’re passionate enough and want to put effort into building your portfolio, a regular degree in journalism or a related field will suffice. Regardless of your choice, a sports commentator or a sports journalist are excellent sports broadcast journalism jobs.
As you can probably guess, it’s unusual for any journalist to work in a typical office environment, which is especially true for broadcast journalists. The media can be a problematic industry in terms of job security. Before you look for the list of broadcast journalism jobs, it’s important to know a thing or two.
Journalists often work in a stressful environment where they are expected to meet deadlines and be on standby if a story breaks. Being away from home due to frequent traveling is common. Nonetheless, broadcast journalism is a career full of excitement and opportunities for professional development.
Injuries and Illnesses
Jobs in journalism and broadcasting usually don’t involve life-threatening situations. So, when it comes to physical health, injuries are very rare. However, working in a fast-paced industry and covering difficult topics every day can seriously affect mental health. Many journalists struggle with depression and anxiety, while others have PTSD. That’s especially true for those reporting from the frontline on wars, political riots, natural disasters, etc.
Journalism is not a nine-to-five job; it’s a calling. In other words, working in broadcast journalism means that your professional career is high on your priority list. That also means having a hectic work schedule. Of course, this will depend on your tasks, but working long hours and weekends is considered normal.
How to Become a Broadcast Journalist?
The first step is getting a broadcast journalism degree. Work experience is preferable even if you are still a student, so doing an internship is a smart move. That’s a chance to start building your portfolio. Joining professional organizations can help you land a job in broadcasting. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTNDA) are worth considering. As with any other job, broadcast journalists usually start small and work their way up to the top.
Being curious about the world is essential. This is the most important quality you should have. Of course, that doesn’t mean you need to know everything; it’s perfectly fine (even desirable) to find your niche you can specialize in, but you should be interested in “the five Ws” when it comes to both local and global events.
Being a team player is another essential quality when it comes to jobs in broadcast journalism. As we’ve mentioned, the process behind putting together content for broadcasting is a huge team effort. If you think you’re better off on your own, you should seek online broadcasting opportunities that will give you more creative freedom.
The educational background of those working as broadcast journalists can be quite diverse. Back in the day, a degree in journalism and communication was obligatory, so potential journalists could only do jobs with a broadcast journalism degree. Even though requirements are less strict nowadays, newsroom journalists are more than twice as likely to have a college degree. More precisely, 79% of them are college educated.
Therefore, it’s safe to say that a degree in broadcast journalism is your best bet. You may also be surprised to hear that you can do jobs with a degree in broadcast journalism that are not related to journalism. You can be a producer, documentary filmmaker, marketing editor, copy editor, content writer, etc.
Perhaps even more than in any other field of journalism, you’ll need a lot of skills to land one of your first jobs with a broadcasting degree. Firstly, you’ll need an excellent understanding of both spoken and written language, impeccable grammar, and knowledge of both traditional and contemporary journalism. Research skills and attention to detail is also needed. Digital literacy is a must; from social media platforms to video and audio editing, you need to be on top of your game and make sure you stay there as your career advances.
Depending on the types of broadcast journalism jobs, you’ll also need to work on your screen presence if you choose to be a field reporter or a news anchor. This includes the ability to grab viewers’ attention and convey a clear message.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
When it comes to additional education and honing your skills as a journalist, it’s always a good idea to look for programs, schools, and additional certifications to prove your skills. Careers in broadcast journalism sometimes involve fierce competition, and the best way to come out on top is to have an undeniable set of skills that will set you apart from others.
Besides your formal education, you can look up different programs and schools that provide education adapted to specific media in broadcast journalism like television or radio. Moreover, you can look for ways to earn certifications in multimedia, digital and social networks management, and similar. That will be a tremendous boost to your CV while browsing and applying for jobs on job search sites in journalism or television.
The competition in broadcast journalism is fierce. Starting from the bottom is never easy, so prepare to knock on doors. Depending on your skills and previous experience, you’ll most likely start with entry-level jobs in broadcast journalism. Gradually, you’ll climb up the ladder. How to know if you’re on your way to promotion? In time, you’ll notice you’re being given more demanding tasks. This is the best way to know you’re on the right path.
According to Payscale, the average salary for broadcast journalism jobs is $37,217, with broadcast journalists earning $25,000–$84,000, depending on seniority, location, and the broadcasting company’s size. Field reporters usually earn more as their average salary is $52,144. These numbers can go a lot higher, especially with news broadcaster salaries. News producers working with big media outlets can earn more than $90,000 per year, while news anchors can earn $100,000 or more.
How does this compare to the national average in all industries? Well, according to Statista, the average pay in the US was $66,778 in 2019. But don’t feel discouraged; as we’ve mentioned, broadcast journalism is more of a calling than a regular job. You’re here for the excitement and personal growth, and that’s something you can’t put a price on! The journalism and broadcasting salary you’d like to earn will come in time.
Broadcast journalism careers will only get better in the future. Since 2008, the field of journalism has undergone a significant transformation due to digital media. The introduction of digital platforms changed how we consume news, but broadcasting seems to be the remaining survivor. Unlike print newspapers, broadcasting journalism managed to adapt to social media and digital news delivery.
Broadcast journalism jobs are a growing field. Even though the Bureau of Labor predicts an 11% employment decline in journalism from 2019 to 2029, the current situation indicates a different outcome for broadcasting. Broadcasting jobs are the only jobs in journalism (along with digital media) that have had employment growth since 2008. It’s expected that this trend will continue in years to come, so start updating your portfolio and look for new opportunities!
What can you do with a broadcast journalism degree?
A degree in broadcast journalism enables you to explore several career paths. On the one hand, you can follow the usual path of starting off as a researcher or a journalist in a junior position. On the other hand, you can pursue a career as a copywriter, marketing expert, PR specialist, content writer, director, filmmaker, etc. The world of journalism is a world of multimedia, which means that you have many options to consider.
Is broadcast journalism a good major?
It seems that broadcast journalism graduate jobs will continue to be in demand in the future. From that point of view, yes, it’s a good major with solid career prospects. But the decision to pursue it will depend on your passion for journalism and willingness to study hard. Even if the employment in broadcast journalism starts to show signs of decline, those who are diligent and passionate about their job will most likely find their place in the job market.
What degree do you need for broadcast journalism?
Most journalists have a degree in journalism or communication. Research has shown that 79% of those working in newsrooms have a degree in journalism while others have a degree in related fields, most often liberal arts and social sciences. In other words, if you don’t have a degree in journalism, don’t feel discouraged!
What is the difference between journalism and broadcast journalism?
Even though these two fields may seem different, the jobs of broadcast journalism and journalism have the same basis. Researching, investigating, and writing a story is still the backbone of both journalism and broadcast journalism. However, broadcasting enables journalists to tell a story in a very engaging way by using audio and video material. This aspect is what enabled broadcasting journalism to adapt to digital platforms.
What does a broadcast journalist do?
Typically, a broadcast journalist will do everything a journalist does—researching, pitching a story (or having one assigned), and composing it. But in broadcasting, a journalist has to have in mind the entire process; a story suitable for print might not be suitable as broadcasting content. Along with the usual broadcast journalist job description, journalists may also work as editors, producers, or field reporters.
What is the highest paying journalism job?
When talking about the highest paying jobs in journalism, we’re usually referring to senior positions. On average, a director of broadcast production earns $77,292 a year, but the salary can go up to $133,000. Senior journalists make $74,517 annually on average, with top earners making $119,000 a year.
Where to apply for jobs after graduating in broadcast journalism?
After graduation, your best bet is to start looking for internship positions. Ask yourself if you’d accept an unpaid internship or you’d rather aim for a paid position? Get ready to have a bumpy ride before your first paycheck; it might take a while before you land your dream job. But as our overview of broadcast journalism jobs shows, it’ll be worth it.