About Multimedia Journalism Jobs
There have never been as many ways to tell a story as right now, in the digital era. Along with the development of digital media, stories being told by using one or two types of media are becoming scarce. Even though traditional ways of delivering news and information are still present, they are rarely used as an only source, and without at least an additional social media channel.
And this is where multimedia journalism jobs come into play.
By combining audio, video and social media, multimedia journalism relies on the creative use of different technologies and media platforms to tell a story and engage readers, viewers and listeners. In today’s digital environment, people’s span for new information has never been shorter; if you want someone’s full and undivided attention, your story needs to be highly engaging. And here, we will cover exactly what does a multimedia journalist do to have their stories achieve that.
What Do Multimedia Journalists Do?
A multimedia journalist career can go in different directions, based on the type of digital media a journalist will use and the kind of story they want to tell. For example, a multimedia journalist in the news field will combine pretty much all of current media and be expected to creatively use social media. In the case of a documentary multimedia journalist, they will focus on telling stories from a specific angle, mostly relying on a combination of video and audio material.
But at the core of all multimedia journalist jobs, a person will have to combine text, sound, video, images and various graphics with telling the story in a unique and engaging way. Professionals in multimedia journalism are experts at leveraging digital tools and social media according to the needs and wishes of particular audiences they want to engage.
Multimedia journalists often have to manage the entire process of creating and distributing the story and that’s why traditional journalistic skills often don’t suffice. So when it comes to the range of skills for a multimedia journalist, well, the list can get quite extensive. But don’t feel discouraged, as you may find out that you actually already have a pretty good command on those skills. Let’s dig in deeper.
Multimedia journalism jobs most often include the following three elementary duties:
The key duties for multimedia journalists is to gather heaps of information, check the sources for validity, investigate on-field (or even report on field), fit any new information into the existing one when it comes to current events and develop a specific “voice” or an angle that can gauge one’s attention. The type of information and the style of delivery will develop depending on the genre a journalist wants to pursue.
As is the case with other multimedia jobs, a multimedia journalist needs to keep up to date with the latest advancements in digital technologies. These technologies change a lot while they can often be quite expensive. Unless you’re working for a major news or broadcasting company, chances are you will have to fit in the given budget or decide on your own how to make use of the available equipment. It’s important that you know how to deliver the best quality with what you have on hand.
Multimedia journalism jobs often resemble the duties associated with communication and media jobs. This is particularly true when it comes to web content and social media, as more and more people use social media as their primary source for news. Multimedia journalists need to stay on top of the current trends with all of the major social media outlets as well as with trends in producing podcasts and vlogs. Jobs in multimedia journalism will require a person to understand the importance of the content strategy and how to reach and sustain the desired audience.
As the media landscape continues to diversify, there are as many types of multimedia journalists you can imagine and then some. It all depends on the topic areas they’re covering and the audience they’re targeting. It’s best to distinguish types of multimedia journalism careers based on the type of media product they rely on the most when creating a story.
When it comes to a multimedia production, audio is essential. Even though people are primarily hardwired to focus on the visual elements, it’s the audio that really draws in and keeps their attention as it requires the audience to imagine a scene. This way, the audience becomes an active participant.
For example, if you’re looking at multimedia journalist job openings regarding documentary filmmaking, be prepared to have a basic understanding of how sound adds to the storytelling. In news reporting, the right selection of instrumental music brings information to a whole new level. Just think of the ways news outlets report on major disasters and other big events; it’s that dramatic instrumental music that locks you into the story.
Regardless of whether you’re focusing on reporting careers in television journalism or you’re aiming for a more independent work like a series of video podcasts, chances are you’ll be editing your own videos or supervising someone else as they do it. Multimedia journalists relying on video as their primary tool in storytelling, need to understand the elements of video editing, camera blocking and video recording in the field. In the current media landscape, the visual is everything; it’s the first thing that the audience sees and the most important chance for a multimedia journalist to grab their attention.
Even if you put aside traditional video editing which requires specific training in software, just a simple Facebook live video is so much more than a video stream; what is the quality of your camera, will you be able to cover the event partially or entirely, did you consider the lighting and audio quality… When it comes to video in the multimedia journalist job description, make sure to add planning as well as problem-solving skills to your checklist.
Data Visualization and Infographics
Data visualization and infographics are seldom used as stand-alone but are rather an addition to text or video production. In this area, multimedia journalists are first and foremost oriented at finding relevant and fresh data from trustful sources. Secondly, journalists dealing with this type of visual media usually have a solid background in graphic design. For example, organizing and visually representing them is most often an everyday task for a freelance multimedia journalist who’s active in blogging and creating various other types of digital content.
Not exclusively, of course. Infographics and other sorts of data visualization will make a reader focus more deeply on the content of the web page thus creating better traffic but it will also lock in the attention of the plain old newspaper or magazine reader.
If you’re considering a multimedia journalism job primarily oriented at photography, then you probably already know that photography is a powerful medium that can resonate with emotions of many, without a single written word. In photojournalism, a journalist can work up their way to the job of providing photo material for large media outlets. But most likely, you’ll start as a freelancer, relying on photo blogs and social media.
As you build your portfolio as a part of your multimedia journalist resume and develop your audience you’re increasing your chances to catch better-paying gigs and a more permanent position. Of course, if you wish, you can remain a free agent, looking for creativity rather than stability.
Regardless of the type of media you’d like to be involved in, have in mind that your career options don’t have to be closely related to creating content but can also deal with supervising its production. Jobs looking for a multimedia journalism degree can also involve positions of broadcasting supervisor, communication director, content editor, etc.
Any type of journalism is rarely just another office job so there’s a great chance you won’t be bound to a single place of work. This is especially true for multimedia journalists as they often need to investigate the field, record and gather information in different social settings. For some, this is exactly the type of excitement they expect from digital multimedia journalist jobs.
Injuries and Illnesses
Some amount of physical illnesses can be related to the work description of a multimedia journalist, especially if they’re often spending time in the field and risky social settings (think war zones, rough rural areas, etc.). Still, the majority of illnesses related to the job are psychological ones.
Mental health is a major aspect in journalism and the same goes for multimedia journalism. Apart from multimedia journalist daily hours of work, the job includes a lot of pressure and work-related stress. This is particularly true for multimedia journalists covering hot political topics. One study found that 92% of journalists reported at least four traumatic events in their career.
No sugar coating here; get ready for a hectic work schedule. If you’ve already been looking for info on multimedia journalism, then you probably know that your working hours largely depend on the type of work you’ll be doing. But regardless of the stories they create, multimedia journalists very rarely have strict working hours.
On top of that, get ready to work from home, on the bus or the train, in the field, etc. And yes, you guessed it, this is especially true for entry level multimedia journalist jobs. If this sounds demanding, remember that most successful multimedia journalists emphasize exactly this as their motivation; they just don’t want to be stuck in one place.
How to Become a Multimedia Journalist?
If this short introduction to the job of a multimedia journalist sounds compelling to you and you’d like to pursue it in the future, we’ve got further insight. The process of becoming a multimedia journalist involves several steps, some of which you can start working on immediately!
Jobs looking for a multimedia journalism degree are solidly represented on the job market, but before digging into the topic of education, let’s start with general qualities you should have or acquire, regardless of your degree.
The most important qualities you can have for the job are stamina and motivation. As we’ve mentioned, multimedia journalism is never an automated job with a known job routine. Depending on the type of topics and the media being used, unpredictability is an everyday occurrence. When editing a multimedia journalist resume, you should always go that extra mile to show you can work effectively in new environments while handling both stress and deadlines.
The required education for a multimedia journalist is most often a degree in journalism. This is especially true if you’re looking for a job as a multimedia reporter. Research has shown that 23.6% of multimedia reporters have a bachelor’s degree in journalism and 69.1% have master’s degrees. However, multimedia journalist job listings will often ask for a degree in a related field such as communications, economics, political science, etc.
Broadly speaking, degrees in journalism, especially in digital and multimedia journalism is most sought after. But in case you majored in anything related (social sciences and liberal arts), you still have quite a good chance to land a job.
Don’t be discouraged when looking at jobs with a multimedia journalism degree if your education doesn’t entirely suit the employers’ needs. Regardless of your education background, use the opportunity of earning extra qualifications by applying for courses and building your niche online. If you can publicly prove yourself in your niche and show that you can attract an audience, that’ll be your selling point, not your education history!
Well, the more the merrier! Seriously, multimedia journalists are at least somewhat skilled in most areas of work. That’s often because a journalist of any kind has to be a quick learner and adopt new skills as they go covering and telling stories. Still, when it comes to skills needed for multimedia journalist, a few can be highly emphasized:
Organization; it goes without saying that a multimedia journalist needs to have high organizational skills with the ability of advanced multitasking. Effective use of your time is among top priorities.
Knowledge of all kinds of digital media content; sooner or later, you’ll have to create or supervise the production of digital and social media content. Skills related to content strategies and applying SEO are a must. Social media changes quickly as well, so knowing their mechanisms in reaching the audience is a necessary skill you’ll need to target and engage your audience.
Photography, video and audio skills; despite the variety of multimedia journalism careers, you need to have a good handle on the actual equipment used in producing content. And that means learning the ropes of the trifecta in multimedia: photography, video and audio.
Creative thinking; we live in a world where almost every aspect of human life has already been covered. It’s up to you to find another angle to cover the topic in a way that can engage the audience. To do that, and to deal with the everlasting unpredictability of the job, you’re in for a lot of creative solutions and thinking on your feet.
There’s no single system of advancement for multimedia journalism jobs. Since the area of work is so vast, so are types of your employment. Are you starting with a big news agency or a small digital media company? What if you’re a freelancer? What’s for sure is that you will eventually snag better paid multimedia journalist jobs or positions.
Keep in mind that your competition is fierce. As prices of digital equipment continue to drop and become accessible to everybody, the job market for freelance multimedia journalists is becoming quickly saturated. On top of that, more and more people qualify for stable positions in agencies and companies. The best way to get yourself out there is by honing your skills and learning to see opportunities others don’t.
Finally, the ultimate question on your mind: how much does a digital multimedia journalist make. Well, according to Glassdoor statistics, the average base pay for a multimedia journalist is $44,477 per year. Of course, the figure can vary a lot. Depending on the media company, the average multimedia journalist salary in more elite companies can go up to between $60,000 and $90,000. Multimedia journalists who are only starting their work often start by being paid hourly, ranging from $30 to $40.
Nobody wants to turn their life upside down to end up in a blind street of a career. If it seems that multimedia journalism is here to stay, that’s because it definitely is. Multimedia is now implied in almost every aspect of media production. But that can be a tricky thing when it comes to multimedia journalism degree career options.
Some experts in the industry claim that a lot of journalists, writers, filmmakers, bloggers, etc. are now becoming qualified to enter the world of multimedia journalism. For example, a study predicts that jobs in multimedia reporting will drop by 10% by 2028.
However, as the media landscape continues to get more diverse, so will job prospects. Even if the outlook for getting journalism degree jobs seems a bit negative, don’t get discouraged, make a plan, browse around and above all, invest in your skills.
What does a multimedia journalist do?
Multimedia journalism jobs involve dealing with several media platforms at the same time to create, produce and deliver a story or another media content in an engaging way for audiences. A multimedia journalist combines audio, video, photography, graphic design or social media in an effort to reach their target audience.
What makes a good multimedia journalist?
A good multimedia journalist has high stamina and passion, developed organizational skills and extensive knowledge of digital media. The world of multimedia journalism is often filled with stress so it’s essential for a person to have high endurance. As the digital world continues to develop, staying on top of the technology needed for delivering content is a must.
How to become a multimedia journalist?
Jobs for multimedia journalism majors are most often represented on the job market but other related educational backgrounds can develop into a career of a multimedia journalist, such as communications, political science, writing, etc. Education is only the starting point in becoming a multimedia journalist; gaining new skills and perfecting them, taking upon opportunities and building an online and social media portfolio is also necessary to receive recognition.
What jobs can you get with a multimedia journalism degree?
Multimedia journalist major jobs are quite diverse. They can range from traditional journalism positions such as writer, editor and reporter and extend to a multimedia reporter, social media manager, content writer, podcaster, blogger, graphic designer, photographer and filmmaker.
Why is multimedia journalism important?
Multimedia journalism is now encompassing almost every aspect of journalism and is growing into other areas of the media content. Experts note that soon, it will no longer be possible to talk about multimedia journalism as a specific field in journalism but rather an overarching way of the journalistic world.
What are skills to list as a multimedia journalist?
Digital multimedia journalism jobs require high organizational skills, experience with digital technologies, extensive knowledge of audio, video and photo equipment as well as great skills in using social media to distribute the content. Above all, the biggest skill needed in a multimedia journalist is thinking fast and grabbing opportunities to tell and present a good story.
What does a multimedia journalist need to know?
The main thing a multimedia journalist should know is how to use their creativity and knowledge of the world. Yes, education is important, as well as skills, but to really succeed in multimedia journalism jobs, it’s essential to use journalism along with digital media as an output of creativity to which the audience will ultimately respond and relate.