Broadcast Journalism Career Facts

Broadcast journalism creates many different scenarios and career streams. Broadcast journalists work across a large range of media, and many specialize in particular areas of journalism. “Broadcast journalism” is really two careers working together, a media career and a journalistic career.

The Media Career

Working in broadcast media involves working with the peculiarities and demands of the different forms of media. For those working as journalists, this can include a range of roles:

  • TV presentations: Acting as a reporter, commentator, or presenter of news or other forms of media information. This work can include sports journalism, documentaries, interviewing, science reporting, and specialist broadcasting roles like opinion programs.
  • Radio: With the revival of radio on the internet, radio journalism includes news reading, broadcast reporting, and specialist radio shows like talk radio, science and sport.
  • Web media: The internet has created a hybridized multimedia form of broadcast journalism which has much in common with TV journalism, but also includes other media and net based presentation techniques.

The Journalism Career

For every hour on the air, about 5 hours of other work background work is involved. A broadcast presenter may also read the news, while operating as a journalist in other areas. The other part of these jobs is the journalism role, which includes:

  • Research
  • Working with assignments
  • Broadcast preparation
  • Location work
  • Interview preparation
  • Writing broadcast copy
  • Working with interview subjects off air

Career dynamics and career trends

All media careers may involve considerable job agility. Most jobs rarely last more than a few years. Although journalists tend to remain with media organizations longer than others, they manage their careers according to opportunities within their fields. In broadcast journalism, the trend is to maneuver into specific roles. Specialization is a natural part of many journalistic careers, and in broadcast journalism it can pay off very well. An international reporter, for example, can build a very impressive portfolio for career purposes:

  • 2 years Moscow office, interviewed Russian President
  • 2 tours of Iraq embedded with US Marines
  • Covered US presidential visit to France
  • Reported London financial crash

This is a small part of the typical CV of a senior broadcast reporter. The next career step for this person as a broadcast journalist is foreign news editor of a network.

Career Progression

The career progression in broadcast journalism is largely based on journalistic credentials. This example also relates to another important career element: Networking. Broadcast journalists form relationships with media management and interviewees over time. They may become the preferred interviewers and points of release for major news items. They can get interviews and have contacts other journalists, and more importantly other networks, don’t have. The media profile of journalists is their primary career tool.

Career trends in broadcast journalism are based on these factors. The main new factor in broadcast journalism is digital media, opening up many new job opportunities, and many more specialist roles for journalists.