In the newspaper and magazine industry, journalism and writing go hand-in-hand. Whether they serve as staff reporters or freelancers, many journalists are writers – but that’s not true for all journalists. Earning a master’s in journalism degree can also prepare you for journalism careers outside of the writing job function, including sharing news as an anchor or broadcast journalist, telling news stories in formats other than writing and creating multimedia pieces of journalism.
Broadcast Journalism Roles
Working as a television or radio news anchor, broadcast journalist or on-air personality is one way to build your career around journalism without spending your days writing in a cubicle. Instead of chasing down leads with a notepad in hand, your work might revolve around interviewing eyewitnesses, celebrities, experts and other sources on video. The interview may be broadcasted live, or the footage may be aired later, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported.
In a broadcast journalism role, you might share news stories on-air – on television or radio – with viewers or listeners who tune into the station to find out about current events. Alternatively, you might serve as a broadcast news analyst or anchor, leading the news show and the transitions between news stories. Television news personalities often serve as familiar names and faces who communicate news stories in ways that strive to be unbiased and ethical as well as interesting enough to keep viewers tuning into the show.
Some broadcast journalism professionals serve as news commentators whose job is to analyze and comment on breaking news stories, the BLS reported. You may need a background in an area like politics, science or economics to qualify as a news commentator.
Careers Reporting in Other Media and Jobs in Multimedia Journalism
Stories can be told in many different media, not only writing, and advancing technology has made multimedia journalism more widely available than ever before. Multimedia journalism refers to news, investigative and human-interest storytelling accomplished through work in different dimensions and creative media. Multimedia journalism combines different media, including photos and images, videos, text and sound, to communicate information and ideas.
If you want to work in an aspect of journalism that doesn’t revolve around writing, the more traditional roles for you might include videographer and photojournalist. Roles with a more multimedia focus might include multimedia content creator or social media specialist.
Videographers are the media and communications professionals who videotape news events, interviews, documentaries and other occurrences of journalistic interest and edit and finish their footage for final publication, the BLS reported. News videographers can be employed in-house by television broadcast news channels and news websites, or they may be self-employed professionals hired on a freelance basis.
Photojournalists are photographers who use their camera skills for news purposes. They are the professionals who take photos of people, events and locations that appear in news reports on television, online and in print, according to the BLS. In addition to their knowledge in the foundations of photography focus, lighting and composition, photojournalists need skills that portrait photographers and fine arts photographers may not have. The best works of photojournalism need to tell a meaningful and compelling story in their own right as well as complementing the written or broadcasted story expressed in the article or clip the photographs accompany.
Freelancing is common in the journalism industry, particularly in creative capacities like videography and photojournalism. According to the BLS, more than one-quarter of both camera operators and film and video editors are self-employed, as are 64 percent of all photographers. Self-employment in these fields offers benefits such as maintaining copyright over your creative work, having creative freedom and job flexibility and having the opportunity to sell your work and services to different news channels and publications.
Fact-checking tools that assess the veracity of a politician’s claims, three-dimensional graphics presentations on the operation of tasers, interactive charts and games based on polls and interviews – these are just a few examples of pieces of multimedia journalism that can take news stories to the next level. According to the BLS, multimedia journalists often develop their own stories, as opposed to writers who put together the text but rely on other professionals to provide photographs, graphics and videos to accompany it. This means that your role as a multimedia journalist or content creator may include some writing, but it will also include work in photojournalism, news videography, graphic design or coding interactive components.
If you enjoy multimedia work, another option to consider is social media specialist. Social media strategists work across numerous and diverse platforms to create or curate photos, videos and infographics, as well as text-based posts that make strategic use of hashtags.
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