Radio & Television
Radio & Television
The best way to enter a career path in these fields is usually through a small station. Starting out with an internship can be a stepping stone to a longer career trajectory and will provide vaulable experience and connections. Jobs in these fields often involve long, irregular hours and pressure to meet deadlines.
There are a number of career paths open to students interested in the radio & television industries.
- Radio and TV announcers announce station information, commercials, open and close programs, present on news, sports, weather, etc., interview guests and moderate panels. They may be involved with researching and writing material for their broadcast. They also may make promotional appearances. Radio announcers who broadcast music are called DJs. Show hosts have programs on a particular topic such as politics or sports. Public address system announcers convey information to the public at events. Several years of experience is usually required before candidates can work on the air. Formal training in broadcasting is helpful to learn how to use computer equipment and software along with a bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism or broadcasting. Before students enroll in a broadcast program they should ensure the school’s reputation. Working at high school or college radio/TV stations is very valuable. Employees usually begin as production assistants, researchers or reporters before becoming announcers. Successful announcers have a pleasant personality and an appealing style. They must have strong vocal qualities and solid grammar skills. IT skills and strong writing skills are important.
- News analysts, reporters and correspondents gather information, prepare stories and make broadcasts. News analysts also called newscasters or news anchors examine, interpret and broadcast news from various sources. New correspondents report on news happening in the location they are stationed. Reporters also called journalists investigate news stories and conduct interviews. Newswriters write stories from information collected by reporters. Weathercasters report on the weather and are sometimes trained meteorologists. General assignment reporters cover news on noteworthy happenings such as celebrities, political rallies or crime. Investigative reporters cover stories on topics that may require many weeks of information gathering. To find programs that are accredited in journalism and communications, students can visit the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. The most important skills for this career path are writing, communications and strong computer skills, particularly with multimedia. Courses in English, political science, sociology, economics and computer science are helpful. Relevant experience is the best way to learn about the industry and learn essential skills. People working on TV need to be comfortable being on air. Reporters must be adaptable to different situations, enjoy meeting new people and willing to take on dangerous assignments.
- Other positions in radio & TV include: television, video and motion picture camera operators & editors; broadcast & sound engineering technicians and radio operators.
The employment outlook for radio and television announcers is bleak, with declines expected. Employment for news analysts, reporters and correspondents is expected to decline moderately due to consolidation of companies and decrease in advertising revenue. Writers with knowledge of specialized scientific or technical subjects will have an advantage. The best opportunities will be in new media with online newspapers and magazines.
Local television stations such as NY1