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Broadcast Media Career Overview
Broadcasting refers to audio or video being distributed through the mediums of TV or Radio. This can cover journalism, however it also refers to presenting and production of other materials such as drama series, educational programmes and game shows.
There are numerous people involved in the production of a TV or radio show, from those that appear on air to a whole team of people behind the scenes.
Some of the careers available in radio include presenters, producers, researchers and station managers.
The scope of jobs involved in a TV show is even bigger, with casting directors, productions assistants, screenwriters, production designers, location managers, camera crew, directors, costume designers and make-up artists .
Broadcast is a highly desirable sector to work in, meaning that there is tough competition for jobs. Hours can be long, pay low – especially in the more junior positions, however the work is often varied and can involve travel.
A lot of jobs in broadcast are contract-based with a limited lifespan, meaning that job security can be uncertain.
How to get into broadcasting
It can be beneficial to have studied an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that relates to Media, Communications or Broadcast in some way, especially when it focuses on specific vocational training.
Degrees in these subjects are not essential, however. There has recently been a rise in the availability of apprenticeships in the media, with the opportunity to earn money while getting training in a vocation being viewed favourably within the industry.
Most people who work in broadcast start at the bottom and work their way up. A common entry position for those in broadcast is that of a ‘Runner’, who is someone who will carry out menial tasks for the team to make their working life easier and to help ensure the production runs smoother.
A runner helps across all aspects of production, and could be asked to make the tea, go and source a prop, or look after guests or actors. It is a helpful position to work in, as it provides the candidate with an understanding of the different areas within broadcasting, and it can be an excellent way to make contacts.
Qualifications and experience
Different universities and degree subjects require different results for entry to their courses. It’s best to check particular requirements when researching courses.
Work experience is really helpful within this industry. Apply to do some in the holidays with a local radio station, or aim high and approach a big TV production company.
The salary can be low in broadcast, especially for the junior positions such as runners, who can start on £10-12,000. Salaries vary massively depending on level of seniority and the career a candidate moves into. A cameraman can earn £25,000 to £40,000, for instance, while a successful scriptwriter can earn up to and over £120,000, however those who achieve this are few and far between.