- Health Professions
- Social Sciences
- Social Services, Advocacy, & Non-Governmental Organizations
Newspapers come in many different formats: dailies, weeklies, and publications that focus on certain populations (women, African Americans, LGBT) or industries (Finance, Arts, Music). Newspapers employ people in production, editorial, reporting, circulation, layout, advertising, publicity, news, promotion, and management. At larger publications, you may find separate departments focusing on each of these areas, where as at smaller papers positions may be combined and include responsibilities that may fall into a number of areas.
Additionally, there are wire services, sometimes referred to as "wholesalers of news.” They provide feature stories, columns, cartoons, and comics to newspapers and magazines throughout the world. The leading wire services in the world are the Associated Press (AP), UPI, Reuters, AFP, and the New York Times News Service.
In general there is less day-to-day pressure in magazines than newspapers because of the structure and distribution deadlines. Although the integrity of the news reported in most magazines matches that of newspapers, they allow for more creativity (in terms of format and sometimes content) and reporting of more in-depth information because of the circulation frequency (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc). Other publications that can be grouped with magazines are journals and newsletters, which focus on specific subject areas or are industry specific.
Magazines will have many of the same departments that exist in newspapers, advertising, sales, circulation, editorial, production, promotions and business or management departments. Magazines will also incorporate artistic departments because of differences in format and composition of magazines.
From CNN to NPR, broadcast journalists play a key role in information dissemination and educating the public. Television is arguably the most powerful form of media in the entertainment industry. Distribution methods such as cable and satellite have resulted in an ever increasing number of channels, many filling a specific niche and eroding the popularity of the major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS) that once dominated the industry. The expansion of channels has led to an increase in opportunities in all areas of the industry.
There are over 12,000 radio stations in the United States and over 40,000 stations worldwide broadcasting music, news, talk shows, political commentary and more to people around the globe. The importance given to radio transmissions has diminished somewhat but the fact is that radio relays information faster and to more people than any other communications medium.
Experience is essential for both magazines and newspapers. Get involved with on-campus publications, or a local daily or weekly publication, to build your experience in the functional areas (writing, layout, advertising, editorial) that interest you. If you are writing articles, keep copies of your clips for use when applying to newspaper positions, as many will ask you to provide at least 3-5 published samples of your writing. For photographers and artists, it is also important to have samples of your work, often referred to as your portfolio; keep a file with hard copies and electronic versions of published materials, and if applicable, samples of work from your courses. Seek out leadership positions to expand your experience. This will help you as you apply for internships.
Begin planning early for a summer internship. Newspapers tend to have earlier application deadlines; it is not unusual to see deadlines in November and December for competitive summer positions. Magazine deadlines vary widely, though the majority fall between January and March. Keep in mind that you do not have to intern at a prestigious newspaper or magazine to gain valuable experience; often times the experience you have at a smaller hometown paper may be more comprehensive, and you may end up with more clips and experience at the end of the summer than if you had interned at a prestigious publication.
If your goal is to be the person reporting the news on-air, whether in front of the camera or in front of the microphone, strengthening your written and verbal communication skills is essential. In addition to accumulating audio or video clips and getting experience researching and writing articles you need to gain exposure to the television and radio industries. Practical experience gained through internships and extracurricular activities is vital.
As with other sectors of the entertainment industry, developing connections through networking is of the utmost importance. Interning and conducting informational interviews are great ways to begin developing your connections. Internships in television and radio are abundant and available across the country; larger networks and radio stations are more likely to have paid opportunities, though the majority of internships are going to be unpaid.
Most states have professional associations for radio and television broadcasters. These professional associations typically have job postings and resources including listings of all stations within the state. Here is a sample of the state specific associations.