Archive for February, 2012

Career in Broadcasting

 We all know the faces and voices of the most famous people working in broadcasting: the Katie Courics, Anderson Coopers, and Howard Sterns of the world. But for each one of these media darlings, there are hundreds of relatively anonymous broadcasters working more niche or regionally focused broadcast outlets. There are also hundreds of other folks who work behind the scenes, doing things like producing broadcast segments, writing broadcast scripts, operating cameras and other equipment, and applying makeup to broadcasters before they go on the air.

From world news to local high school sports reporting to the countdown of the top music videos on cable TV, broadcasting generally encompasses any audio or visual programming that is disseminated to a large number of radio or television receivers. Although that definition could be expanded to include Web-based media outlets, this career profile focuses on opportunities in radio and television news production and station management.

Broadcasting is a lot like other entertainment sectors. At the end of the day, the success of a broadcast outlet like a TV or radio station depends on its ability to entertain its audience, satisfy its audience’s hunger for information, or both.

Announcers, producers, directors, and everyone else must work together to tailor a station’s programming to attract the largest possible audience, which in turn attracts advertising revenue or, in the case of nonprofit stations, public funding and support. In smaller markets, stations may also be responsible for producing ads.

Careers in TV Industry

There are three main areas of work in the commercial sector, and there are different types of people, different skills, different training routes demanded and different career paths for each. PRODUCTION – CONTENTRoles include:

Producer, Director, Journalist, Researcher and Writer. This area divides into as many genres of programmes as you care to name. The overriding things being looked for are: ideas and efficiency, in addition to the actual specific abilities for the role you are going up for.

To take two genres:

Factual Programming – Current Affairs, DocumentariesTo be a producer or director in this area, a common career path would be to train as a journalist in print, radio or as a researcher in television. From there one would progress to being a senior researcher in television, then an Assistant Producer and then Producer and / or Director. That would be a common path, but you will always find directors who perhaps did a Politics degree, then were sound recordists and then a Director; or some other weird and wonderful route.

Fiction Programming – TV DramaProducers of TV Drama can come from a variety of backgrounds, a variety of routes. There is a common career path – of sorts. They may do Drama or English at university, they may not. They may work in the theatre afterwards and then progress to script reading or writing, or continuity in television. But you will meet Producers who did none of these things, and took other routes such as moving from Production Secretary to Producer.

PRODUCTION – TECHNICALRoles include: Camera, Sound, Lighting, Editing, Art, Engineering. Here Career Paths may be simpler. Specific technical skills and technical problem solving are key; if you do not have such abilities to a high level, you will not work. Traditionally one trained on the job – as assistant camera, or assistant sound – and then went freelance, or found work as the principal yourself. Video and digital technology has meant that “assistant” is no longer a common role, so more and more people have to train for technical roles at Film Schools or in University Departments, or with equipment manufacturers or facilities houses. In addition to the technical skills, employers and producers who employ camera, sound, editors etc. will look for flexibility, a friendly personality and a “can do” attitude.

GENERAL – ADMIN, SUPPORTRoles include: Production Manager, Production Accountant, Lawyer, PA This area of work is relatively conventional by comparison. Whether secretary or lawyer, accountant or personnel manager, you train in the normal way. But even here there are some television-specific roles, such as Production Manager (PM), which have no real set training route as yet. PMs are a mixture of budget controller, organiser, recruiter, administrative chief, general factotum and any other job they might take on for a production. They know technical folk and their rates, they know film processes and their costs; they know most things that are relevant, and if they don’t…they know how to find out fast. There are short training courses around for this role, but the only real way ultimately may be to observe and learn at work.

Career as Radio and television announcer

Radio and television announcers perform a variety of tasks on and off the air. They announce station program information, such as program schedules and station breaks for commercials, or public-service information, and they introduce and close programs. Announcers read prepared scripts or make ad-lib commentary on the air as they present news, sports, the weather, the time, and commercials. If a written script is required, they may do the research and writing. Announcers also interview guests and moderate panels or discussions. Some provide commentary for the audience during sporting events, at parades, and on other occasions. Announcers often are well known to radio and television audiences and may make promotional appearances and do remote broadcasts for their stations.

Announcers at smaller stations may have more off-air duties as well. They may operate the control board, monitor the transmitter, sell commercial time to advertisers, keep a log of the station’s daily programming, and produce advertisements and other recorded material. At many radio stations, announcers do much of the work previously performed by editors and broadcast technicians, such as operating the control board, which is used to broadcast programming, commercials, and public-service announcements according to the station’s schedule. Announcers frequently participate in community activities. Sports announcers, for example, may serve as masters of ceremony at sports club banquets or may greet customers at openings of sporting-goods stores.

Radio announcers who broadcast music often are called disc jockeys (DJs). Some DJs specialize in one kind of music, announcing selections as they air them. Most DJs do not select much of the music they play (although they often did so in the past); instead, they follow schedules of commercials, talk, and music provided to them by management. While on the air, DJs comment on the music, weather, and traffic. They may take requests from listeners, interview guests, and manage listener contests. Many radio stations now require DJs to update their station Web site.Work environment. Announcers usually work in well-lighted, air-conditioned, soundproof studios. Announcers often work within tight schedules, which can be physically and mentally stressful. For many announcers, the intangible rewards—creative work, many personal contacts, and the satisfaction of becoming widely known—far outweigh the disadvantages of irregular and often unpredictable hours, work pressures, and disrupted personal lives.

The broadcast day is long for radio and TV stations—many are on the air 24 hours a day—so announcers can expect to work unusual hours. Many present early-morning shows, when most people are getting ready for work or commuting, while others do late-night programs. The shifts, however, are not as varied as in the past, because new technology has allowed stations to eliminate most of the overnight hours. Many announcers work part time.

Career as a Media Planner

Media planners, also known as brand planners or brand strategists, work at advertising agencies and create clients’ ad campaigns. The media planners interact somewhat with the creatives — i.e. the copywriters creating the ads and the ad copy — but predominantly with the clients making decisions about how a media campaign will unfold. A big part of the media planner’s job is to pick the right kinds of places (the correct TV shows and magazines) to place different ads so that the client’s product (and brand) is advertised to the correct audience.
 
 
The main thing a media planner needs is a willingness, and eagerness, to learn about the advertising world. The job can be very social, because it entails working with clients, so an interest in socializing with colleagues and clients is important. Also key is an understanding of how marketing and advertising work. How can a client — a company with a specific product — best brand themselves? Media planners need to be able to devise strategies for branding and, to do so, they must know the entertainment world (what TV shows and magazines attract what audience) so they can place the ads appropriately. Media planners need to know which shows, websites, magazines and other purveyors of entertainment will draw the client’s desired audience.
While a lot of media planners will learn about the intricacies of the advertising world by working at an agency, bringing an interest to this aspect of media is key to success in a job like this.

Career as a TV News Anchor

 

At the networks the TV news anchors present the news. You know the people — the ones sitting there behind a desk (or in the field) telling you what’s happening in the world that day. Whether broadcasting from a small local station or manning one of the network’s primetime broadcasts, TV news anchors compile news stories and deliver them.

Being a news anchor requires a number of skills, the first of which is a comfort in front of the camera. There’s an element of show business in the job of a news anchor — not only do you need to be comfortable in front of the camera but you need to make people want to watch you. The latter may not be something you can learn but, certainly, gaining comfort speaking to the camera is a skill you can hone.
A news anchor also needs to be able to think on his feet. While many anchors will read scripts — off of a teleprompter or notes on their desk — information can also be transmitted aurally. If news is breaking information may be fed to an anchor on the spur of the moment from a producer. The anchor needs to be able to listen to what’s happening and then relay the information to the audience in a clear and concise manner.

How much reporting is involved in an anchor’s job is dependent on where the anchor works and what type of broadcast they work on. Some anchors, especially at local news stations, will report their own stories (perhaps with help from a producer or other staffer), and write the scripts they then transmit on the air. In that sense, an anchor works very much like a reporter with the main difference being that they need to craft the story in a way that works for television.Anchors need to get time in front of the camera. Most jobs are gotten with a tape, or a sample of your work on-air. Before you look for a job as an anchor, you need to have done an internship at a local station (and gotten some time on-air), or studied communications in college.

There are also myriad opportunities on-air at the various cable news channels.

CAREERS IN MAGAZINES

 

 
 
 

If you love magazines a career in magazine publishing might be ideal for you. Editors, writers, photographers and others bring a magazine together and the exciting world of magazine publishing can be a glamorous field to work in for creative people with a passion for print.

1. Art Director
Art directors are responsible for the look of a magazine. If you notice, Vanity Fair has quite a different look than, say, Entertainment Weekly; this is, in large part, the work of art directors, who oversee how the words and pictures on every page of the magazine will match up to create a cohesive and signature look.

2. Copy Editor
Someone needs to make sure all the stories in the magazine check out, grammatically; that someone is the copy editor. Copy editors combat dangling modifiers, errant commas and every other grammatical no-no in the book. If you’re passionate about language — specifically grammar and usage — a job as a copy editor could be perfect for you.

3. Fact Checker
Every story that appears in a magazine needs to be checked for accuracy; this is where a fact checker comes in. All magazines rely on fact checkers to ensure that quotes and all factual information included in an article are accurate. If you’re someone who’s good with detail, and appreciates the fact-finding aspect of journalism, this is the right job for you.

4. Magazine Editor
Magazine editors are the wordsmiths behind the content in magazines. While some editors do more writing, others are more heavily involved with assigning stories and editing them. (A good assigning editor needs to have a rolodex full of strong writers to contact.) Either way, this job is a perfect fit for someone who’s passionate about magazine journalism.

5. Photo Editor
Photo editors oversee, as you probably guessed, the photography that appears in a magazine. Although most photo editors don’t actually take the pictures — their job is primarily to hire other photographers to do that — it’s up to them to ensure that the right image winds up on the page. If you have a background in photography, and love working with professionals in the field, this could be a great job for you.

Careers as account executives -ad campaigns

In short, account executives oversee ad campaigns. Advertising agencies are multifaceted, in so far as they create campaigns for clients across a number of mediums — print, TV, online. Because of this fact there are various people working on different aspects of a single campaign.

While one department within an agency might be creating a series of print ads for a client, another department might be fashioning a series of television ads. Despite this fact all the ads being created need to be getting across the same message, and it’s the account executive’s job to make sure that’s happening.

Put another way, the account executive is there to make sure all the people creating the various components of the campaign are working in a unified manner, and staying on target with the message of the campaign as hammered out by the media planner.

The account executive is also the liaison between the client and the advertising agency. This means that it’s up to the account executive to distill the client’s wishes to the creatives at the agency, and vice versa.most agencies look to hire people with a college degree. Account executives, who need to be skilled at working with people and distilling ideas and directions in a clear and concise way, work their way up at advertising agencies. Generally account execs prove their worth by successfully handling accounts and moving on to work on multiple accounts and/or bigger accounts. Above the account executive position is the account manager.