Whether you see the glamour of being a celebrity reporter, don’t believe the hype about tabloid journalists being ‘gutter press’ or fancy yourself as uncovering the next Harry Potter phenomenon, a career in media can be very exciting. It can also be decidedly dull. One of the trickier industries to break into with relatively low wages and long hours, this is a job done mainly for the passion – or the hope to obtain it.
Media, publishing and journalism covers a surprisingly large choice of careers and jobs:
- Editorial assistant
- Staff writer
- Online content assistant
- eCommerce product writer
- Publishing assistant
- Internal communications assistant
And each of these can vary greatly in terms of working conditions, benefits and pay.
"The press and politicians. A delicate relationship. Too close, and danger ensues. Too far apart and democracy itself cannot function without the essential exchange of information."
And it’s not just the variety of jobs you need to think about, it’s also what exactly you want to write about...
Do you have what it takes?
If you have the idea that working in media is high-glamour then think again. Junior positions will take a lot of hard graft for little financial reward. You’ll be working to regular strict deadlines – which will vary depending on if you’re working for a monthly, weekly, daily publication or website – and you will be expected to stay in the office until the work gets done.
Oh the glamour
Unsurprisingly, the media has been the subject of many Hollywood movies – whether portrayed in a positive or negative light...
Top 5 media movies you just HAVE to watch
Pelican Brief – Denzel Washington getting into all sorts of trouble as a reporter
The Killing Fields – based on a true story of a photographer and reporter during and after the fall of Laos
State of Play – a great movie representing journalism today
The Truman Show – not really journalism but it does take a look at what happens when we take storytelling too far
The Devil Wears Prada – widely regarded as an accurate portrayal of life in the world of fashion magazines
Although, let’s face it, goings on in the real world of media is more of a Hollywood tale than in the movies, eh Mr Murdoch?
...So what is it REALLY like?
The thrill factor also depends on what type of publication you work for. Newspapers break big stories and fashion or celebrity magazines involve a lot of schmoozy parties and free booze, but you could just as likely end up working for B2B titles writing about construction, finance, accounting or education. Fine if that’s of interest to you, but if you’re looking for consumer publishing you could end up disappointed.
"Wooing the press is an exercise roughly akin to picnicking with a tiger. You might enjoy the meal, but the tiger always eats last."
You also have to bear in mind the fact that this is a VERY popular option with graduates and you may need to undertake work experience and unpaid internships just to get a foot in the door of an underpaid first job...
Money, money, money
This is a job done for the love of media and a passion for the written word. With the competition for jobs being so intense, the starting salaries for most media jobs languishes well below £20,000 per year. However, if you move into online and content management then the chances for career progression and better salaries further down the line increases significantly.
Check out our media, publishing and journalism jobs
Excited about the media? To find out more check out the media, publishing and journalism jobs we have and our totaljobs salary checker to see how well the media jobs market is performing at the moment. We also have internships and placements currently live on the site so you can start out on your career path right here.