Broadcast journalists are responsible for the research, writing and editing of material for broadcast in a variety of factual, news and current affairs programmes on television and radio and, increasingly, the Internet.
The work can include generating and researching stories, interviewing people, attending press conferences, gathering appropriate images and sounds, writing up, editing and packaging stories and reports and presenting in radio, studio or on location.
The majority of broadcast journalists start by working in the newsroom before becoming reporters. With suitable experience they may then move on to becoming general or special correspondents or presenters, which could sometimes involve overseas postings.
Multi-skilling is becoming increasingly important, with some staff working as both journalists and presenters.
Journalists working in commercial radio may run a newsroom single-handed. In television they will be part of a world-wide newsgathering operation.
Broadcast journalists need to be flexible about their working hours. They typically work long, irregular hours, including nights, weekends and public holidays.
They are usually based in busy open plan offices and may travel throughout the UK and abroad.
A driving licence is essential.
To be a broadcast journalist you need:
Employers in the television sector include national and regional television networks, cable and satellite networks, independent production companies, and international news agencies. Digitalisation has resulted in an increase in the number of channels, with some dedicated to 24-hour news coverage.
Radio employers include the national and regional stations, local and national commercial stations and community radio stations.
Jobs in television journalism are oversubscribed and competition for these is intense. Entrants usually have experience of other media. There are few permanent positions; most broadcast journalists are employed on short-term contracts.
There are more posts for local journalists on regional stations, especially in radio; broadcast journalists often start out in this area, where they are able to build up the experience necessary for a possible move into television journalism.
Senior journalists may be involved in editorial decision making, with responsibility for financial and organisational control and deployment of resources, and progression to management roles may be an option.
Some journalists use their experience to move into related job roles, such as television producing.
If you would like to know anything about Broadcast Journalist that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
Tel: 08080 300 900 for England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Tel: 0808 100 8094 for Scotland
Broadcast Journalism Training Council
18 Miller's Close
Tel: 01778 440025
National Council for the Training of Journalists
Latton Bush Centre
Tel: 01279 430009
Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU)
373-377 Clapham Road
5 Market Place
Tel: 020 7255 2010
Commercial Radio Companies Association
77 Shaftsbury Avenue
Tel: 020 7306 2603
Community Media Association
15 Paternoster Row
Tel: 0114 279 5219