The workforce as a whole looks entirely different today than it did at the beginning of 2020. Jobs have disappeared and new ones have taken their place, service jobs are still hurting for employees, and working from home is more possible today than ever before. The field of journalism isn’t immune to the shake-ups that a pandemic can cause, so what exactly are graduates walking into?
Even before the pandemic, the number of journalists working in newsrooms fell by nearly 40 thousand over a 12-year span. That means the jobs are there. They just might look different today than they did a few years ago, especially in broadcasting.
The skills that a student develops in pursuit of a broadcast journalism degree can be applied to other jobs whether you’re aware of it or not. The most prominent example of this is in the field of content curation and production for digital video and podcast networks. What these employers are looking for are producers, in essence, they’re just not called that. The job may be listed as “content curator” or “creative director,” but at the core, the job is for someone who knows how to spot a good story and tell it, the one thing that any journalist must learn to do.
The other thing that makes these jobs “hidden” is that they aren’t at traditional media companies. You can find yourself using these skills and working for Amazon, Disney, Meta, and other major brands that are getting into streaming and podcasting. “These are radio jobs, these are television jobs. They’re just not called television and radio,” said Valerie Geller of Geller Media International. So it’s time to broaden the search.
If you find yourself on Indeed or Linkedin looking for a job opening, expand your search terms. Just because the word “news” or “reporter” isn’t in your title doesn’t mean you’re not using your degree. “And quite frankly many of them start at $120,000 per year or $150,000 per year,” Geller said.
That being said, the existence of these jobs doesn’t guarantee that you will land one of them. The interview process is just as important as ever.
“You get people’s attention, that’s the first thing you do,” said Dalton State College professor Marjorie Yambor.
Yambor urged those gearing up for interviews to establish a theme about their pitch, the same as an advertiser would for a product because at the end of the day you are selling yourself to a potential employer. She told students to establish three points of evidence for the claims they plan to make to the interviewer.
“You wanna tell me you’re loyal? Prove it. You wanna tell me you’re innovative? Prove it. You wanna tell me you’re creative? Prove it,” said Yambor.
In addition to providing evidence for what you are, Yambor told students to be ready to answer the negative question as well. Many employers will ask potential employees about their weaknesses, “have that ready to go and be ready to refute that,” said Yambor. “You do that, I guarantee you will crush your competition.”
Still, it’s important to remember the basics, show up early and dress appropriately. No matter how much the workforce changes, those will always remain a crucial part of the interview process. And another important aspect to remember, especially for those heading into their first jobs after college, is that interviews are two-sided. Don’t get so focused on getting the job that you forget to do your research and decide whether you really want to work for that company.