- An exciting role with opportunities to travel the world
- Work could involve local, national or international travel, often at very short notice
- Requires good writing and research skills, a clear speaking voice, and confidence and calmness under pressure
Broadcast journalists research, investigate and present news and current affairs content for television, radio and the internet. Their aim is to present information in a balanced, accurate and interesting way through news bulletins, documentaries and other factual programmes.
- Follow story 'leads' or generate story ideas
- Research stories using the internet, archives and databases
- Write scripts and website or social media content
- Prepare and conduct live and pre-recorded interviews
- Present in TV or radio studios or on location and record voiceovers for recorded material
- Ask questions at briefings and press conferences
- Direct a small camera or sound crew
- Operate recording equipment yourself
You might specialise in a particular type of news, like political or sports reporting. In regional TV and radio, you'll focus on local news. In many jobs you'll be part of a production team, including other journalists, researchers, editors, broadcast assistants and producers. In small commercial radio stations, you might run a newsroom single-handedly.
Wages differ depending on the employer and the location; independent local radio posts tend to offer the lowest starting salaries.
Additional allowances may be paid for shift work and unsocial hours, and a London weighting may be available. Freelance reporters often have individually negotiated contracts. Higher end salaries tend to be reserved for the most experienced and high-profile journalists.
Ideal for someone with good writing and research skills, a clear speaking voice, and confidence and calmness under pressure
Most broadcast journalists enter the job after doing a degree or postgraduate qualification in broadcast journalism. Some courses are accredited by the Broadcast Journalism Training Council. You may be able to start out on a Level 5 journalist or a Level 7 senior journalist higher apprenticeship; recruitment takes place at set times during the year, and you can find out when schemes are open for applications on broadcasters' websites.
You could also join an employer's training scheme, move into broadcast journalism from print journalism, or start in local radio before moving into regional or national TV. Paid or unpaid work experience will be very helpful. You could get this by working, volunteering or getting a placement in community, hospital or student radio or TV.
An online showreel will also be useful, to show potential employers examples of your work. The Broadcast Journalism Training Council has a list of accredited degrees and postgraduate courses in broadcast journalism.
Volunteering is a good way to get experience of what it's like to work in the media and will help when you apply for courses and jobs. Organisations offering work experience opportunities include Community Media Association, Hospital Broadcasting Association, ITV, Channel 4, and the BBC.
You could apply directly to broadcasting companies like the BBC who offer graduate training schemes however, places are limited and competition is strong.
With experience, you could become a studio-based presenter or a special news correspondent. You could also move into programme making, producing, or management.