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Advancement Opportunities for Journalists

Working as a journalist can logically lead to other jobs within the field of media. Positions that allow one to persistent and creative in their pursuit of storytelling are where journalistic skills will be best utilized.

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Career Moves as a Journalist

The traditional roles for journalists is changing, as jobs for reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts decline. This does not mean that there is no longer need for the skill set of journalists in our modern economy though. Positions creating media content still abound, however they exist on new platforms that utilize modern technology. Each of the following roles offer opportunities to journalists in the burgeoning world of multimedia.

Job Title Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2016-2026)* Certificates or Education
Editor $58,770 -1% Bachelor's degree
Writer or Author $61,820 8% Bachelor's degree
Producer or Director $71,620 12% Bachelor's degree

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Comparison

Editor

Editors are responsible for making sure that the content printed in a magazine, book, or on the web is written with proper spelling and grammar and put together in a way that makes it easily comprehensible to the target audience. They also get to choose which material is suitable for their publication, accepting or rejecting potential content as they see fit. Finally, editors are responsible for the layout of the written content in their publication, and what photographs, illustrations, and graphics will be included. Within most organizations there is a hierarchy of editors. Executive editors are at the top and have the final say in what the publication looks like, while managing and assistant editors are right beneath them. Besides these management positions there are also many associate level editor roles that have a variety of titles. To become an editor a bachelor's degree in a field related to writing is needed. Prior experience in this industry is also critical, which means journalists are perfectly positioned to enter this job.

Writer or Author

Becoming a writer and author is an easy transition for journalists, since both jobs are focused on doing the proper research and crafting a story so that it impacts the audience in the intended way. This transition can also be quite desirable, since writers tend to have more freedom in both their content and their schedule than journalists do. Most writers are self-employed, working from home on their own time. There are many different ways to be a writer - one can write short blog entries, articles for magazines, or books that are hundreds of pages long. There is also choice in terms of content, making this a great career option for the journalist who has become more interested in pursuing fiction than research, or crafting non-fiction in a more freeform way. A bachelor's degree is needed to become a writer, and although some employers prefer candidates with degrees in English, journalism, or communications, any degree background can be useful in this field.

Producer or Director

The multi-faceted nature of today's media means that some journalists should consider transitioning their career to the screen. Working as a producer or director allows one to continue telling stories, but with more creativity than what is typically seen in the news outlets where journalists work. In particular, becoming a documentary film maker is a logical career transition. It is important to note that although the role of producer and director can be related, they are quite distinct. Producers are responsible for financing a project, while directors oversee the artistic and creative decisions. Both positions require a bachelor's degree, and many people entering this field study film. Individuals with a journalism degree have the background knowledge that fits well with the skill set needed in this role, where imagination, vision, and storytelling ability are valued.

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