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Careers for Former Journalists

Anyone wishing to leave the journalism field can take their experience with them to a new career in areas like writing, editing or production. Discover what these jobs involve and how they fit a former journalist's skills.

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Career Options for Former Journalists

Professionals who come from a journalism background have several kinds of experience already under their belt. They have been through public scrutiny, performed their own research for stories, and examined the production side of news from different angles. The careers below are suitable options for those who are ready to move on from the world of journalism, since they draw from these various skills and experiences. Some of these jobs may require additional education or training.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Writer and Author $61,240 8%
Editor $57,210 0%
Audio and Video Equipment Technician $42,230 13%
Technical Writer $69,850 11%
Film and Video Editor $62,760 16%
Producer and Director $58,260 (for radio and television) 12%

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Broadcast Journalism
  • Photojournalism
  • Print, Broadcast and Electronic Journalism

Career Information for Former Journalists

Writer and Author

Those who have worked in journalism know the ins and outs of writing. If they pursue work as writers and authors, they can choose to write fictional stories about the newsroom environment, or autobiographical accounts of their experiences in reporting, among countless other possibilities. Writers will need to submit their work to the editorial board for evaluation and make any necessary changes requested from editors and/or clients. Writers can work full-time or as freelancers across multiple outlets. Typically, writers and authors hold a bachelor's degree in communications or English.

Editor

As an editor for a newspaper or magazine, former journalists already possess the eye for a potentially fascinating story that will generate clicks and/or revenue. Editors also need to do fact-checking, confirming citations in an existing story, and final approval for submissions by the writing staff. Editors must also decide where to place stories in order to maximize space for advertisements and photos. Editors usually have a bachelor's degree in journalism, communications, or English.

Audio and Video Equipment Technician

Television and radio journalists who take interest in the technical aspects of their work environment might wish to pursue another career as an audio and video equipment technician. These professionals operate mixing boards, recording equipment, and video monitors at events like meetings and news conferences. They must provide solutions in a fast manner when problems with equipment arise. Digital conversion of existing records might also be part of their job. Technicians in audio and video will need to obtain training through a certificate program.

Technical Writer

Writers of copy for newsrooms can make an easy transition to technical writing, where they will pen documents such as journal articles, instruction manuals, and product guides. Technical writers must determine the proper medium for their audience, which might include text displayed during an online video. In this career, constant revision of content is needed to keep written material relevant and current. A college degree will usually be a requirement for technical writers, and technical experience in engineering or web design is a major benefit.

Film and Video Editor

Editors for film and video can apply their knowledge of production techniques in broadcast settings. Editors will work with directors in order to optimize the filming process, including lighting and footage organization. Veterans of journalism might choose to work with documentaries or filmed sporting events as editors. For the most part, a bachelor's degree in broadcasting or film is the proper entry into a career as a film or video editor.

Producer and Director

Veterans of journalism and broadcasting can take their talents behind the scenes and work as a director or producer of a newsroom or news channel. Multiple roles may be needed in a larger setting, with assistant and executive producers and directors taking on various responsibilities from casting to financing. For a career as a producer or director, a bachelor's degree in film or cinema studies is typically warranted, as are several years of experience in editing or cinematography.

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