Almost every career in journalism begins with writing experience. While many schools offer specialized degrees in journalism, with courses like Feature Article Writing, Digital Storytelling, Investigative Journalism, etc, students can use skills gained from a liberal arts education to prepare for this career In fact, there are very specialized areas of journalism that are advantaged by a background in science, economics, or other disciplines.


Print Journalism
Newspapers come in many different formats: dailies, weeklies, and publications that focus on certain populations (women, African Americans, LGBT) or industries (Finance, Arts, Music). Newspapers employ people in production, editorial, reporting, circulation, layout, advertising, publicity, news, promotion, and management. At larger publications, you may find separate departments focusing on each of these areas, where as at smaller papers positions may be combined and include responsibilities that may fall into a number of areas.

Additionally, there are wire services, sometimes referred to as "wholesalers of news.” They provide feature stories, columns, cartoons, and comics to newspapers and magazines throughout the world. The leading wire services in the world are the Associated Press (AP), UPI, Reuters, AFP, and the New York Times News Service.

In general there is less day-to-day pressure in magazines than newspapers because of the structure and distribution deadlines. Although the integrity of the news reported in most magazines matches that of newspapers, they allow for more creativity (in terms of format and sometimes content) and reporting of more in-depth information because of the circulation frequency (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc). Other publications that can be grouped with magazines are journals and newsletters, which focus on specific subject areas or are industry specific.

Magazines will have many of the same departments that exist in newspapers, advertising, sales, circulation, editorial, production, promotions and business or management departments. Magazines will also incorporate artistic departments because of differences in format and composition of magazines. There are two primary segments of the magazine industry, consumer titles and trade magazines. Consumer titles are the magazines the public is most familiar with. These magazines are the ones you will see sold in stores or through subscriptions. Consumer titles are further divided by general interest magazines and specialized magazines. Trade magazines, sometimes referred to as business-to-business magazines, are sold by subscription and target specific professions or particular interest areas. You will rarely find these magazines in stores.

As you begin your job or internship search, it is important to recognize that the array of magazines you may see in stores represent only a little more than half of all magazines published today. In both segments, there are a variety of career options to choose from based on interests and skills. The business side of the industry focuses on advertising, circulation, consumer marketing, promotions, public relations, business management and financial management. The creative side oversees is the editorial functions, which range from photography and graphic design to content, layout and online interactive features.

Broadcast Journalism
From CNN to NPR, broadcast journalists play a key role in information dissemination and educating the public. Television is arguably the most powerful form of media in the entertainment industry. Distribution methods such as cable and satellite have resulted in an ever increasing number of channels, many filling a specific niche and eroding the popularity of the major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS) that once dominated the industry. The expansion of channels has led to an increase in opportunities in all areas of the industry.

There are over 12,000 radio stations in the United States and over 40,000 stations worldwide broadcasting music, news, talk shows, political commentary and more to people around the globe. The importance given to radio transmissions has diminished somewhat but the fact is that radio relays information faster and to more people than any other communications medium. (Source)


Resources and Job Boards


Professional Organizations

Check out “Factors to Consider When Joining a Journalism Association

MPA — The Association of Magazine Media is the primary advocate and voice for the magazine media industry, driving thought leadership and game-changing strategies to promote the medium’s vitality, increase revenues and grow market share. Established in 1919, MPA represents 265 domestic, associate and international members. MPA is headquartered in New York City, with a government affairs office in Washington, DC. See: MPA Job Bank