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Creative people often find themselves drawn to jobs in media. Journalists, photographers, editors, anchors, and camera operators have a chance to use their skills to communicate with the public at large. Media jobs often involve long hours, tight deadlines, and a fair amount of work-related stress, but the opportunity to constantly learn new things and meet interesting people makes these careers well worth the effort.
When considering media jobs, many people think of newspapers and magazines as primary employers. However, they often tend to overlook the smaller publications. Although not everyone with an interest in media jobs can work at The New York Times or Redbook, there are lots of opportunities available at smaller regional publications covering everything from parenting and home improvement to sports and entertainment. Positions can be either full-time, part-time, or freelance.
Broadcast media jobs include those in radio and television, working as either on-air talent or assisting behind the scenes. These jobs are often even more competitive than print media positions, since they attract a large number of applicants hoping to become "famous" for their work. Unpaid internships with local markets are usually seen as the best way to get experience in this aspect of the media industry, with talented applicants working their way up to more prestigious gigs over a period of several years. Even media mogul Oprah Winfrey started by landing a position reading copy for WVOL radio in Nashville, Tennessee when she was 17 years old.
Increasingly, digital media jobs are being seen as the future of the communications field. These jobs may include writing articles for the website of a print publication or preparing articles for a company that is an online-only news source. In addition to basic writing, digital media jobs can also involve creating graphics, printables, audio files, video, or interactive elements such as games and quizzes. Some digital media jobs even involve getting paid to use social networking tools such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter to promote specific interests.
Qualifications for jobs in media can vary. Many employers prefer to hire people for entry level positions who have degrees in English, communications, journalism, or a related field. However, there are also a number of people who turn to jobs in media after being successful in other careers. If you have strong language skills and don't mind working hard to prove yourself, the lack of a degree in a specific subject area shouldn't hold you back.