For someone who is interested in music and writing, a career as a music journalist can be an excellent choice. There are many different avenues to take when working in music journalism, and the career can largely be tailored to an individual journalist's interests and passions. On the most basic level, a music journalist writes about news and information in the music industry.
A music journalist may work for a number of different publications. A music magazine or music trade publication are obviously common choices, but general interest magazines and newspapers often hire a music columnist for their entertainment sections. In addition, there are many opportunities online, on music blogs or other freelance websites. Many music journalists work as freelancers for a period of time before being hired on staff at a publication.
One type of music journalist is primarily a reviewer. This type of journalist may receive new albums or DVD releases before they are released to the general public, and will review this new media for publications. He or she may also attend concerts and write reviews for local newspapers. A music reviewer might also write general interest pieces about the music and the entertainment industry, or behind-the-scenes information.
Other types of music journalists may focus much of their work on interviewing musicians and producers. Of course, not every music journalist fits into only one of these categories. Plenty of music writers enjoy covering all sides of the industry, from reviews to interviews and everything in between. Music journalists exist for all different types and styles of music as well, from journalists who only critique classical music to those who cover pop albums heard frequently on the radio.
Music journalism is a highly competitive field, so someone who wants to become a music journalist will probably have to pitch ideas and articles to a number of different editors before getting published. It is a good idea to build up a portfolio of published or unpublished clips to demonstrate writing ability. This is another way in which a personal blog could come in handy; publishing music reviews on a blog is a great way to help get noticed.
There is no formal education required to become a music journalist, but many aspiring writers attend college for a four-year degree. Many pursue degrees in English, communications, or journalism. Not only does this help one learn a bit about the publishing industry, but it can also help to create valuable contacts in the field.