Saturday, March 31, 2012


If you dream of making a qualitative change in the people's life, bringing into light the dark side of the society, have the patience to get along with politicians, bureaucrats, criminals and a myriad of persons desperate to get some ready to rush to work at odd hours, do night shifts; Journalism is one of the best careers to pursue.

Journalism as such is more than a career, it's a mission. A mission that generates your creativity helps you socialize, earn name along with your livelihood, bring to the forefront problems facing the society and help implement the possible solutions. These inherent advantages of journalism attract a lot of young graduates.

Scope and Areas of Work in Print Media

Print Media is the oldest form of media. But even today it is growing from strength to strength. Around 4000 small, medium and large newspapers and magazines across the county are registered with the Registrar of Newspapers every year. This indicates that it is a growing sector where employment opportunities are increasing with each passing day.

Most of the young aspirants who want to enter the print media prefer reporting, but newspapers and magazines also seek young talent as photographers, artists, editors, computer experts, librarians, and cartoonists. Students who have writing ability, graphics or photo skills, curiosity and determination and who are well prepared by education and training have less difficulty in finding a good opening in the print media. The well known areas to work are:

Editing ? Editing means to plan the contents of the publication and to supervise its preparation. Newspapers have Editors who should have sound knowledge of newspaper laws. They need to put forward innovative ideas and establish the style of the publication. Editors must be able to coordinate the efforts of a team. They must possess a sound knowledge of their market, and take the initiative in looking for new authors and new subjects. In very large newspapers, there are associate or assistant editors who are responsible for particular topics, such as sports, international news, local news, supplements, special pullouts, etc. Administrative duties of editors include hiring writers, planning budgets and negotiating contracts with freelance writers.

Newspapers also have a large number of sub-editors whose job is to give a final shape to the story submitted by a reporter. Sub-editors acts almost like a gate keeper ? editing, reformatting, objectively presenting each report, keeping in mind the general policy of the newspaper. They must be able to identify potential doubts, complications and mistakes in the text, inconsistencies or lack of adherence to the style of newspaper.

Reporting ? Reporting in Newspapers and Magazines means to file stories about local, state, national and international events; to present different view points on current issues and to monitor the actions of public officials and others who exercise power. Newspapers frequently station reporters known as correspondents in large cities and in other countries to prepare stories on major news events occurring in these locations.

Freelancing ? One can also work as a freelance journalist for newspapers and magazines. Freelancers are not the regular employees of the organization. They are paid according to each piece or article they write.

Writing Columns ? A newspaper appoints specialists for regular columns. Columnists, being assigned a column, have to keep contributing to the column on a regular basis.

Writing Comments ? Well known people, who are authorities in their respective fields, are invited to write on topical issues in magazines or newspapers.

Drawing Cartoons ? A comical or satirical sketch on political, cultural events is the job of a cartoonist. While established cartoonists work for some big groups, others are generally free lancers.

Working as an Artist - Illustrators and cartographers who specialize in maps and charts to illustrate data work in this medium.

Photojournalism ? Photojournalism is an art to tell a story with pictures. People having an interest in photography with an ability to link it with a news story can work for newspapers and magazines as a photojournalist.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Careers as Author/Writer

Writers and editors write! Writers write made up stories, or they write about things that really happened. They write books, and they write articles for magazines or journals. They write for newspapers, and they write for radio and television. Editors tell writers what to write about. They also decide if what a writer has written is good. If it is not so good, they change the words to make it better. When a writer begins to write, he or she gathers information. The writer may get this information just by looking or by doing research at the library. Or, the writer may interview someone. Writers write something, and then they change it. Then they change it again. They keep changing it until they feel they get it right.

There are different kinds of writers. News writers work for newspapers or news broadcasts. Columnists write about people, places, and things. Editorial writers write how they feel about something. Technical writers give instructions on how to use a machine or how to do something. Copy writers write ads.

Editors write, too. They also review, rewrite, and change the words of writers. But their most important job is to plan what should be in a book, magazine, or newspaper. They decide what to print based on what they think readers will want to read. They assign topics to writers. They make sure that the book, magazine, or newspaper comes out on time.

Editors have people who help them do their jobs. These workers are called assistant editors or editorial assistants. Sometimes they are called copy editors or production assistants. They correct errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. They make sure that a book or a magazine is correct and easy to read. They also may do research for writers. They figure out what each page of the book or magazine should look like. Most writers and editors use computers to help them do their work.

Some writers and editors work in quiet offices, while others may work in noisy rooms. Some writers and editors have to travel. Others talk to people over the telephone or go to the library.

Writers and editors work 35 to 40 hours a week. Some work at night or on weekends. Writers may work overtime to meet deadlines or to cover the latest stories. They often face a lot of pressure to meet the deadlines. For some jobs, deadlines are daily.

Career as a Talk Show Host

A talk show host is a type of job in either television or the radio – the job involves running a “talk show” which invites guests to talk on a variety of subjects with the host and entertain the audience. 

The job of a talk show host is to generally run the show, talking to the guests and sometimes the audience, and providing entertainment for everyone. A good talk show host may also have a special skill of their own with which to amuse their viewers/listeners, though this isn’t so common

Getting to be a talk show host is all about one’s personality – a candidate needs to have a good, well-groomed look and be able to catch the attention of their audience easily. Additionally, talk show hosts are often required to improvise – even though shows are run on standard scripts, it’s still not possible to predict every situation so the host may have to use a little bit of their creativity to get around certain situations without degrading the quality of the show as a whole.

Talk show hosts earn varied salaries – this is mostly because the job is in the entertainment sector, which is known for the variance in the pay rates for its jobs. In some cases the salary can grow significantly higher, as the popularity of the particular show increases – though it should be noted that talk show hosts should always be on the lookout for new prospects, as many shows have an irregular schedule.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Career in camera operating

Candidates for camera operating positions should have good technical and creative skills. Workers gain their experience through formal training offered by  institution and then on-the-job supervision.

 Courses cover all technical and artistic topics. A bachelor’s degree is recommended in order to cover all areas, including business that might be related to the trade.

Those interested in camera operation should look for knowledge and experience in a variety of places, including clubs, through part-time employment in a studio, or by subscribing to magazines and newsletters.

Entry-level jobs in this field may entail assisting with camera or lighting scheme set-up. Employers hire people who come with strong references and recommendations from other technicians, including directors and cinematographers, who are familiar with the job candidate’s work.

Camera operators usually begin in smaller studios and markets and work their way up to larger ones.Camera operators should be artistically coordinated, patient, detail oriented, and have solid interpersonal skills. They should also be able to hand hold a camera for an extended period of time.

Freelance camera operators should have the appropriate business skills in order to handle all contract, permission releases, sales, finance, and copyrighting obligations associated with their independent work.Advancement takes place after sufficient experience is gained. ENG operators may advance to a wider market.

Camera operators may move on to becoming directors of photography at a large television station or movie studio. Others move into the educational field where they teach at universities, film or technical institutions.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Know Video editing as a career

Video editing is all about selecting and rearranging fragments of video/footage collected from various sources in order to construct a meaningful visual. An important element of post-production work in electronic media, video editing has speedily emerged as a lucrative career option, due to the increasing popularity of the audio-visual media. Production houses and news channels are now on a hunt for highly skilled video editors, who can give meaning to the episodes and news items produced by them. The aesthetic beauty of the final product depends on the talent and proficiency of a video editor. A video editor should be a self-motivated person, since this position demands lots of patience and dedication towards work. He/She should be a visionary, technically skilled, and possess a logical and critical mind, who can revise his/her knowledge constantly. He/She should be able to visualize the ideas running, hither and thither, in the mind of the producer/director of the show.

Numerous film and TV production studios, web designing companies, news channels, advertising houses, and multimedia companies hire video editors. The emergence of video and movie clips on websites has widened the scope of video editors in cyber media as well, where they can earn handsome salaries on part-time jobs. Also, a number of organizations recruit video editors on short-term contract basis and full-time employment basis, depending upon the choice of the candidates.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Speech Writer: Career Profile

A speech writer prepares speeches for others and works for large companies, public figures or governmental offices. Speech writers often deal with daunting deadlines, and some workers may have to travel frequently to write for clients.

 The majority of employers prefer applicants who hold a bachelor's degree related to communications or public relations.   

Speech Writer Career Profile Job Duties 

speech writers work mainly in the public relations industry . Speech writers research multiple topics, such as major political issues and demographic trends, and use that research to write speeches that focus on specific topics to engage audiences. Since speech writers draft speeches specifically for certain clients, they often spend time with them to understand how they think and speak to re-create their distinct voice within the written speech. 

 Job Outlook Within the public relations industry, the BLS predicted that more positions will open up as businesses and public figures continue to focus on improving their public reputations. Between 2008 and 2018, the BLS forecasted that job growth rates for public relations specialists, including speech writers, would increase by 24%. With more industries utilizing networking and social media platforms, speech writers who specialize in producing speeches for Internet broadcasting may be more likely to find regular employment.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Careers In Event Management

 Off late event management has been considered as an exciting career option. In fact, until five to six years ago there were not too many event management companies, and as industry the turn over was no more than 18 Crores, in the early 90s. However, things began to change and by the end of the last financial year the industry is expected to be worth no less than 1800 Crores. 

Careers in event management seem to be alluring more and more youth. In fact, even homemakers have stepped into the industry and organize small and private events in their spare time. Also, there are event management companies that that take on consultants, who work with them on a freelance basis, as and when the need arises. Thus there is a lot of scope in the field of event management. And the event manager jobs are ever increasing. 

Earlier one was employed and learnt the ropes of the trade on the job. But now there are vocational courses – diploma and degree in this field. These courses provide theoretical information, which then is implemented during the internship period. And on the completion of the course, one is almost like any other seasoned event manager.

 Amongst the job openings in event management are those in the following departments : 
  1. Visualizing concepts 
  2. Planning Budgeting 
  3. Marketing Organizing 
  4. Coordinating 
  5. Executing Fashion shows 
  6. Musical concerts 
  7. Corporate seminars 
  8. Exhibitions 
  9. Wedding celebrations 
  10. Theme parties

Product launching Different roles, different names An organisation that is into event management business offers numerous positions to job seekers. The following are some of the departments in a typical event managing company: 

Public Relations – managing a vast gamut of people ranging from clients, artists, stage performers, government officials, public and so on .

Promotion and Marketing – for promoting the image of the organisation and also for marketing the event to the public at large .

Brand Development – a talent pool that is responsible for managing client requirements pertaining to brand restructuring .

Designing – team of creative people who visualise and then prepare design layouts for the stage, costumes, accessories and so on. 

Administration – department that is responsible for back office and general administrative tasks Production – team comprising of media professionals who manage the production and editing of audio video related media .

Printing – department that takes care of printing all sorts of marketing collaterals and promotional items . 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Careers in Editing Print

Editing is a great career to pursue in journalism. It offers opportunity for advancement and growth. You can find editors in all areas of the workplace – print journalism, such as magazines and newspapers, as well as publishing houses, businesses, et cetera.Where there’s writing, there’s editing!There are many different levels of editing positions. Here’s a list to get you familiar with the types of jobs out there in publishing, journalism and editing:

Junior Editors
These are often editors who are starting out their careers in journalism or editing. They report to more senior-level editors. The smaller the publication, the more responsibilities the junior editors will likely take. Fact-checking, editing and rewriting are also included responsibilities.

Senior Editors
These editors can also be known as senior editorial managers or senior executive editors. Junior editors often report to them and they are responsible for developing a product to its final release.

Magazine and newspaper editors include a top-level editor may be called an editor-in-chief. This person is in charge of all aspects, including layout, page design, placement of advertisements and article inclusions. For example, the editor-in-chief of fashion magazine Vogue is Anna Wintour, seen on the right (from whom the character Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada was based)

A copyeditor’s editing tasks consist of the Five Cs:
1. Clear
2. Correct
3. Concise
4. Comprehensible
5. Consistent

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Careers in Relationship management

Relationship management teams build strong ties with institutional customers nationwide. They educate internal and external customers about the wide range of  products, services, benefits outsourcing, and technology offerings. 

  • Responsibilities may include any of the following areas:
  • Effectively collaborate with internal business partners and act as a voice for the customer 
  • Maximize client relationships by assessing their business needs and offering creative solutions, education, and services
  • Maintain and improve existing relationships through increased interaction, introduction of ideas and support
  •  Sponsor and participate in client seminars and events to increase our clients' businesses
  • Attain designated business and sales goals of assets, revenue, profitability, and client satisfaction within your territory of existing clients

Qualifications desired
  1. Demonstrated problem-solving skills 
  2. Effective presentation skills, 
  3. influence and negotiation skills
  4. Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to work across the organization and interact/influence/negotiate effectively at all levels of management and peers
  5. Strong relationship building skills with internal partners in order to gain buy-in and agreement
  6. Excellent written and oral communications skills
  7. Confident public speaking and presentations skills

Monday, March 19, 2012

Careers in Research

Marketing research can be defined as the systematic collection, recording, and analysis of data related to marketing products and services. Marketing research, as the name suggests, consists of processes related to marketing. Every manager of a business firm wants appropriate information that can generate awareness of his/her product or service among the public. For this purpose, a marketing researcher gathers information by systematic analysis of the scenario in the market. There are two parts of marketing research - Consumer marketing research and Business-to-Business (B2B) marketing research. Marketing research involves identification, collection, analysis, and dissemination of information. In this globalized and highly competitive world, the need of marketing researchers has increased tremendously. Many institutes in India offer courses in marketing research.

After completing their courses, students can join in any small or big business organizations and work in the marketing research department as operational supervisor, junior analyst, analyst, senior analyst, statistician/data processing specialist, field work director, project manager, assistant director of research, research director, vice president of marketing research etc, based on experience and competency.

Career Information: Media & Communication Jobs

In the past 100 years, the media & communication industry has enjoyed explosive growth. A century ago, moving pictures were sideshow attractions. Now you can download feature length movies in minutes. Letters used to travel by train and horse. Now you can send an email through cyberspace. And it doesn't stop there. Every day, there are new breakthrough studies, new technological advances, new inventions. What's next?
Careers in media & communication                                
If you have ever considered pursuing a career in media, telecommunications, networking, or entertainment, you couldn't have picked a better time to join. The world's growing need for global connectivity, information sharing, computer technology, and wireless communication basically guarantees that there will be plenty of career opportunities in the years to come. We will always want better, faster, cheaper, and more reliable ways of communicating with one another.
Do you consider yourself a creative person? Are you more technically oriented? Regardless of your specific gifts and talents, there are a range of media and communication careers that are open to you. As a network specialist, for example, you'll deal with wireless technology, routers, switches, and lots of very technically detailed work. Conversely, as a PR analyst, your job is to meet and greet people every day. As you can see, media and communications cover a wide area.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Media is a very vivid and versatile industry. Today, the definition of media includes Broadcasting with the help of TV and radio, Entertainment with use of audio visuals – films, videos and games, Internet that includes blogs, forums, music, news, Publishing of books, papers, magazines, and it also includes postal mail, telephony and other interactive Media. Thus the scope of a career in this field is vast and varied.

Business opportunities in Indian media and entertainment industry are enormous. Most media organizations in India are in the private sector, while quite a few are owned by the government. Media organizations that are directly under the control of central government come under the ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The government media units in which one can seek jobs are: Akashvani (All India Radio), Prasar Bharti, Doordarshan, Direct to Home, Press information bureau, Publication Division, Photo Division, Registrars of newspapers, Directorate of advertising and Visual Publicity, Press Council of India, Song and Drama Division, Film Division, National Film Archive of India, Directorate of Film festivals, National Film Development Corporation, Central Board of Film Certification, Childrens Film society etc.

The Indian press, is predominantly in private hands. News agencies like Press Trust of India, United News of India, Hindustan Samachar and Samachar Bharati, form the major sources for disseminating information to the public.

Besides the government agencies, Media companies, industrial houses and start-ups backed by venture money are all launching newspapers, magazines and television channels. Some of the reputed media companies in India are - Times Group which owns Indiatimes, Filmfare, Planet M, Times of India and many other brands, Adlabs, Zee telefilms, UTV, Nimbus Communications, Sahara Group, Mukta Arts, News Corporation, Sony, Walt Disney, Sun Network, BMG, Universal, The Indian Express, Manorama etc. In the film industry, technical jobs include story and script writing for film and television, copywriting for advertisements, cinematography, photography, Sound mixing and recording, direction of films and promotional ventures etc.

Advertising industry is another major employer for media professionals. Some of the top advertising companies in India include O & M (Ogilvy & Mather), J Walter Thompson, Mudra Communication Pvt. Ltd., FCB Ulka Advertising Ltd., Mc-Cann Erickson India Ltd., RK Swamy Advertising Ltd., Leo Burnett India Pvt. Ltd. and Contract Advertising India Ltd.

Indian media and entertainment industry is one of the fastest growing in the world and has the largest output by any media industry in the world. Raised regulations, quality content development, competitive pricing, increased consumer base and significant marketing, creative use of technology and work effectiveness are driving the growth of this industry. Many media companies in India have grown up speedily and are recruiting newer and younger talent for increased efficiency and creativity. The challenges and scope for growth for those who decide to make a career for themselves in the field of media and entertainment are varied and endless.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Careers in Electronic Media

One of the biggest means of entertainment is television and radio. Although utilities of radio have dipped down a little bit, still with the emergence of FM radios in various cities, the popularity remains intact. According to a government study more than eighty percent of the households in the country have TV sets and more than two thirds people in metros have cable connection which is even spreading rapidly to smaller towns and sub-urban areas through DTH services. Undoubtly electronics media is playing a significant role in nation’s making by disseminating information to the people and also being an alternative public grievances redressal mechanism.

The proliferation of TV channels particularly a number of 24/7 channels have opened up career opportunities in electronics media. Career options are there in public broadcasting agencies like Doordarshan and All India Radio or in private broadcasters. One can be a field reporter, writer, editor, researcher, correspondent and in-studio anchor, presenter and news analysts. These professionals also can work in a number of fields like direction, production, camera, graphics, editing, sound, programme research, script writing etc. Moreover one can open his own TV/RM Radio channel.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Careers as Television Makeup Artist

The makeup artist is responsible for any makeup or other decorations which are applied directly to the skin or hair. Hairstyle is included.
Television makeup is used to:
  1. Make faces appear natural under various lighting conditions.
  2. Improve or alter the appearance of talent, actors, etc.
  3. Add to the character of an actor, e.g. happy or tired appearance.
  4. Create special effects, e.g. age, wounds, etc.
  5. In drama, the makeup artist will consult with the director, wardrobe and actors about the look and feel of characters.

Makeup must be kept consistent from scene to scene — this can involve a lot of organization for out-of-sequence shooting.In live/studio television, the makeup artist is often seen on set during breaks to perform touch-ups.

Career in journalism

When the word “journalism” pops into people’s heads, the first image they get is of a reporter on television. Of course, there is more to journalism than that. Their day consists of pegging of story ideas, interviewing people, checking facts and then re-checking them. Some stand outside a police station waiting for any news on any crime, some park themselves outside government buildings hoping to get a chance to question officials about their latest folly. More often than not, journalists are told to produce 3-5 articles per day for newspapers and obtain numerous sound bites for a news channel. Journalism is not anywhere close to glamorous – it takes patience, hard work, motivation to find out the truth and a great eye for news. So if you’re up for some serious, gritty work where big breaks are seldom, journalism is the profession for you.
Over the past few years, technology has changed drastically and with it – new facets of journalism have been born. From the time of Julius Caesar where publishing government announcement bulletins carved in metal or stone to make news available in our hands instantly, the concept of making common people aware of their surroundings has come a long way.

Journalism is primarily divided in three categories on the basis of the media it uses – print, broadcast andnew media. The print media consists of newspapers, magazines and journals. This is the oldest form of journalism that still exists today. The print media is the slowest of all media in the context of output. Newspapers, magazines and journals give a better analysis of various topics as reporters get the most time to research. With the help of photographs, it makes the readers more interested in the news. Aspirants for the print media are required to have great writing and analysing skills. A fresher starting out in this industry will start out reporting on stories which are very basic. On most occasions one may not even get his/her name printed with the article. With perseverance one can choose their own specialization (or beat, such as, sports, crime, politics, nation, world, etc.) eventually. The ultimate job in the print media is that of an editor of the publication.
The second category of journalism, broadcast, includes television reporting, radio and the internet. Although this media may seem more glamorous than anything else, aspirants need to understand the work that goes behind it all. As news channels are on 24X7, the same news cannot be repeated over and over again. It may be repeated only if any developments on the story are made or new perspectives can be examined. The presenter/anchor is only a small part of the news bulletin. The real work lies behind the camera. So one could be either reporting, gathering news or enter the technical side and handle the different cameras and sound equipment. A reporter in broadcast journalism is required to be an excellent communicator and quick on his/her feet. It is also important that the reporter know how to handle a camera and edit the obtained sound bites. Time is of essence in this field.

The last category is new media. This is the up and coming form of news reporting, the effects of which are still not very clear. New media is the convergence of all media, which includes images, audio visuals, print, music and spoken word all on one platform. This convergence is primarily found on the internet. Newspapers, news channels, magazines, etc. have created their own websites which are excellent examples of new media. It is becoming widely popular among cell phone network providers and gadget lovers. A trend that is being observed is that of newspapers being shut down. Over 16,000 reporters lost their jobs in the year 2008-2009 due to public preference of new media to newspapers. In India, it is still not as developed as it is in Western nations.

Friday, March 9, 2012

What You Need To Do In College (To Get a Print Journalism Job)

Write For Your Student Newspaper

You can graduate with a High score and join whatever PRINT society you want, but what editors want to see from recent college grades is experience. That starts at your college newspaper. Journalism classes are fine, but there’s no substitute for writing real stories, on a real deadline, that get a real byline in a real newspaper.

Be An Editor For Your Student Newspaper

You’ve written some stories for your student paper – now take things to the next level. Holding an editor’s job at a college paper shows you’re willing to really make the commitment of time required to get experience in the news business. It also demonstrates maturity, responsibility and all that other good stuff that employers like.

Get An Internship

You’ve done your time as a student journalist. The next step is working with the pros. Newspapers nationwide offer summer internships and having one on your resume sets you apart. Working at a professional paper gives you the kind of experience that says, “This person is ready to work in the real world.”

Build Your Clip Portfolio

Clips, clips clips – they’re they key to getting a job. And the more you have, the better. Keep a copy of every story you write, so that when it’s time to apply for a job, you’ll be able to pick and choose your very best work.

Learn Marketable Skills

There’s no denying it – this is a tough time for the news business. So make yourself as marketable as possible by picking up as many technical skills as you can, especially in the new media.

So learn to use layout software like QuarkXpress or InDesign; acquaint yourself with digital photography; start a blog and learn web design; and shoot digital videos and upload them to the web.

Write, Write, Write

Whatever you do, keep writing - for your student newspaper, a blog, a community newspaper or a local magazine, anything. Just write. The more you do it the better you’ll get, and even in this new media world, good writers will always be needed.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Career in multimedia storytelling

A multimedia story is some combination of text, still photographs, video clips, audio, graphics and interactivity presented on a Web site in a nonlinear format in which the information in each medium is complementary, not redundant.

Nonlinear means that rather than reading a rigidly structured single narrative, the user chooses how to navigate through the elements of a story. Not redundant means that rather than having a text version of a story accompanied by a video clip that essentially tells the same story, different parts of a story are told using different media. The key is using the media form - video, audio, photos, text, animation - that will present a segment of a story in the most compelling and informative way.

When news organizations take full advantage of two other important characteristics of storytelling on the Web -- context and continuity -- multimedia stories are wrapped in a story "shell" that provides background information on the story. This could include everything from databases, timelines and infoboxes to lists of related stories, links to other resources and online forums. The information in each shell gives the reader a sense of the context of a story and where it fits in with other stories on the same topic.

Each story shell, in turn, is part of a broader issue or beat shell at a news site that defines the more general context for each story - politics, foreign policy, education, crime, etc. And those issue/beat shells are wrapped in a general shell - usually a home page with its navigational menus - that defines what a journalism organization stakes out as its territory.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Career as a Publicist

A publicist gets press coverage for his client. The publicist is often the middleman between the high-profile personality and members of the media. He usually wants his client to receive positive acclaim, but many publicists surveyed noted the old adage that “the only bad publicity is no publicity.” Politicians and captains of industry require a little more specific spin on their press-they want to be seen as forward-looking and confident-but other professions are less picky, as in the case of the rock star who reveals the sordid details of his seamy nightlife to cultivate a rough image. Publicists also perform damage control, attempting to counteract any undesirable press coverage the client receives. This position as “last line of defense” is what distinguishes the adequate publicist from the extraordinary one. Good publicists can turn scandal into opportunity and create valuable name-recognition for their clients. Publicists don’t only work for the famous. Sometimes they work for a little-known person or industry and create reasons for them to receive press coverage. In a case where a company desiring publicity is hampered by its esoteric nature or technical jargon, the publicist must translate its positions into easily understandable language. A major part of the publicist’s day is spent writing press releases and creating press packets, which have photos and information about the publicized person or company. Publicists spend a lot of time on the phone. They put in long hours, and most receive little financial reward in return. They operate under hectic conditions and must adhere to strict deadlines which coincide with publicity events, such as the release of a movie or the publishing of a book. They have to ensure that they get the appropriate information to the media in time for the event they are generating publicity for, such as a record release or automotive sale. They must always be available for comment (even when that comment is “no comment”) and remain friends with the media, no matter how demanding the desires of both clients and the reporters on whom they depend. But at the end of the day, they go to the hottest parties in town, the ones for their clients.
Public relations, marketing, and event planning are closely linked to the publicist’s field. The event planner creates events to generate interest in whatever the publicist is promoting. Marketers study the community to determine how the client is perceived and how its members feel his image could be improved. Advertisers and writers often create the materials used by publicists. Programmers determine where and how frequently the company should advertise. Booking agents are responsible for procuring venues for publicity and anticipating the effect the events will have on the client’s image. For instance, he may have to weigh the exposure that comes from being a guest on a major talk show against the potential friendliness or hostility of the host. Information officers perform many of the same duties as publicists, only they respond passively to inquiries and publicity, while the publicist actively seeks an interested audience.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Career: Book Publishing Professional

Book publishing is an extraordinarily large business, and those who (successfully) enter the profession have no illusions that what they do is merely artistic in nature. “You’ve got to keep things on schedule. You’ve got to make them pay for themselves, or you’re out of business,” said one publishing professional, adding that “publishing” is a term that can encompass many positions within a publishing house. The most high-profile job is that of editor who works with authors to produce a quality product. Many other positions are available for those interested in the industry, including managing editors, who control production flow; publicity managers; promotions specialists; subsidiary rights managers; production managers; and salespeople. These occupations are critical to the successful functioning of a publishing house. Those who want to pursue a career in this industry should examine their own skills in light of the variety of opportunities available for ambitious and creative individuals who find the prospect of working with books exciting. Managing editors are the traffic controllers of the publishing industry. They track production schedules and budgets, allocate personnel, and control the flow of material between departments. A large publishing house can have hundreds of projects running simultaneously, and the managing editor needs to be attentive to detail and be able to anticipate problems before they occur. Publicity, promotions, and sales positions reward creative and outgoing personalities. Successful professionals in this industry utilize their interpersonal skills to drum up consumer interest and encourage sales by bookstores. Salespeople spend significant amounts of time on the road meeting with bookstore buyers and managers. Subsidiary rights departments are usually divided into two arms: domestic and international. Subrights people negotiate international publishing deals with foreign houses or contract for copyrighted work to appear in another medium. The most lucrative rights for works of fiction, movie rights, are usually negotiated only by senior personnel experienced in negotiating with production companies. It requires putting in long hours to rise from assistant and administrative positions to positions of responsibility. For all but the highest up, salaries remain relatively low in this profession. People in the publishing industry were quick to note that contacts are crucial. Those who want to advance pursue new opportunities zealously, and any advantage one can gain over other candidates is key. Few described the profession as cutthroat, however; instead, many praised their associates and coworkers. Publishing is a financially tough life, but it’s ideal for those who are dedicated to books and who want to spend their days with like-minded people.

Book publishers have experience putting together projects in book production, promotion, or sales. Many move into advertising positions, magazine publishing jobs, project management, and writing. Some return to graduate school for law or business and make the transition to financial careers.

Career as a Media Planner

Media planners, also known as brand planners or brand strategists, work at advertising agencies and create clients' ad campaigns. The media planners interact somewhat with the creatives -- i.e. the copywriters creating the ads and the ad copy -- but predominantly with the clients making decisions about how a media campaign will unfold. A big part of the media planner’s job is to pick the right kinds of places (the correct TV shows and magazines) to place different ads so that the client's product (and brand) is advertised to the correct audience.
You need specific training or a graduate degree in Communication to become a media planner, though many agencies do require a Masters College degree. Ad agencies offer entry level positions in the area.
The main thing a media planner needs is a willingness, and eagerness, to learn about the advertising world. The job can be very social, because it entails working with clients, so an interest in socializing with colleagues and clients is important. Also key is an understanding of how marketing and advertising work. How can a client -- a company with a specific product -- best brand themselves? Media planners need to be able to devise strategies for branding and, to do so, they must know the entertainment world (what TV shows and magazines attract what audience) so they can place the ads appropriately. Media planners need to know which shows, websites, magazines and other purveyors of entertainment will draw the client's desired audience.
While a lot of media planners will learn about the intricacies of the advertising world by working at an agency, bringing an interest to this aspect of media is key to success in a job like this.

Friday, March 2, 2012


A sports writer has the responsibility to both entertain and inform people about what is occurring within the world of sports. Some sports writers focus on one particular sport whereas others write on all sports within a given area. Some sports writers are syndicated or are published in more than one newspaper and others may write for a local newspaper or even for a website, blog, magazine or TV show.
Sports writers may work freelance and sell individual stories to various news outlets or they may work for a given publication. Those sports writers that do freelance work pick their sporting events to cover, whereas those that work for a publication are usually assigned stories. Both types of sports writers have to be able to capture the excitement and interest of the reader as well as provide an accurate depiction of the sporting event or issue that they are writing on.

A sports writer must be willing to work long hours and still make deadlines for printing. Most writers now use computer word processing programs that make editing and revising a bit easier, and also allows for submissions by email to meet tight deadlines. Creativity, a very complete understanding of the sport, good rapport with athletes, coaches and managers as well as an ability to write are all important for a sports writer. An interest in news as well as keeping up-to-date on all issues with regards to the sports community is also important on a daily basis.

Common work activities include:
  • Attending games and sporting events to be able to write accurately and effectively on the events of the game.
  • Writing insightful, informative and original stories on various aspects of sports from human interest on up to game day results.
  • Researching, networking and developing contacts in the sporting world that can provide accurate and up-to-date information on various aspects of the sport.
  • Meeting with publishers, editors and writing teams to develop and obtain assignments or ideas for possible stories.
  • Keeping in constant contact with athletes, owners, coaches and managers and using high ethical standards to avoid compromising the writing.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Career as a Copy editor

Copy editors check written material, usually as the final step before it is set into type, to correct errors in grammar, spelling, usage and style (in this case, style refers to a given publication's guidelines for consistency in how words, phrases, typographical elements, etc., are to be used -- or not used).
Copy editors are not proofreaders, although reading proofs is often part of the job description. The difference is that proofreaders (a job title that scarcely exists anymore) are charged with simply looking for typographical and mechanical errors on copy that has already been typeset. Proofreaders -- and, indeed, copy editors reading proofs -- are often criticized rather than praised for making picky changes at that stage in the process, whereas the same changes might well be applauded at the copy-editing stage.

This is probably less true of copy editors in other fields, but newspaper copy editors are expected to be fully qualified journalists. Just as judges are lawyers, astronauts are pilots and FBI agents are cops, newspaper copy editors are reporters first. Many, probably most, of us have actual reporting experience, and those who don't are expected to at least have basic reporting skills. It used to be that copy editors were often burned-out (or even demoted) reporters or upper-level editors, but that phenomenon seems to be less common today.

A copy editor's mandate also includes keeping an eye out for libel (defamatory untruths that could lead to lawsuits) and errors of fact. The extent to which copy editors must verify facts varies widely. In magazine and book publishing, this is usually considered an essential task; sometimes it falls on the shoulders of a copy editor, but often it is the job of a separate fact checker. My experience, however, is in daily newspapers, where deadline constraints usually dictate that the writer must be trusted to get the facts right in the first place. Assigning editors (the reporters' direct supervisors, who usually edit stories for content and organization before they are sent to the copy desk) and copy editors will check "facts" that appear questionable, but they do not have the time to verify that every name is spelled correctly and every figure is accurate.

At some publications more than others, copy editors also have the liberty to rewrite. Copy editors are the last line of defense against bad writing, and writing can certainly be bad even when it's otherwise "clean." Tightening up wordy prose and smoothing awkward transitions are generally considered part of the copy editor's job, but more extensive rewriting usually has to be cleared with the assigning editor -- or, sometimes, the reporter. My experience has been that when rewriting is called for, copy editors usually "bounce" it back to the assigning editor or reporter rather than taking on the task themselves.

The "writing" portion of a copy editor's job generally consists mainly of headlines ("heds") and captions (or "cutlines"). Headline writing is an art in itself with its own set of intricate rules. Basically, the headline writer has to "tell the story" in a specified (usually short) space that depends on the number of columns the hed must cover and the typeface and point size in which it is being written. Headlines on feature stories often employ puns and other wordplay to draw the reader in, and it takes quite a knack to know when such a hed is clever and when it's just plain silly.

Captions are sometimes done by a photo desk (and National Geographic actually has an entire department devoted to them), but usually they're the copy desk's job. Cutlines are also an art form, and the balancing act in this case involves describing what's happening in the picture without stating the obvious.

At newspapers, some copy editors are called upon to do "layout" -- that is, to design pages. This may also involve deciding which stories, photos and graphics will run and which of those will be featured most prominently. Whereas large newspapers generally have separate desks dealing with national and international news, smaller newspapers have this luxury only with local news and must use copy editors as "wire editors" to monitor what the news services are reporting from around the globe. And sometimes the "wire editor" lays out the national and international pages. There are as many configurations as there are newspapers.

Finally, most copy editors have some sort of typesetting chores. "Rim" editors (the rank and file) usually have to insert the proper typesetting codes for headlines, and at some papers they have to do some elaborate pagination coding. The "slot" (supervisor) almost always has to do the actual typesetting, but today that just means hitting a key.

Career in Journalism

Journalism is, in most respects, the backbone of the media industry. Therefore many media jobs require some aspect of journalism. The type of writing a journalist does depends largely on the subject they cover. Another thing which affects a journalist's job is the outlet they produce news for: TV, the Internet, a newspaper, etc.
That being said, a “traditional” journalist reports the news. What does that mean? Well it can mean various things. The standard image of a journalist, and one often portrayed in movies, is of someone working a beat for a newspaper and finding stories. Which begs the question: What is a beat?
Working a Beat
A beat is a media term for the area, or topic, a journalist covers. So a beat could be anything from local crime, to national news to Hollywood movies. Beats can be very specific, or broader, depending on the kind of publication you’re working for. A mid-size daily newspaper, for example, will have reporters covering everything from local police goings-on to local sports.
Why You Need a Beat
A journalist’s job is to report the news. To find the news, you need to understand the subject matter and the people you’re writing about. Let’s say you’re working a crime beat for a newspaper in Chicago. One morning the police report that there’s been a murder in a posh neighborhood of the city. Now, in order to write about that murder, you need to know what’s been going on in the city. Is this an isolated incident? Was there a similar crime two weeks ago? Two years ago?
People always discuss the five pillars of journalism or the Five Ws -- who, what, where, when and why -- and, the “why,” section can only be filled out by someone with a background and knowledge of their beat. If, for example, you were asked to write about the aforementioned murder in Chicago, and didn’t know anything about the city or the recent criminal activity there, you wouldn’t be able to cover the story in the best way. Because, let’s face it, the story is very different if it’s a random act instead of a potential sign of a crime spree or, let’s say, a serial murderer.

Developing Sources
The other big reason journalists work beats, aside from developing a deep knowledge of the subject they’re covering, is to develop sources. Sources are people you talk to report a story. Now some sources are obvious. If we continue with the example of working as a crime reporter in Chicago, you would have regular sources in the police department. Now some would be obvious -- you would likely speak to a spokesperson for the department whose job it is to handle reporters (a kind of publicist) -- but other contacts might be developed from relations you foster over years of covering a beat.
A journalist often refers to their sources -- everyone knows the saying, ‘I can’t reveal my sources’ -- because these are people they turn to get inside information, or perspective, on a story. Now that bit about “revealing” sources points to an instance when a journalist gets an important piece of information from a person who does not want their identity revealed. If, for example, you’re working on that story about the murder in Chicago and you get information from someone in the police department that the murder looks like it might be the work of a serial killer, that officer might not want his name given out. After all, he’s giving you information that might get him in trouble. So, when you write the story about the murder, you wouldn't name your source or reveal his identity to anyone. (If you did reveal his identity, no one would ever want to give you secret information, or information that people in business refer to as stuff that’s "off the record.")
When a journalist works a beat over time they develop a multitude of sources. This means that they know who to call when something happens and they know the people who will talk to them. A good journalist establishes solid relationships with his sources so he can turn to them to get information. Although people don’t always like talking to reporters -- especially when the story is about a scandal or something negative -- a good journalist will have sources who recognize that there is a positive in getting a story out, and getting it out correctly. In other words, a good journalist will develop a respectful relationship with his sources.