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Broadcast journalist

Broadcast journalists research and present news stories and factual programmes on TV, radio and the internet.

Annual Salary

£13,000 to £80,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

Variable

4%
Future employment

There will be 4% more Broadcast journalist jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

You’ll research and report on UK and international stories. 

You might specialise in a particular type of news, like political or sports reporting. In regional TV and radio, you’ll focus on local news.

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • following story 'leads', or generating story ideas
  • researching stories, using the internet, archives and databases
  • writing scripts, and website or social media content
  • preparing and conducting live and pre-recorded interviews
  • presenting in TV or radio studios or on location, and recording voiceovers for recorded material
  • asking questions at briefings and press conferences
  • directing a small camera or sound crew, or operating recording equipment yourself

You could also work as a critic producing book, food or programme reviews.

In many jobs you’ll be part of a production team, including other journalists, researchers, editors, broadcast assistants and producers. 

In small commercial radio stations, you might run a newsroom single-handed.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
  • graduate training scheme

University

Most broadcast journalists enter the job after doing a degree or postgraduate qualification in broadcast journalism.

Some courses are accredited by the Broadcast Journalism Training Council.

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

Work

You could start as a production assistant or runner with a broadcasting company and work your way up.

Volunteering and experience

Volunteering is a good way to get experience of what it's like to work in the media and will help when you apply for courses and jobs.

Organisations offering work experience opportunities include:

Direct application

Some broadcast journalists move into broadcast journalism from print journalism.

Other routes

You could apply directly to broadcasting companies like the BBC who offer graduate training schemes. Places are limited and competition is strong.

Further information

You could create an online showreel to show potential employers examples of your work.

You can find out more about careers and training in the media through the Broadcast Journalism Training Council.



£13,000 to £80,000

Starter salary: £13,000 to £19,000

Experienced salary: £30,000 to £45,000

Freelance rates can vary depending on your experience and track record. 

The Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) has information on current pay guidelines.



These figures are a guide.

Variable

Your working hours could be long and irregular. You might need to work extra hours, evenings and weekends to meet deadlines or cover a breaking story.

You’ll work in an office, a TV studio or from home, if freelance.



You’ll spend much of your time out-and-about covering stories. Outside broadcasts take place in all weather conditions. 



The work could involve local, national or international travel, often at very short notice.

With experience, you could become a studio-based presenter or a special news correspondent. 

You could also move into programme making, producing, or management.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of media production and communication
  • knowledge of English language
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • customer service skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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