The Media Industry: Jobs, Skills and Job Outlook
The Media and Publishing industry encompasses all the professions involved in the production and distribution of information through the mass media. It includes traditional media such as newspapers, books, magazines, radio and television, but also new digital media such as websites, social media, blogs and mobile applications.
Media and Publishing industry professionals occupy a range of roles within the production and distribution process. Writers, journalists, editors and copywriters are responsible for content creation, while layout artists and graphic designers are in charge of look, design and layout. There are technicians who look after the actual printing process, web editors whose job is to convert content into a digital format and, finally, a range of professions involved in the distribution phase, including press officers and media relations experts, translators and many others besides.
Jobs in publishing generally require a humanities degree, for example in literature, languages or communication. However, writers of technical or specialist content, such as technical manuals, may sometimes be required to have a technical or scientific background, such as in Engineering or Information Technology.
Other media roles may require candidates to have specific technical knowledge, for example of graphic design, video editing or audio and video post-production.
What types of businesses operate in the Media and Publishing industry?
A wide range of companies recruit Media and Publishing professionals, including:
- Publishing companies (trade and specialist, as well as general interest)
- Newspapers and magazines
- Television and radio broadcasters
- Companies offering audio and video post-production services
- Translating and interpreting businesses and agencies
- Creative, marketing, communication, advertising and web agencies - including agencies specializing in digital media communications (social networks, blogs and websites)
The media agencies market is an especially vibrant and growing sector. Companies are growing increasingly aware of the importance of handling communications in an effective and professional manner, with many opting to hire an outside agency to provide this service.
Larger companies with significant resources on the other hand usually have in-house press offices and communications departments staffed by press officers, content editors and graphic designers.
The Media and Publishing industry also includes large numbers of freelancers working for a wide range of companies, organizations, institutions and agencies.
Companies hiring in the Media and Publishing industry:
Media and Publishing - Trends and Job Outlook
Job prospects in the Media and Publishing industry are influenced by a range of different factors.
For example, the growing popularity of e-books has changed the way that books and magazines are produced, bought and consumed, with significant repercussions for the publishing market as a whole, including the educational publishing market. Another factor affecting the sector’s business models is the emergence of the self-publishing phenomenon.
Web-based content sharing and streaming platforms meanwhile have had a wide-ranging impact on the audiovisual content production and editing sector.
The digital revolution and the growing popularity of website, blog and social media content, have led to an increase in demand for professionals with digital skills such as a knowledge of SEO techniques, web editing, CMS and audiovisual production software.
As a result of the developments outlined above, the best career prospects in media and publishing can be found in the new media sector.
What skills are required in the Media Industry?
In addition to the specific technical expertise required for a particular role, a number of transversal skills are also essential for a successful career in Media and Publishing:
The media and publishing landscape has been well and truly transformed by the digital revolution. The rise of digital communications and technology has not only helped change the face of traditional media, but has also led to the emergence of a range of new media and the development of a whole set of new tools and software for the production, editing, sharing and consumption of text, image, music and video content. Up-to-date IT skills are therefore an essential requirement for media and publishing professionals who wish to remain competitive and relevant in today’s job market.
For the majority of media and publishing professionals (with the exception perhaps of those applying for out-and-out technical roles), creativity - i.e. the ability to offer an unusual slant on an item of news, write engaging copy, invent new content, create original layouts, capture people’s attention with a viral video or devise a new TV format - is an essential skill. After all, there’s a reason why it’s sometimes known as the ‘creative industry’.
The ability to handle deadlines and manage workloads efficiently is an essential requirement for all media and publishing professionals, with other key skills including keeping abreast of the latest news and stories and multitasking. Also crucial is the ability to allocate time and resources effectively based on priorities, together with the flexibility needed to adapt plans as requirements and priorities change.
Media & Publishing - Job Descriptions
Interested in finding out more about jobs in the Media and Publishing sector?
Take a look at the job descriptions we’ve prepared: