Careers Service Occupations

Media

Media

About

Sectors within media include film, television and radio. There are diverse career paths in each of these areas.

Overview

Careers advice

Media – film, TV and radio

Film

TV and radio

Industry news

Televisual is an industry magazine while Television Magazine is the monthly journal of The Royal Television Society. Archive copies are available to view online.

Screen International provides worldwide film industry news while mediaguardian.co.uk gives you UK and worldwide media news, comment and analysis.

MediaWeek is a business magazine for the commercial media industry. Broadcast is an industry magazine.

Videos and case studies

Production Guild includes training top tips for runners while Route into Radio has video case studies from UK radio.

BBC Academy includes video profiles for music producercomedy produceraudio studio manager, runnerproduction manager and assistant producer.

There is also iCould: Career advice on becoming a TV Series producer.

Professional bodies

These represent people working in the sector, providing training and networking opportunities. They often provide careers support for students and graduates.

They also provide development for people already working in the sector. Follow them on LinkedIn, or visit their websites for news, contacts, work experience and vacancies.

The main professional associations for this sector include:

Technical

Networks and agencies

Trade union

BECTU is the media and entertainment trade union. Sign up to the Student Register for free news, information and event invitations.

Making contacts

Making contacts is useful for success in this sector. Gaining insight and arranging work experience comes through networking and speculative applications. You could start with:

Events

Recruitment fairs, open days, talks and events give insight and opportunities to make contacts. Regular events for this sector include:

For more events for this sector see Careers Service events or External Events.

Reference books available in the Careers Service

  • Getting into Films and Television: How to Spot the Opportunities and Find the Best Way In,  Robert Angell
  • How to Get a Job in Television: Build Your Career from Runner to Series Producer (Professional Media Practice), Elsa Sharp
  • Benns Media Guide 2010: World v. 3: The Guide to Newspapers, Periodicals, Television, Radio and On-line Media in Central America and the Caribbean, South America, Africa and Asia
  • Benns Media Guide 2010: Europe v. 2: The Guide to European Newspapers, Periodicals, Television, Radio and On-line Media
  • Benns Media Guide 2010: United Kingdom v. 1: The Guide to European Newspapers, Periodicals, Television, Radio and On-line Media
  • How to Get Your First Job in Television?: A detailed guide to finding and applying for work experience and jobs in television, Ms Shu Richmond

Related sectors

You may also be interested in Journalism and WritingMusic and Performing Arts, Creative Arts, Design and Fashion, or IT.

Or see our other occupational pages for more options.

Roles

Breaking into the media sector can be fiercely competitive.

Film and broadcast media - production

The following job profiles include descriptions of typical duties, entry requirements and case studies.

For screenwriter, see Journalism and Writing.
For make-up artist, see Creative Arts, Design and Fashion.

Location manager

Production designer

Programme/media researcher

Radio broadcast assistant

Radio producer

Runner

Television floor manager

Television production coordinator/assistant

TV/film/video producer

TV/film director

TV/film production manager

Film and broadcast media - technical

The following job profiles include descriptions of typical duties, entry requirements and case studies.

Broadcast engineer

Film/video editor

Lighting technician/director

Sound technician

Television camera operator

Skills employers look for

Take opportunities to develop the following key skills:

  • teamworking
  • working under pressure
  • initiative, resourcefulness, problem-solving
  • interpersonal skills
  • flexibility/adaptability

confident attitude, enthusiasm and motivation are desirable qualities in the media sector.

Gaining Experience

Gaining work experience in media is essential and fiercely competitive.

Here are our top tips for finding and making the most out of opportunities:

  • know and love the medium you want to work in, making sure you're familiar with content and you have enthusiasm for it
  • follow ratings figures and box office takings to understand audiences and what is popular
  • form your own ideas about programmes, scripts, titles etc.
  • think about small independent production companies making content for advertising, corporate communications, training

The following websites offer advice on gaining media experience:

Many opportunities in this sector are advertised as unpaid or expenses only. For information and potential funding, see funding for work experience.

Advertised opportunities

Random Acts North offer a talent residential training workshop, online mentoring and support from industry professionals to make a short film.

Student media opportunities 

Major UK broadcasters and production companies offering work experience include:*

* This list is not exhaustive. It only provides an example of the formal work experience opportunities available.

Speculative approach

Speculative applications are when you contact employers not in response to an advertised vacancy. 

They can be a useful way to approach smaller employers who don’t offer formal internship. They may also help find opportunities in a specialised field or specific location. 

How to find companies 

Hospital, community and independent radio 

Competitions 

Competitions are a great way to get feedback on your work, showcase skills, make contacts and win prizes.

  • Student Radio Awards - annual competition awarding the best in student radio across 12 categories
  • BAFTA scholarship programme - for undertaking a postgraduate course related to film, television or games in the UK  
  • The Network - annual four-day career development scheme with applications open in February each year.
  • John Brabourne Awards - funding and work experience for talented individuals wanting to break into TV or film
  • Shooting People - details of the latest film upload competitions
  • My Street Films - annual nationwide film documentary competition
  • Hiive - £100,000 worth of competitions - a valuable way to gain experience

Finding Jobs

Formal graduate training schemes are rare in this sector.

Common entry-level roles are:

  • runner
  • researcher
  • media library assistants (logging tapes etc)

Freelance work is common with professionals changing roles, companies and productions frequently. 

Speculative applications are common within the media, with many opportunities filled without advertisement. 

Always research the company you're approaching first. Have clear reasons why you are applying to them and be knowledgeable about their clients and work.

Networking is crucial to make contacts and find out about opportunities in the media. See making contacts and events in the About tab above.

Vacancy sites

Specialist recruitment sites and networks

Major broadcasters and production company jobsites

Finding companies

Use the directory resources below to research and find employers.

Self-employment

Being self-employed or working as a freelancer is common in this sector.

START UP provides activities and support for eligible Newcastle students and graduates interested in self-employment.