Section 4 – Employment in the Media Sector

In this section I am going to explain the different employment opportunities available in the media industry and the key role they each play. I will elaborate on each to show a clear understanding on how each job is important and what they do.

Employment Opportunities

Full-time

Full time jobs in the media industry are jobs with a status of working all hours. In more regular work areas such as retail, this would mean a standard 9-5 shift 5 days a week. In the media, this could/would mean the job doesn’t have a cap. For example, actors and actresses e.g Scarlett Johannesson wouldn’t stop working because their career is round the clock – due to their fame status and constant involvement in media industry they don’t technically stop working. It is a job that can be in flow at all times, that doesn’t or may not have a set time schedule. Therefore, this is a full time job. The advantage of full time work is that it grants a much better pay, especially in the media where everything is fast paced. However a disadvantage is this means less free time for that individual.

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Part-time

Part time jobs are jobs with fewer hours or designated shifts than a full time job. Typically they consist of under 30 hours a week, and work around rotational shifts. Part time jobs are an advantage and come in handy for many reasons, such as if a person does not have much free time (i.e they are looking after someone, or are still in education) or doesn’t have the qualifications for a full time job. In the media, and example of a part time job could be a publishing assistant. Although, a disadvantage could be that part time employees don’t earn as much and can find it harder to work with the money they’ve got. Media part time jobs can come into play when a company is either small enough to not need a lot of management (i.e photography) or big enough that there are enough employees that not all of them are needed at once (e.g marketing).

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Freelance

Free lance is when a person is self employed, and run their own business rather than  being employed by someone else. They are their own management and self sufficient, meaning they work their own entitled hours. Free lance is a pro-dominant method of employment in the creative media. This is because it means that the freelancer can come up with their own creative business ideas, or invite people to give them commissions. In the media, example of freelance jobs can be related to photography, graphic design, music, writing, acting, modelling, web designing, and more. The advantage of free lance work is that there is no strict working hours, and the employee is free to utilise their creativity to their advantage. Although despite this, a disadvantage is that free lancers may not be sure when they will next have work, so many free lancers do other work alongside their business to ensure a steadier income.

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Permanent

A permanent job is a form of contract. This contract entails that an employee will/may work at a certain job for an indefinite and non constricted amount of time. This entitles a person to stay at a job for as long as they wish given the circumstances of the company, rather than only for a limited time span. In the media, permanent jobs would be jobs where the company requires consistency and loyalty, i.e the BBC. In addition to this the company is likely to want someone with experience, so in the media giving someone a permanent job means they will gain valuable experience from that one consistent job rather than lots of little ones. This long term experience is an advantage of a permanent job, and means less switching jobs for the individual. On the other hand a disadvantage could be that an employee may feel tied down with a permanent contract and appear to have less chance of gaining different job experience.

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Temporary

A temporary job is the alternative to a permanent job. It is a form of contract where an employee is designated to work for only a certain period of time for a company. This means that they are not entitled to work there beyond their contracted time span, which may be because the job only requires a certain amount of due work time. For example, in the media, some jobs do not need to be worked on indefinitely, i.e creative projects such as film making and acting. An advantage of a temporary job is it means that the employee is free to explore different job opportunities after the contract ends whilst still engaging in a consistent job. However, a disadvantage is that the employee is expected to complete their contract and it can be difficult to quit early as it is fixed.

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Entry Routes into the Media

Networking

In the media industry, networking can be a vital route to landing in successful job roles. In the media, networking is when people get connected. It is a string of people knowing other people, a web of personal recommendations for people’s skills. Say if a person needed someone else to fill in a role, they may ask someone who they know that would be best for that role. That person is likely to make a recommendation based off of who they know, so the more people in the industry you know and are familiar with, the more likely you are to be recommended and hired for a role. It can be very hard to land high worth job roles in the media as the industry is so big and fast paced, so the more people you know the better as this provides you with status.

 

Adverts in the Press (i.e newspapers)

Adverts in the press are a key part of making yourself known as a company or brand. Even the smallest press adverts such as small sections in the back of a newspaper or tear off promotional tokens will provide you with awareness and recognition in the industry. Adverts in the press are promotions for what you’re working on, and invite people to invest their time and money in your brand or product. To be successful in the media industry you will need people to know your brand. Without people knowing about your company or what you’re offering, there is little chance you will make profit or success. You need to be able to sell to people what is unique about your product in order to achieve success as you need to have something new to offer, so taking advantage of the promotional areas available to you shows that your business is willing to go the extra mile to reach people.

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Work Experience

Work experience in the media is previous work that you have undertaken. It shows a history of the skills you have obtained and it shows proof to employers that you know what you’re doing and the capabilities you have. The more work experience the better – it shows you are able to work in a range of environments and shows enthusiasm to gain different skills. In the media, it is vital to have some experience in your field as if you have something to show you can show people how creative you are and the individuality in your field you have. Employers will be looking for something different, new and exciting to bring to their company so if you can provide evidence on how you have achieved this before you are more likely to be hired. In the media it is a highly creative and fast paced industry so you need to be able to show that you can handle this with flair.

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Voluntary Work and Working for Free

Voluntary work is when you work for a company for the sake of experience and good will without financial profit. This is important because it gives you valuable skills in the field of your choice, and allows you to gain an understanding of what working in that area is like. This is a wise choice to undertake before studying it at university – it helps to gain grounds on what working in that field is actually like rather than basing judgement off of theory. So if you wanted to work in the press, volunteering for your local newspaper to write a few articles will show to you whether or not it is something you enjoy and wish to pursue. In addition to this, you can add it to your CV. Employers will appreciate that you have taken the liberty of investing time in certain fields and it shows your enthusiasm to work, meaning you are more likely to be hired. In addition to this, in the media industry, high levels of experience and creativity are needed as it is a highly competitive industry that requires individuals to prove themselves above the rest. So having voluntary work to your name shows your unique eagerness.

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Personal Websites/Blogs

A personal website is a webpage that an individual creates for their own needs or purposes. The media is very centralised around the internet and virtual recognition and success. Having a personal website has many uses, as you can publish whatever you want and demonstrate who you are and evidence what skills you have. It is a good place to start showing people what you can do. For example, an aspiring graphic designer or illustrator may find it useful to create a DevianArt profile, where they can publicly publish and sell their work and have the ability to gain feedback on it. It provides a voice for that person and allows them to show their unique creative ability. To get into the media industry you need to be able to show that you are creative in order to be noticed, so taking the liberty of starting your own website is a great kick start.

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Show Reels

A show reel is s presentation of an person’s previous works and achievements to date. It shows the creativity they have used before and provides a visually pleasing demonstration of what they can do. These are a highly and effectively used method in the media industry – for example an actor might show their best acting scenes when auditioning for a role which shows their commitment to their passion, making them a better candidate. The same could go for a graphic designer, showing the products they had designed before – it shows off their individual flair and talent. The advantage of a show reel in the media industry is that it shows that you are up to date and aware of the developments – before, people would present a portfolio, but showing a show reel is one step further as it is more current. In the media you want to take advantage of all the perks you can – the more creative, up to date, and experienced you are – the better chances you have of success.

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Job Roles

Creative

In the media industry, a creative job role is a role in which the person is part of the actual project itself. They make up part of the actual production, and are involved in the modelling of production. Some example of creative job roles are directors, hair and makeup designers, costume designers, prop makers, script writers, musicians, camera operators, lighting operators, and more. These roles are important because without them, there would be nothing to work with. It would be impossible to create something without creative people as they are needed to fill their demonstrative role. They interconnect with the other roles, as technical people provide creative people with the instructions of what they need to do. The editorial people interconnect with the creatives as the creatives can provide part of an effect whilst the editorials can finish it, and the marketers interconnects because without promotion the creatives cannot get credited. The financial people interconnect with the creatives as the financials can work out how much each creative role will cost, such as how much a camera costs or how much budget there is for lighting and costume.

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Technical

Technical job roles are roles that involve setting up and testing equipment around sets and areas of production. Some examples of what they may do is set up and adjust cameras, lights, wires, sound, rigs, and other technicalities. This is a vital role as without these people equipment might break, not work properly and/or not fulfil what they are required to do. The role of a technical person interconnects with a creative as if a technical is not there on production, effects that the creative people may want to make are more difficult to produce, for example a creative may want a certain lighting effect so they would call on a technical to set it up. Technicals interconnect with editorial people as editorials can communicate with technicals to show them what effect they want to create after they edit the product, so the technical can then use their expertise to their advantage to create this effect as much as they can. Marketers interconnect with technicals as without the marketers, there would be no point in technicals as the production would be unlikely to succeed due to lack of recognition. The financial people interconnect with the technicals as the financials can work out how much the equipment that the technicals will set up will cost.

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Editorial

Editorial roles are roles that are involved with post production. This involves piecing parts of a production together to create a complete product, and making sure all factors of the production turn out correctly and appear smooth. It is the art of processing something created and piecing it together to be whole and finalising it to it’s original intention. For example, if a movie required a scene to show a flying superhero, the editor would edit in the background and visually remove the wires. Some examples of editorial roles are film editors, music editors, advert editors, photography editors, and press editors. Editorial roles interconnect with creative roles as creative roles may require certain effects that only the editor can recreate. They may interconnect with technical roles as technicals may have to set certain things up in order for editorial people to edit, such as green screens. Marketers may interconnect with editorials as marketers may research and find out what editorial effects the market may like, such as CGI, and relay their ideas to the editors. Lastly, the financial people interconnect with the editorial people as the financial people can work out how much money can be spent on editorial effects, such as green screen backgrounds or CGI.

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Marketing

Marketing in the media industry is research and planning that goes beforehand to designing and making a product. It is calculating what factors should go into the product in order for it to be most successful, and promoting your product well so that it makes good profit. Its the branding side of media and the business of profit and advertising. Without marketing, the chances of profit are smaller as there as far less potential recognition and less knowledge of what the public want. Creative people interconnect with marketers as marketers can relay want factors are best business wise to include, and the creatives can then go and work with this. Technical people interconnect with marketers because marketers can research what lighting and other technical effects people may like, and marketers can interconnect with editorial people to work out what editing techniques are the most relevant to use on the market. Finally, marketers interconnect with financial people as they both go hand in hand with what is best to produce and how much cost wise.

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Financial

Financial roles in the media are roles within the media that deal with issues concerning money and profit. They take care of budgets and how much each media project will cost, and how much each part of the project will cost, for example how much actors will cost, lighting, props, etc. They will work out how much can be afforded to spend on the project, help with loans, and find the best prices for good quality value for each part of the project to help reduce the overall cost. Essentially, they deal with making the most out of the project money wise, and help calculate the profit and how to increase it. The financial people interconnect with the all the other roles to figure out how much each role can spend. For example, how much a creative person could spend on the set, or the costume. How much a technical person could spend on lighting or cameras. How much an editorial person could spend on an elaborate CGI effect. How much the marketer could spend on their research. The financial person is key to getting the most out of the project.

Professional Career Development

Training on the job

Training on the job is the most used and commonly known form of job training. This is where a person who already has the necessary skills shows the new person how to perform those skills through demonstrating to them how it is done. They will go from job to job showing the new person how each of them works, and then let them try it too to see if they’ve taken it in. It is simplistic because there is no complex test or pressure, which is effective as it means that it is not too difficult to absorb making it easier to learn. The issue with this form of training in the media industry is that the media is constantly changing, updating and creating new paths and technology. This means that new skills are always needed as things change in the industry so fast. New products require new knowledge, and things go by so fast that it can be hard to catch up and attain all the new key skills. Even already successful people may struggle to keep up if they have such a busy schedule.

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Self-training

Self training is quite self explanatory – it is teaching yourself skills and taking responsibility for what you know and learn. You take the liberty of informing yourself on how to perform something and how to adapt it to the skills you already have. For example, many people self teach how to play instruments through online tutorials and practise rather than going to taught lessons. However in the media industry this can be hard to keep up with because the skills you learn may quickly become outdated, especially if the skills you are teaching yourself are to do with technology. This also requires spare time and the energy to do it, which a lot of people in the media may not have if they have busy days and not a lot of spare time.

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Professional Behaviour 

Reliability

Reliability is where you are dependable and efficient. This means you can be counted on and trusted to get the job done, and to get the job done well. This is key in the work place as each employee needs to be able to chip in and complete the tasks asked of them. Without reliability, it would be significantly more difficult to achieve results and get jobs done because nobody would be willing to put the effort in. In the media, this would mean things such as turning up to set prepared and able to effectively conduct your jobs, such as producing a well written script. So the more reliable you are, the more likely to be favoured for a job you are. An example of how I have been reliable through college is completing my work to deadlines on time.

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Attendance and Punctuality

Attendance and punctuality are a key asset to the work place and making a good impression. Attendance means being present to an event, rather than being elsewhere. This is key because showing up means you are available and ready to take on what is asked of you. If you turn up much less than you’re supposed to, this makes you unfavourable as if you aren’t there you cannot be called upon meaning there may as well be a more available employee in your place. Similarly, punctuality means turning up to the job on time, rather than late. This is key because turning up on time shows effort and means you’re available for the full duration of your shift. In the media, attendance and punctuality is key as it is a busy industry than constantly requires staff to help produce products and projects. For example at college turning up to lesson on time is key to getting the most out of the education available.

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Commitment

Commitment in the work place means being dedicated to your job. It shows loyalty and that you care about your work place in particular, which makes you are more trust worthy and respected employee. It also shows to your work place that you are a good worker and highlights your ability. In addition to this, being committed means you are more likely to be favoured so you may get more hours meaning greater pay. In the media industry, commitment is key, especially for some companies such as the BBC who value loyalty. An example of being committed at college is getting work done on time to a good standard.

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Self-Presentation

Self presentation in the workplace is making sure that you are well presented when you go to work. Appearing neat and organised is a good asset to have as it shows effort into making good impressions and playing the part well. If people turn up to work appearing scruffy and unprepared it can show a lack of effort so it is good to make sure you look neat and organised. The media can be a very visual industry so it is important to look neat, as a lot of media is broadcast and looked upon. For example, a news presenter would want to look smart as it shows that they put in effort and shows enthusiasm for their job because it shows commitment. An example of good self presentation at college is when presenting a presentation for a module.

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Communication Skills

Communication skills in the work place is the ability to communicate and share ideas well with your colleagues and team. It is a key skill to have to be able to converse well because sharing ideas and debates means that more options are presented and plans are more likely to go smoothly if everyone is correctly informed about what is going on. If there is not enough communication this can lead to confusion and the task may not go as smoothly as planned. In the media, this is key if people are working together on a project. Voicing ideas leads to an even better end result, for example the more ideas shared for say a movie then the better because this shows what people feel is a good idea, which leads to a more elaborate result.  In my college course communication is key, for example when we shared ideas on what would be a successful advert.

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Teamwork

Team work is an essential asset to have when working in a group of people. It is working together efficiently and cooperating with each other effectively, to get the job done. It is important because team work involves making sure everybody gets along and is happy with what they are doing. In the media, it is essential to be able to work well with each other as the media is a very team based industry. In college we had to use team work well when working on our advert as this was a group project.

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Time Management

Time management in the work place means being well organised and following through with plans time effectively. It is planning out the tasks you have well enough to be able to complete them within the time you have. It is important to do this because if you don’t make sure you have enough time to effectively complete your tasks you will either completely run out of time and not finish the jobs, or will be rushed and not finish them to the best standard you could have. In the media industry, it is incredibly fast paced and everything is constantly on the move. For example, the press industry have to work very fast to get stories out in time whilst they are still relevant. Breaking news is immediate and time needs to be managed well in order to broadcast when the time calls for it. At college, time has to be managed well in order to be able to submit work in time.

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