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Media

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October 14, 2007

Media careers can be among the most exciting, challenging, and varied of any, but they demand tremendous flexibility and dedication. People still want the news, but their sources are changing.

Traditional jobs as writers, editors, photographers, and broadcasters still exist, but many of these positions have disappeared or evolved into careers that did not exist a decade or two ago. Learning new skills and being adaptable to market changes are crucial in all forms of media.

Many journalists downsized from newspapers and magazines find work with business, trade, and online publications, or in public relations or advertising, where career prospects are good.

"The market now rewards those with multiple skills," said Kristen Johnson, Boston division director for the Creative Group, a staffing service specializing in advertising, marketing, creative, and Web professionals. Johnson called the field "healthy," and said more than half of executives in these fields plan to add staff during the coming year.

Demand is increasing for people such as Web designers and online art directors with multimedia skills, she said. Hot fields include public relations writers and managers, copywriters, project managers, and graphic designers. Visit journalismjobs.com.

EDITORS

Average salary: $58,870. Pay range depends on type and size of publication.

Demand: Good. Publishing companies, advertising and public relations agencies, corporations, and online and trade magazines need editors.

Qualifications: Journalism, English, communications, or related degree; writing experience, creativity, talent, and ability to work under pressure.

GRAPHIC DESIGNERS

Average salary: $48,810

Demand: Very good. Designers with well-rounded, up-to-date skills in a broad range of coding and interactive design programs are among the most sought-after media professionals.

Qualifications: Bachelor's degree becoming more important; university or art school training, creativity, talent, and facility with latest software applications.

MARKETING, ADVERTISING, AND PUBLIC RELATIONS MANAGERS

Average salary: $119,830 (marketing); $107,050 (advertising); $114,820 (public relations)

Demand: Good. Companies seeking to use the newest communications technologies to expand their businesses and improve competitiveness need experienced, creative managers with business and financial expertise.

Qualifications: Degrees in communications, public relations, journalism, or English; business courses, broad industry experience; MBA preferred.

PHOTOJOURNALISTS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS

Average salary: $38,360. Photographers' pay covers a wide range. While many work part time and struggle to find work, some self-employed and talented professionals who work hard make very good money. Salaried photographers with large or prestigious publications do well.

Demand: Fairly good. While many traditional press jobs have dried up, online, trade, and business publications and Internet options offer opportunities.

Qualifications: Photography or photojournalism degree preferable; talent, creativity, proper training, and skills with technology and equipment.

PUBLIC RELATIONS SPECIALISTS AND PUBLICITY WRITERS

Salary: Average: $60,070

Demand: Good. There is a resurgence of demand for these professionals who help companies improve their image, market their products, and communicate with employees. Those with multimedia skills are highly sought-after. Expertise in healthcare, financial services, or pharmaceuticals improves marketability.

Qualifications: Degree in English, journalism, communications, or business; strong writing and editing skills. Broad software skills are increasingly valuable.

REPORTERS AND CORRESPONDENTS

Salary: Average: $49,370

Demand: Mixed. Online, trade, and business publications offer options as the market for traditional media writing positions grows ever tighter. Competition is tough for most writing work, however.

Qualifications: English or journalism degree standard, but good writers with degrees in political science, economics, business, law, or science often find satisfying work in specialty fields.

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