Journalists research, investigate, interpret and communicate news and public affairs through newspapers, television, radio and other media.
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People in this occupation:
Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Source: 2021 Job Bank Wage Report
Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook
10 year expected job openings: 470
N/A - Data not available
Journalists may specialize in print, broadcast or webcast media. They may also specialize in particular issues such as political affairs or entertainment news or they may specialize in a particular geographic area.
Journalists work approximately 35–40 hours per week. However, longer hours may be required due to deadlines or other factors. The pace of work is also typically fast in order to meet deadlines. Unpaid overtime and evening and weekend work may be necessary in some positions, but less so in unionized organizations.
Journalists typically work in an office environment for a portion of their work. They also often work at various locations, covering events, gathering news or doing interviews.
Some journalists, such as foreign correspondents covering wartime activities, may have to work in dangerous situations.
Source: 2016 Census
Journalists must have a college diploma or a university degree in journalism or a related field (i.e., communications). Other requirements vary depending on the position and may include:
Specialized reporting positions, such as a sports reporter or a music reviewer, require considerable background in the field.
For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.
Every job calls for a certain set of skills. Knowing those skills is the first step in finding a good career fit.
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See the list of work-related skills below, ranked in order of importance for this career. You’ll also find the skill strength needed, letting you know how capable you must be in that skill.
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Job openings over the next few years will come from the creation of new jobs and replacing retiring workers.
Technology has impacted this occupation in a number of ways. Journalists familiar with new technologies and with good computer skills will have an advantage over others seeking work in this field. Written material is now easily transferred between writers and publishers via email and the internet, so journalists may have to use web access and laptops for remote filing of stories. Journalists may also now play a greater role in offline editing. These technological changes may create a trend towards part-time work and self-employment.
In the last several years, there has been a slow decline in newspaper readership and an increased interest in internet news sites. As a result, prospects for broadcast journalists are improving, and journalists increasingly require knowledge of the internet and related technology.
Due to downsizing, television stations tend to need fewer people, so it is an asset for a journalist to be able to operate a video camera and supply the visuals for their own story. Journalists who can write about scientific or technical subjects will have an advantage in the labour market.
Some journalism graduates seek work in closely related fields such as advertising and public relations. These jobs are appropriate for journalists who are creative, have media relations knowledge and can work as part of a team.
Recent graduates both in print and broadcast media typically find work in smaller businesses (i.e., daily or weekly newspapers and smaller radio and television stations).
Entry-level positions at larger firms may include general reporters or junior reporters who specialize in a particular area. Graduates who get internships may be offered entry-level employment.
Experienced reporters may advance to editorial positions (print media), columnists or become producers (broadcast media) or be hired in management positions.