To meet the demands of the fast-evolving digital age, daily newspapers, weekly journals, periodic magazines and broadcasting stations are increasingly publishing content online and feeding mobile devices. This is why journalists, correspondents and news analysts with multimedia knowledge are now receiving the best employment prospects, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In Los Angeles, beat reporters earn an average annual salary of more than $52,000, with seasoned news gatherers raking in wages greater than $80,000, according to current data. It is a laborious occupation that may require a bachelor’s degree, a minimum of five years of experience in the field, and a firm handle on the expanding panorama of electronic media.
“The tools used by today’s journalists and the distribution outlets for multimedia content are rapidly changing,” said Saul Rubin, a media studies professor and head of the journalism program at Santa Monica College. “A few years ago, it was hard to imagine that most people would get their news from their phones or that journalists could create compelling content using those phones.”
How will a journalist’s role change by 2022?
“I expect that people with strong journalism training will pursue careers in many types of jobs that require solid communication skills and the ability to tell great stories and engage an audience.”
How can a budding journalist fortify a sound career?
“Students need to keep up with changing technology related to multimedia story production, but also be well-trained in the basic journalism skills needed to be great non-fiction storytellers.”
What is your school doing to help prepare the next generation of journalists?
“Santa Monica College’s journalism program provides project-based learning experiences for students that teach the skills today’s journalists need to succeed in their profession.”
What is your message to aspiring journalists?
“I advise them to consume plenty of news in different storytelling formats, analyze it, and learn from it. They must know the basics of good storytelling, but not be afraid to experiment with new ways of telling stories. I encourage them to always be curious, passionate and thorough, and care about others and the stories they share.”
Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.