Media Careers: Options, Job Titles, and Descriptions

Informal meeting in an advertising agency
••• Alistair Berg / Getty Images

You might think of “media” as another word for TV (or TV and radio) journalism. And while that’s what some people mean when they use the term, there’s a bit more to it. Media, the plural form of the word medium, refers to anything that passes along information.

Careers in Media

Television is a medium, as is radio, a newspaper, a movie, and the Internet. If you have a job in media, it means that you work in a field that revolves around managing mediums that pass along relevant information to those who want it.

Media jobs include local news anchors, to Hollywood film directors, and everything in between. What they all have in common is that they communicate information to the public. There are many different options available if you're interested in a career in media.

You can use this information on media job titles to explore the variety of professions that the media sector has to offer. That being said, this discussion only scratches the surface of media by touching on some of the key attributes in a very broad field.

Types of Media Jobs

There is such a wide variety of media jobs, that someone can be an expert in one field and not even know another exists. Media professionals typically remain in one medium. For example, one might begin as a movie actor or a camera operator and eventually becoming a film director.

However, it is possible to move between media in similar positions; and many media experts have done this well. For example, a newspaper columnist might switch to writing a book, and then write and host a television program.

Or more commonly, an expert in a traditional field (such as radio) might transition into the ever-encompassing Internet media (such as radio podcasts and webinars).

Due to the fast-pace growth of the Internet and mobile device technology, most proactive media professionals are already finding powerful ways to connect traditional media to the Internet.

Writing and Editing

Writing is a broad category in media, stretching from journalism (see below) to content marketing and filmmaking. Each of those writers typically has an editor whose job it is to ensure that the written piece meets the standards set by the publication or program leadership.

Editors within the writing profession are language and proofreading experts; possessing the leadership skills to both manage a writing staff as well as maintain an awareness for what the readers would be interested in. 

There is also another type of editor whose responsibility is not for the individual document but rather for the publication as a whole. These include managing editors, acquisition editors, and features editors; and their duties are largely administrative.

Here's information on writing and editing jobs.

  • Assistant Editor
  • Author
  • Biographer
  • Communication Specialist
  • Communications Director
  • Communications Manager
  • Content Engineer
  • Content Manager
  • Copy Editor
  • Copy Writer
  • Digital Media Specialist
  • Editor
  • Editorial Assistant
  • Ghost Writer
  • Managing Editor
  • Section Editor
  • Social Media Specialist
  • Technical Writer
  • Writer

Journalism

Journalism refers to any form of investigative reporting in any medium; whether print, online, television, or radio. While most often associated with the news, documentary film-making is another powerful form of journalism. Journalists perform in-depth research (even embedding in order to glean knowledge through experience) on current issues and events in order to share their findings with their audience.

Positions in journalism include news anchors, sports announcers, news correspondents, newspaper columnists, investigative reporters, editors, documentary filmmakers, and science writers.

Other types of jobs, such as video editors or print production planners, are also critical to journalism; but these positions are not restricted to journalism.

  • Announcer
  • Broadcast News Analyst
  • Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technician
  • Broadcaster
  • Journalist
  • News Analyst
  • Reporter
  • Television Announcer

Producing and the Production Team

Producers are responsible for the overall performance associated with a show or film. Producers manage radio stories, podcasts, a TV episode, or a movie. In a large production, like a movie, the producer may be coordinating the activities of hundreds and thousands of people. The producer of a five-minute radio spot might be the writer, announcer/actor, and editor all in one.

For a production team, duties could be leadership teams, assistants, technicians, runners, researchers, managers, and more.

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Animator
  • Associate Producer
  • Audio and Video Equipment Technician
  • Camera Operator
  • Line Producer
  • Motion Picture Set Worker
  • Photo Editor
  • Photographer
  • Producer
  • Production Artist
  • Production Assistant
  • Production Manager
  • Project Coordinator
  • Project Manager
  • Proofreader
  • Radio Operator
  • Recording Engineer
  • Sound Mixer
  • Stage Hand
  • Technical Producer
  • Videographer

Advertising / Marketing

Advertising and marketing jobs can be very lucrative. If you work as an advertising salesperson or account manager, you are most likely responsible for selling ad space. Advertisements often form a significant source of income for a particular medium. Income-generating ads are commercials, space in a magazine or website, and billboards. 

Account managers confirm reserved ad space, handle the copy (ad artwork and message), and ensures that a client’s ads run when and where they should. Ad sales and account manager roles often work on commission, and ambitious media ad specialists can earn an impressively high income.

Although advertising may not have the cultural cachet of journalism, or the glamour of entertainment, the revenue that advertising brings in essentially keeps the media outlet financially sustainable. Review this list of jobs in advertising.

  • Account Executive
  • Art Director
  • Creative Director
  • Creative Project Manager
  • Designer
  • Graphic Artist
  • Graphic Designer
  • Marketing Assistant
  • Media Director
  • Media Planner
  • Media Product Development Manager
  • Media Specialist
  • Merchandising Manager
  • Multimedia Designer
  • Multimedia Services Manager
  • Multimedia Specialist
  • Promotions Specialist
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Publicist

E-Commerce / Communications Technologies

IT specialists, technicians, and web designers are essential for constructing sophisticated, web-based media and e-commerce technologies. Working behind the scenes, they make sure that Internet web service projects launch on time, then monitor the project for any bugs or maintenance issues. 

  • Electronic Data Interchange Specialist
  • Electronic Marketing Manager
  • Graphical User Interface (GUI) Programmer
  • Graphic/Web Designer
  • Interface Designer
  • Intranet Applications Manager
  • Intranet Applications Specialist
  • Java Developer
  • Media and Communication Equipment Operator
  • Network Engineer
  • Software Engineer
  • Telecommunications Technician
  • Web Content Executive
  • Web Customer Support Specialist
  • Web Designer
  • Web Product Manager
  • Web Systems Director
  • Webmaster

More Job Titles

Review sample job titles and job title lists categorized by industry, type of job, occupation, career field, and position level.