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Media, publishing and journalism

Media, publishing and journalism have always been a popular career choice for Exeter graduates and there are a wide variety of roles available. Breaking into any of these fields is not easy and work experience in your chosen field is essential. For an in-depth overview of current trends and challenges facing the media industry visit the Prospects website.

The Career Zone runs a range of employability schemes to help increase your work experience and networks in this area:

  • Career Zone Internship schemes - Internships can be extremelyuseful, so try and get relevant vacation work or placements.  
  • Ask an Alum - A fuss-free way to connect with University of Exeter alumni to ask careers questions.  
  • Career Mentor Scheme - A popular employability scheme which matches a student or graduate with an experienced professional, for sector insight and one-to-one careers advice and guidance, over a 6-month period. 
  • Professional Pathways - a suite of sector specific training courses and paid week-long internships that take place in June. There is a specific pathway as part of this programme which relates to the Arts, Culture and Heritage sectors.

Videos: Watch the following videos to get a feel for some of the roles within the sector: 

Webpages: If you would like to do further research into this sector, the following webpages may be useful:

Sector overview

Media job roles

Publishing job roles

Journalism job roles

To see if there are any Exeter alumni working in this sector that you can get in touch with, go to the LinkedIn Alumni tool.

Breaking into these fields is not easy and work experience is essential. The majority of employers do not run formal internship schemes and so it is advisable to also send speculative applications to enquire about work experience. Draw up a list of organisations to contact using the sites and directories below.

Volunteering is another good way of building your experience and skills. To find volunteering opportunities visit Do-It and vinspired. Use keywords such as ‘writing’, ‘literacy’ or ‘book’ to find relevant opportunities.

Creative Access provides opportunities for paid internships in the creative industries for talented young people from under-represented black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

Another good website to visit is The Dots, which describes itself as a professional network for people who don't wear suits to work. It lists internships as well as jobs in the creative sectors.

Media and Journalism

When looking for an advertised internship in this area, your first port of call should be the Journoresources website which has an excellent list of media and journalism opportunities. This includes graduate schemes and traineeships, so not all are aimed at current students but it still worth reviewing. 

Use the following online directories to identify organisations in your local area - they may advertise internships on their website - if not, send a speculative application:

  • Media.info - global and British media contacts and jobs
  • KFTV - film and TV production services handbook, companies and crew UK and worldwide
  • Archant Life - largest publisher of regional and local magazines and associated digital media in the UK
  • The Knowledge - comprehensive production directory for UK Film, TV etc.
  • PACT - links to production companies and vacancies
  • Radio Now - directory of radio stations

It is also worth contacting local newspapers, magazines and radio stations to enquire about work experience and/or shadowing opportunities.

The following activities will also help boost your CV:

  • Get involved with the University’s TV, radio and newspaper; you can find details of these for the Streatham campus on the Students' Guild website. For the Penryn campus, take a look at The Falmouth Anchor (a newspaper written collaboratively by Falmouth and Exeter students) and Surf Radio. For a full list of relevant societies look under ‘Student Media’ on the SU website
  • Create a blog or write guest posts for other blogs to show that you can write for different audiences or to demonstrate expertise in your chosen subject area.
  • Facebook can be a really effective platform for getting experience in the media industry. Look for groups/pages as these often advertise opportunities. People looking for TV work: Runners is a particularly good one to join.
  • If you are interested in a career in journalism, New Associates run free workshops which will give you a glimpse into the industry. For a list of additional opportunities read 16 Places You Can Get Free Journalism Training To Do All The Upskilling. You can also find online courses on Future Learn.

Publishing

Everyone in publishing loves books, but this won’t be enough to get you into the sector - you also need to show you understand the business of publishing. For internships in publishing, review the information under the ‘Graduate Schemes’ heading below. Some of the schemes listed here are open to current students. It is a good idea to follow publishing houses on social media as they often advertise their schemes and internships through these channels. Also visit the Publishers Association website to see more opportunities, including a list of publishers that offer work experience.

Widen your search for work experience by looking beyond the well-known names - there are numerous smaller and independent companies that you can contact speculatively. Use the member’s directory on The Publishers Association’s website to find publishing houses to contact.

There are plenty of other ways to get experience outside of a publishing house. Here are a few suggested activities:

  • Work or volunteer at your local bookshop or library. This will help you gain awareness of reading trends and a retailer’s eye view on the market.
  • Get involved in University publications such as Exeposé, RAZZ, Witness Journal, The Falmouth Anchor, Penryn Press and Her Campus
  • Volunteer at literary festivals and events - these are a great way to build your network and learn more about the industry.

For general information about finding graduate opportunities, visit our Graduate Jobs page and for a list of general job search engines visit our general job sources page. You could also have a look at Handshake, our vacancy database with employers who are targeting University of Exeter students.

For sector-specific job listings, the websites below will be particularly helpful.  If you are willing and able to, consider applying for temporary and maternity cover positions - although these will still be competitive, they sometimes attract fewer applications.

  • Creative Access - helps under-represented communities to enter, and flourish in the creative industries
  • Creative England - Creative England invests in and supports creative ideas, talent and businesses in film, TV, games and digital media
  • The Dots - describes itself as a professional network for people who don't wear suits to work. The site lists jobs and internships in the creative industries.

Media and Journalism

You can find job opportunities on the careers pages for large  media corporations/channels such as BBC JobsSky TV jobs, ITV and Channel 4. The following sites are also worth visiting:

Publishing

Use the Publishers Association's member directory to find publishers you want to work for and check vacancies directly on their website. Also look at their list of Twitter accounts to follow for publishing career advice and job opportunities.

The graduate schemes listed below are fiercely competitive, so it is best to also apply for entry-level jobs to boost your chances of success. Most people find their first role through a job rather than a scheme. To find these opportunities visit the sites under the ‘Job Vacancies’ heading below.

Please note: the list of graduate schemes and internships below is not exhaustive and you should undertake your own research to find opportunities.

 Media and Journalism

Publishing

There are very few graduate schemes or formal internships in publishing. The ones that do exist tend to be run by large publishers. Here are a few examples of schemes which have been advertised in recent years:

  • HarperCollins - 2-week placements and 12-month traineeships
  • Penguin Random House - year-round paid work experience slots of two weeks, summer internships which take from July - August and ‘The Scheme’ which is a six-month paid graduate traineeship.
  • Bloomsbury - 11 Publishing Assistant apprenticeships per year across different departments
  • Curtis Brown - paid internships between 3 and 6 months
  • Dorling Kindersley -have previously offered internships however their website has not been updated since 2018. They say to follow them on Twitter for news on internships.
  • Hachette - have previously offered internships.

Given the range of roles within media, publishing and journalism, entry requirements vary considerably, and further qualifications may either be necessary or give you an advantage when applying for jobs. No postgraduate course will be a substitute for work experience.

Media and Journalism

While a postgraduate qualification is not essential, many graduates opt to study a course to learn more about the industry and develop skills such as shorthand, sub-editing, interviewing and media law.

There are a range of options available for gaining relevant qualifications and training. A popular choice is studying a one-year postgraduate diploma or Masters degree, however there are also shorter courses available over 18 to 20-weeks. To give you an idea of the popularity and usefulness of these courses, 73% of qualified journalists are NCTJ-trained (Journalists at Work, 2012). To learn more about these courses visit the Prospects website. You may also find the following article helpful: Do I Need An NCTJ? Your Step By Step Rundown Of The Journalism Qualification

Publishing

Postgraduate courses such as Masters degrees in Publishing are available. If you are thinking about postgraduate study, reflect on what value it can add, and whether you can achieve the same goals through work experience. Postgraduate qualifications in Publishing gives an overview of different courses and points to consider when choosing a course.

To learn about professional development opportunities in the publishing sector visit BookMachine, a community for publishing professionals that runs events and skills courses.