by Chris Clabaugh
Broadcast journalism is often one of the more popular forms of journalism, as opposed to print or photojournalism for example, because broadcasting offers something that other forms of news-giving do not: notoriety for the journalist. Broadcasting allows journalists to connect with their audience in a more immersive way by being brought almost directly into the home of the viewer. Audiences feel as though they share a special connection to broadcasters because they see them every day. However, there is another side to the broadcasting profession that many new journalists and audiences fail to recognize. A side that gives employees more control in the newsroom, more power over the newscast, and even has more need in the broadcasting industry. I am talking about producing.
A quick Monster.com search of the job title “Producer” gives almost ten times the number of results compared to the searches “Reporter,” “Anchor,” and “Journalist” combined. And a good number of the “Reporter” and “Anchor” postings share the word producer in the job title (e.g. News Anchor/Producer.)
Producers are in charge of the administrative tasks of the broadcast, making sure everything behind-the-scenes is running smoothly. They also make decisions on the final product that will be released during the broadcast.
The reason there is so much more demand for producers, though, is because they can use to find jobs in other markets besides the journalism industry. Producers can be hired to administer proceedings in private companies, oversee website design, and make packages for commercial products or company training videos.
If you have a sharp sense for detail and love to be in charge, producing is a career you may want to consider. Or I advise at least learning the basics of producing so you can get your foot in the door. Then you can make the switch to being in front of the camera once you’re on the inside.