Jobs in broadcast presentation are most commonly found within organisations such as the BBC, national independent radio and television companies and local/regional radio stations. Opportunities also arise with independent television and radio production companies.
Key responsibilities include:
- writing and rehearsing scripts
- meeting with programme directors or producers to discuss programmes and shows
- choosing and playing music
- organising meetings, interviews and schedules
- undertaking relevant background research
- interviewing guests via the telephone or in person
- presenting traffic, weather or news summaries
- giving reviews of newly released books, films or music
- operating technical equipment such as radio ‘desks’.
A qualification in a related subject (such as journalism, communication/media studies, music technology, performing arts, English, media performance etc) isn't essential but may be preferred. For graduates without relevant first degrees, a postgraduate qualification could also help. However, the ability to demonstrate a genuine interest in, knowledge of and/or experience of television/radio is necessary, and often more important than academic qualifications.
It is essential to gain as much paid or unpaid work experience as possible – this may be as a broadcast assistant, actor, producer, or news-gatherer, or via self-employment as a DJ. Voluntary work for student newspapers/radio stations and local/hospital radio and television stations can be helpful. Employers seek confident and creative candidates who are adaptable, calm and able to work well under pressure. Good organisational, communication, team-working and problem-solving skills are also necessary.
Where to find out more
Most jobs occur in major cities such as London, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds. Vacancies attract intense competition, with many receiving little or no advertising. Consequently candidates need stamina, enthusiasm, determination and perseverance to succeed.
Opportunities are advertised online, in newspapers, and specialist publications such as The Stage, Media Week and Broadcast. Networking, job shadowing, speculative applications and sector research are essential.