Communication & Media

Communication and Media encompasses means of mass communication, as well as entertainment.  It includes journalism, film, television, radio/recording, video games and sports.

Journalism

Journalists collect, write, and distribute news and other current information.  The industry of journalism spans a wide variety of different media and organizations that create content to inform, inspire, and educate consumers.  

Film / TV

There are two sides to the film and television industry, the creative side and the business side. Film is by far the biggest segment of the entertainment industry, and television can be argued as the most powerful medium in the industry. The television industry is structured somewhat differently than the film industry, and one major difference is that television has many sales and marketing roles since most networks make money off of advertising.

Radio / Recording

The recording industry is a creative and technical field that centers on producing a quality product—recorded music.  However, the industry also encompasses many other related recorded projects such as recorded voices for commercials and other types of TV and radio production.  New career opportunities exist for recording industry professionals in the creation of music for websites and other multimedia.   An industry always re-inventing itself to stay ahead of the next trend, additional career opportunities exist off the traditional path as well.

Video Games

Video games are a complex business that requires the collaboration of many developers with diverse expertise.   With the advancement of the technology that fuels the video game industry, video games have become more and more complex over the years.  Video game career paths fall into three main categories: game design, production, programming, and art, and the roles of these professionals vary according to the size of the studio for which they work. 

Sports

Sports journalism has always been an essential component of any news media organization that focuses on writing and distributing news stories related to sporting topics and games.  Sports journalist jobs vary across media, roles, and content. Sports can also be found in a variety of other industries including those that design and sell sporting goods; develop sports technology; and publish sports material in books, magazines, and online. Those working in advertising and marketing help attract the public's interest to sports and use sports to attract the public to other products and services. In addition there are those who coordinate events and represent athletes.

Recruiting Timelines & Methods 

Tips for Success

To successfully navigate the internship and job search process, it is important to take an active approach to networking and expanding your Northwestern career network because most people in media find work through networking. As soon as you know what areas within media that interest you, start reaching out to personal connections, alumni, and others who work in the industry to build relationships to advance your career in Communication and Media (see Get Involved, Network, & Find Opportunities within each industry/profession below). To get your foot-in-the door in this field, start out by getting involved in media related on-campus groups, publications, broadcasts, etc. 

Skills to be successful in communication and media vary by specific industry but include:

  • advanced verbal and written communication
  • flexibility and versatility
  • ability to research and think critically
  • strong interpersonal  skills
  • creativity
  • editing and attention to detail
  • teamwork
  • active listening  and interviewing
  • time management
  • computer and technical skills (in various forms of electronic media)            

Job & Internship Search

Internship Advice

Finding an internship in this industry can be very competitive. For Journalism it will be almost impossible to find a job as a journalist without having had at least 2-3 internships (and be on the lookout for some internship deadlines in September). Apply for an internship at a smaller, local publication or TV station in your hometown. This will make you more competitive for internships at larger organizations after your junior year or post-graduation. Internships are hugely important in the field of journalism, as they provide the professional contacts and clips necessary to obtain work.

Full-time Job Advice

In this industry it is not uncommon to see post-graduate internships/programs (e.g. Page Program at NBC, Turner Trainee Team (t3) program), in addition to regular fulltime opportunities. Networking will be essential for job success. In regards to entertainment specifically for fulltime jobs you will either be looking at breaking into the business or the creative side. The business side will have more defined opportunities with specific experience needed, whereas people take many different paths to break into the creative side, and it often takes more time. You also must be comfortable starting in an entry level position and gaining valuable experience before moving upward within the organization. If interested in film or television it is common for students to move to LA right away, without a job, in order to network and find opportunities.

Application Materials

Hiring Managers may request samples of your work as well, “clips” (published article samples) or a “demo reel” (for broadcast), or a digital or hard copy of your portfolio. Faculty who know your work well can assist with selecting your best samples.

Journalism: 

Where Students Intern/Work:

Newspapers, magazines, broadcast news (radio & television), documentary production, and digital media.

Sample Intern/Job Titles:

  • Account Executive Media Planner
  • Art Director
  • Assignment Editor
  • Columnist
  • Copy Editor
  • Film/Television Producer
  • Foreign Correspondent
  • Magazine Editor
  • News Director
  • Photographer
  • Podcaster
  • Production Assistant
  • Publicist
  • Radio/Television Announcer
  • Researcher
  • Social Media Manager
  • Web Producer

Resources:

Internship/Job Resources:

Professional Associations (*Also may have internship/job postings):

Film / TV: 

Where Students Intern/Work:

Broadcast Television Stations, Public Television Stations, Cable & Satellite Stations, Production Companies, Major Studios, Independent Film Companies.

Sample Intern/Job Titles:

  • Account Executive
  • Actor
  • Art Director
  • Assistant / Assistant Director
  • Apprentice
  • Broadcast Engineer
  • Business Development Analyst
  • Camera Operator
  • Casting Director
  • Cinematographer
  • Film Development Intern
  • Makeup Artist
  • Production Assistant / Designer
  • Production Office Intern
  • Script Reader
  • Talent Management Intern
  • Talent Representative
  • Writing Assistant

Resources:

Internship/Job Resources:

Professional Associations (*Also may have internship/job postings):

Radio / Recording: 

Where Students Intern/Work:

Music Labels, Record Companies, Radio Stations, Studio, Public Radio.

Sample Intern/Job Titles:

  • Advertising Executive
  • Artist & Repertoire Coordinator
  • Artist Relations Representative
  • Broadcast Engineer
  • Business Manager
  • Mix Engineer
  • Multimedia Developer
  • Music Video Director
  • Producer / Production Assistant
  • Product Developer
  • Radio Disc Jockey
  • Radio Operator
  • Recording Engineer
  • Singer
  • Songwriter
  • Sound Designer
  • Sound Effects Editor
  • Studio Manager

Resources:

Internship/Job Resources:

Professional Associations (*Also may have internship/job postings):

Video Games:

Where Students Intern/Work:

Education companies, Game developing agencies, software companies, and entrepreneurial ventures.

Sample Intern/Job Titles:

  • Artificial Intelligence Programmer
  • Animator
  • Art Technician
  • Asset Manager
  • Audio Engineer
  • Composer
  • Editor
  • Engine Programmer
  • Game Designer
  • Level Programmer
  • Marketing Coordinator
  • Sales Manager
  • Technical Director
  • Tools Programmer
  • Writer

Resources:

Internship/Job Resources:

Professional Associations (*Also may have internship/job postings):

Sports:

Where Students Intern/Work:

Professional Sports Team, Amateur Sports Team, College Sports, Newspapers, Magazines, Television, Sporting Good Companies, Sports Marketing Firms.  

Sample Intern/Job Titles:

  • Basketball Analyst
  • Business Manager
  • Event Coordinator
  • Marketing Analyst
  • Magazine Sports Editor
  • Newspaper Sports Reporter
  • Sports Journalism Writer
  • Statistician
  • Team Media Representative
  • Television Sports Broadcast Reporter
  • Ticket Expert

Resources:

Internship/Job Resources:

Professional Associations (*Also may have internship/job postings):

Resumes & Cover Letters

Resumes

Students pursuing positions within this industry may have both a traditional and a more creative version of their resume, specifically those interested in multimedia or graphic design positions.  These resumes may be created using design software and may incorporate the use of color; however, it is important to also have a more traditional resume that is more easily read by resume scanning systems during the application process.  On either resume, it is important to link to examples of your work as well to further demonstrate what you have to offer the employer.

Traditional Resume Sample:

Link to Journalism resume (PDF)

Creative Resumes Samples:

Cover Letters

When applying to positions in this industry, your cover letter should tell two stories, and both should be interesting. This is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your creativity and personality.  First, as concisely as you can, tell the story of how your experiences have shaped you for the position. Then, tell the story of what you’ll do with this position if you land it.

Hook the employer with these stories. Although the first story should probably include some of the highlights, don’t just provide a narrative of your resume.  Focus on what sets you apart from other candidates and how that relates to your interest in and knowledge of the company. (Poynter.org)

Journalism Cover Letter Guidelines:

Crafting Cover Letters: Medill School of Journalism

Get Involved

Northwestern student groups, professional organizations, and the Northwestern alumni network can provide students with an opportunity to gain the skills and experience needed for a career in communication and media. These opportunities can also develop students’ networking skills, a critical component of the job and internship search within this industry.

Journalism:

Professional Associations (*Also may have internship/job postings):

Film / TV:

Professional Associations (*Also may have internship/job postings):

Radio / Recording:

Professional Associations (*Also may have internship/job postings):

Video Games:

Professional Associations (*Also may have internship/job postings):

Sports:

Professional Associations (*Also may have internship/job postings):