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What Is a Multimedia Journalist? Job Description, Skills and Salary

Written by: Hilbert College   •  Sep 14, 2022
Interested in multimedia journalism? Discover how a communications degree can help you acquire the skills, knowledge and direction to advance your career.

What Is a Multimedia Journalist? Job Description, Skills and Salary

Storytelling is an essential part of being human. Journalism is not only storytelling but also knowledge sharing. In essence, journalism started thousands of years ago: The Acta Diurna, an ancient Roman news sheet, is the earliest known piece of journalism, pre-dating 59 B.C. In the 21st century, journalism encompasses far more than basic news and isn’t limited to print media. Today’s multimedia journalism blends various media, including print and digital media (such as online publications and websites), as well as television, film, photojournalism and radio—any platform that helps journalists tell their stories. Anyone interested in pursuing a career in multimedia journalism will benefit from knowing the multimedia journalist job description, the average multimedia journalist salary and what skills they’ll need.

What Does a Multimedia Journalist Do?

The multimedia journalist job description is not static; the field and its methods adapt as technology advances. Examples of a multimedia journalist’s duties might include:

  • Interviewing subjects for a news story
  • Creating and editing video packages
  • Publishing photography to the web
  • Running a story as a print article
  • Discussing politics as a radio talk show host
  • Hosting a current events podcast
  • Appearing on television to discuss timely issues
  • Publishing a popular blog

No matter the niche, multimedia journalists adhere to a vital basic principle: always tell the truth, without bias, while upholding strong journalistic ethics and values. This helps ensure news communications stay accurate and fair. Because they can share news on multiple platforms, multimedia journalists are essential to modern-day society. Without them, we would not have easy access to news coverage through print, video and other media. For creative storytellers with a passion for sharing important information and opinions in a variety of ways, a career in multimedia journalism will likely be a rewarding choice.

Work Settings for Multimedia Journalists

Multimedia journalists can work in a variety of environments. Here is a list of possible work settings that fit the multimedia journalist job description:

  • Working remotely
    • Journalists often research their stories online and call or message interview subjects from home offices.
    • Many freelance journalists opt to work remotely for various websites.
  • Hybrid
    • Many journalists can opt to work remotely for some stories but not others. Some work requires the journalist to be present in person, such as to film or photograph content, or to document live, firsthand accounts.
    • Some multimedia journalists work remotely but check in occasionally in person with their office, studio or broadcasting station.
  • Mostly in person
    • In-person journalism job settings include news or film studios. These workplaces typically require journalists to spend much of their time working on-site.

Key Job Responsibilities for Multimedia Journalists

Although responsibilities vary per specialization, certain key duties define what a multimedia journalist is.

Create Multimedia Content

The multimedia journalist job description includes creating multimedia content and broadcasting it on various platforms. Examples of different types of media that journalists can use include graphic illustrations, photographs, audio and written content. Platforms may include blogs, social media, articles published in print and online, video and news packages, radio, and television shows.

Gather and Present Accurate Information

Multimedia journalists need to ensure the validity and credibility of their information and sources. To simply research a topic is not enough. Journalists must be confident that the source is reliable and the information accurate.

Develop a Unique Angle

Although multimedia journalists must report only facts (an exception is if a journalist writes an opinion column or something similar), they can still be creative in their delivery. Developing a unique angle with a great hook makes a news story stand out.

Ethically Serve the Public Interest

Journalists act as dependable sources of information for the common public. They have not only an ethical obligation to tell their stories both fairly and accurately but also a legal obligation. This is what differentiates a professional multimedia journalist from someone simply posting information on social media. If a journalist shares false or inaccurate information, they may be held legally liable. Responsibility and ethics are essential to what a multimedia journalist is.

Fundamental Skills for Multimedia Journalists

Aspiring multimedia journalists will want to hone the key job skills that coincide with the multimedia journalist job description:

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to thrive while working around tight deadlines
  • Good organizational and multitasking skills
  • Proficient storytelling
  • Quality creative writing
  • Ability to edit well
  • Knowledge of video editing

An in-depth understanding of the various media and platforms that can be utilized

Multimedia Journalist Salary and Job Outlook

Since multimedia journalists may fall under several subcategories, salaries can vary. To have a better idea of the median multimedia journalist salary, consider the following 2021 median annual salaries of specific professions, provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

  • News analysts, reporters and journalists: $48,370
  • Photographers working for newspaper, periodical, book and directory publishers: $47,133
  • Photographers working in broadcasting (except internet): $50,128
  • Film and video editors and camera operators: $60,360

The job outlook for multimedia journalism is good. The BLS projects media and communications job opportunities to grow 14% from 2020 to 2030, resulting in around 151,500 new jobs.

How a BA in Digital Media and Communication Can Help

If you’re passionate about sharing knowledge in a creative and rewarding way, working toward a career in multimedia journalism may be the right path for you. The Hilbert College Global online BA in Digital Media and Communication offers you the foundation you need to start your career as a multimedia journalist. Discover how Hilbert College Global can help you develop the skills you need to pursue your professional goals.

Sources:

Encyclopedia Britannica, “Journalism”

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Film and Video Editors and Camera Operators

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Media and Communication Occupations

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, News Analysts, Reporters, and Journalists

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Photographers

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