A journalist job is difficult

Column: Where are there still jobs in journalism?

There was a lot of discussion these days about the job advertisement from a Cologne newspaper group that advertised an editorial position in its newsroom on the basis of 450 euros. Desired for this: A degree, traineeship and several years of journalistic experience in an editorial office. After the outrage that followed, the publisher hurried to rewrite the ad text - it was a mistake. Nonetheless, of course, everyone who has been in the industry for a long time knows that times have changed.

Applicants in the middle age group (30-50) usually imagine an annual salary of 60,000 to 80,000 euros. This is still achievable for well-known journalists with technical specializations, but usually requires direct contact with the editor-in-chief. HR often sorts out these applicants in advance, as many publishers are more likely to plan with 35,000 to 50,000 euros. In addition, the offers themselves seem to have become more sparse. Some people ask themselves: Where are there still jobs in journalism at all?

Marketing with more jobs than PR and editing

The highly recommended job overview from kress, which can also be subscribed to as a newsletter, lists more than 300 new jobs from the areas of marketing, editing, PR and related areas every week. In classic journalism, three management, 15 employee and six intern positions have been added this time. In terms of scope, the editorial team is now mostly on a par with the PR, in the marketing area (e.g. copywriters for agencies and companies), significantly more employees are almost always sought.

Despite all the complaints, there are still interesting jobs to be found in the classic sections of local and regional newspapers, in magazines of all kinds and in the major national titles. In addition to text and video editors, flexible generalists (multimedia editors) are often sought. Among other things, the following were advertised: A department head for travel and gastronomy, a boss from the news desk and specialized editors for lifestyle, advice, medicine, fashion and local things. Disadvantage: Tendentially declining salaries and job allocation not infrequently only through contacts.

Focus on soft, consumer-related topics

In terms of content, the picture in the job market is the same as in any newspaper business: an overwhelming majority for soft, consumer-related topics. There are clearly more women's, lifestyle, trade and specialty magazines than political and cultural magazines or reportage books. Their circulation and advertising revenue are higher, so the number of posts. So if you are interested in it, you have a lot more choice here than with a focus on news, politics, sports. The economic department is an interesting hybrid - with special opportunities, especially for women.

Local publishers usually expect a move

In their tenders, local publishers almost always expect a move to the catchment area in order to be "close to the country and its people". Half-hearted promises - "first commute, then we'll look further" - often take revenge after just a few months. The employer criticizes the low availability for appointments in the evening or on weekends. The partner complains about the constant absence and the costs of having two residences. Those who are only happy in the big city miss their surroundings. It is not uncommon for such a stressful situation to lead to premature termination of the contract after a short period of time.

Applications are only recommended here if you wanted to move to the region anyway and are sure that you will be happy in a medium-sized or small town. In addition, your partner should not just be a passive supporter, but welcome this step as part of their own life plan. Discuss this option together early and spend a few weekends together in a local holiday home. If in doubt, refrain from compromising or consciously accept the offer only as a short-term bridge for a few months and plan accordingly. Many

Opportunities with content specialization

An often less noticed, but also interesting job market can be found in the mostly medium-sized specialist and specialist publishers. We are currently looking for senior editors for specialist magazines on physics and cancer immunology, an editor for a popular science magazine, a cross-media editor for the subject of crop production and an editor for educational media for chemistry and biology.

None of these are topics that you simply switch to because there was no vacancy in the news. They require specialist knowledge, often also corresponding degrees. At the same time, they are accessible to journalists who have specialized in a similar field over several years and are considered experts. For career starters with a corresponding interest, it is advisable to choose a specialist course here. The advantage in this segment: The number of suitable competitors is often very small.

Media for younger or older age groups offer other interesting possibilities. For example, we are currently looking for a beauty and fashion editor and an online editor for a youth portal as well as a lecturer for books for children and young people. Conversely, there are regular offers from magazines and websites for readers over 50. Of course, these specializations require a certain interest in the target group, and being concerned (e.g. even children) often makes it easy to find your way.

Especially in the PR and marketing area there is a wide field from video journalism to SEO texts (writing with optimization for search engines) to marketing content. The specialty here is that the journalistic work follows a clearly defined business objective, which must be understood and accepted, as well as a technical understanding and interest. Currently searched are z. B. an editorial manager for car topics, an SEO editor, a specialist for app content.

At first glance, these changes in the labor market may seem overwhelming. But they also represent your chance to find something that exactly suits you - perhaps better than the generalist job in the newsroom or another ten years in the local editorial office. So be open and interested if you want to change your career. There are still more opportunities than meets the eye.

About the author: Attila Albert (46) and his company Media Dynamics have been accompanying media professionals in their professional and personal reorientation for several years. Albert started working as a journalist himself at the age of 17. Initially with the "Freie Presse" in Chemnitz, one of the largest German regional newspapers, later a total of 23 years with Axel Springer, among other things as head of text and for special tasks at the "Bild" federal edition, then as an author at Ringier AG in Zurich. While working, he trained as a coach in the USA and previously completed a three-year web developer degree.

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