So You Want to Be an Entertainment Journalist?
Entertainment journalism is a specialized field for people who have creative abilities and knowledge about the topic. In some cases, it may require a college degree or a vocational school; however, in a tough economy, there are very few jobs in the field. Here’s some helpful hints on how to get the competitive edge:
Start a Podcast Radio Show on Your Own Website
Launch your own personal website for free or through your local cable company and utilize the Garage Band software or Logic to launch your own podcast radio show. On your show, give your sales pitch, play some tunes from a music library and post a link to your show on Facebook or try to post it to ITunes. Let the listeners know that you’re out there and are open for business. Advertise that you’re looking for story ideas to post on your website or blog.
Write a Movie or Book Review
One excellent way to get a head start as a freelance entertainment writer is to write a movie or book review on a blog such as WordPress or Blogger. If there’s a new e-book or paperback you are interested in, write a review about it and then send post the link on your Facebook or Twitter pages. If there’s a particular movie that’s currently hot on the market, review it!
Create Your Own Demo Tape
Got extra money to spare? Then buy a professional video camera and create your own demo tape. Research the internet and local newspapers, and cover local entertainment events in your area. Write an entertainment news segment and put it on tape to send to a TV station. If you don’t know how to shoot or don’t have the proper equipment, ask a friend, a teacher or relative to help you, and or borrow equipment. When the demo is completed, post it on YouTube.
Get a College Degree
Most people in their chosen fields have to earn a college degree. While this helps with most occupations, it’s not really necessary for a career in the entertainment industry. Write for the school newspaper. The degree does help and demonstrates to employers that you have the drive and the passion to succeed. If you can’t afford the tuition, try going to a community college or attend an adult education program.
Start a Public Access Cable TV Program
If you want to break into entertainment television, write, produce and edit your own public access cable TV program in your municipality. This is how I got my start. I had my own cable TV show and interviewed many well-known artists back in the early 80’s and 90’s. It provided me fantastic experience and the confidence I needed to move ahead.
Freelance for an Entertainment Publication
To get a writing job in entertainment journalism, it’s impossible not to freelance in this current economy. Permanent jobs are scarce. Offer your services to an entertainment publication and pitch them a story idea or ask if there’s anything they need coverage on. This option usually offers minimal pay, but it earns you credentials on your resume.
This is the most important step to gain employment in the entertainment industry. Set up a LinkedIn account and get ready to hook up with potential employers. Make your profile impressive and include your most recent experience. LinkedIn is a resource that not only has job listings, but has a network of people that could potentially land you a job, so join some groups that are related to the entertainment industry.
Suzanne R is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.