As a music journalist, your life revolves around staying current with new music and the activities of musicians. You might find yourself in the studio doing live interviews with musicians one day, then covering a concert or CD release party the next. You may have access to lots of new music and even get to review albums before they're released to the public. While it can be a job with lots of fun and excitement, it also typically requires a fairly traditional journalism background.
To get hired by a news outlet, most journalists are required to have at least a bachelor's degree in journalism or a related field. Following that, many budding journalists aim for an internship, which in the case of a music journalist might involve working at a radio or TV station; for a music website; or in the arts and entertainment department of a print publication. Wherever they work, music journalists need to be proficient at describing characteristics of music, which often requires a background in music. They'll also need strong writing and communication skills, and knowledge of technical equipment, such as video and audio editing tools. To establish credibility, music journalists might also start a blog or website covering music topics or particular genres.
What You'll Earn
After an internship, reporters typically pursue entry-level employment at a media outlet, or strike out on their own as a freelance music blogger or reporter. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, reporters of all kinds earned a median salary of $44,360 a year, as of May 2013, although entry-level reporters typically earn far less than that. According to statistics published by the Berklee College of Music in 2012, music journalists earned from $15,000 to $30,000 a year, while music bloggers earned between $23,000 and $66,000 per year.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Reporters, Correspondents and Broadcast News Analysts
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013 27-3022 Reporters and Correspondents
- Careers in Music: Music Journalist
- MyMajor: Music Journalist Career
- Berklee College of Music: Music Salary Guide
- Photo Credit Jennifer Borton/iStock/Getty Images
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