How to Become a Media Analyst

How to Become a Media Analyst

To begin a career as a media analyst, a good first step is to work as an intern or volunteer for an organization that conducts relevant work.


Such organizations may include media watch groups, privately funded think tanks, children’s programming departments, educational institutions, radio stations, magazines and newspapers. Working as an intern will provide valuable work experience and networking opportunities.


Many media analysts begin their paid careers by working as journalists, columnists and news reporters for broadcast companies, newspapers and magazines. Working as a journalist or news reporter positions give them the opportunity to research news stories and examine reports from media sources.


As a columnist, aspiring media analysts may have the opportunity to offer up their opinion on the news to either readers or listeners.


Once enough work experience is compiled, your professional portfolio can be developed. Your portfolio should serve to highlight your research, writing and presentation skills. Your portfolio should include items form a wide range of topics, from trends at the community level to finance or investments.


Whether you choose to become a freelance media analyst, or a permanent employee of an organization, your portfolio will be used to demonstrate the professionalism and quality of your work and will speak to your credibility.



What Education do you Need to Become a Media Analyst?

The particular education requirements required to become a media analyst may vary from employer to employer, although it is typical for an aspiring analyst to posses a bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, or a similar discipline. Some organizations may even require their candidates to have a master’s degree or an MBA.


Relevant coursework:


• Marketing

• Communications

• Psychology

• Media Studies




What is the Importance of a Good Media Analyst?

The primary concern of the media analyst is to protect the brand of public image of their organization. By keeping track of how often a product or service is mentioned in the media, a good media analyst is able to prevent or correct a negative portrayal of their organization.


They must use subjective and objective judgment to determine how many consumers and stakeholders are influenced by the organization's exposure, and whether the organization’s media presence is deemed positive or negative. If they determine that the organization's presence is negative, they are able to formally suggest corrective measures and prevent the organization from developing a bad reputation, which can have detrimental effects of their operations.



Media Analyst Job Description

A Media analyst is an employee of a media organization who acts as a research and information expert for external clients as well as other media organization staff. Media analysts must prepare detailed media evaluation reports and take it upon themselves to find answers for specific research related questions. Media analysts rely more and more on mathematical skills to get the best out of a range of information systems and research techniques.



Media Analyst Job Duties

Choose which research methods to use for a particular query

Design and use appropriate research instruments, such as focus groups and questionnaires

Using numerical and information technology in order to make the most out of raw information research findings in order to properly analyze research findings

Entering data of press coverage into a database which is personalized for each client

Performing final checks on coverage before processing

Ensuring completion of client’s report prior to the deadline

Attending in house and external information sessions

Provide quality control of the evaluation of the work of other analysts

Provide general support and information to the coding team and any others who may be working on the specific client’s account



Media Analyst Salary

A career as a media analyst falls within the umbrella of a 'Public relations manager or specialists'. The most reliable salary data was found for the group, 'Public relations managers and specialists'.


The median salary for a public relations specialist or manager in the United States is $57,550 USD (1)


(1) Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Public Relations Managers and Specialists, (visited February 13, 2013).


The level of pay for media analysts can vary substantially as there are many variables that can influence salary; whom the employer is, the type of project the analyst is hired for, their level of experience and their reputation can all have an effect on earnings.


Media analysts that are employed as freelancers will have different levels of earnings than media analysts who earn a salary as a permanent employee of an organization.





Media Analyst Career - Further Information

Please consult the following resources to find out more about what a media analyst does, how much they make and other occupational details:


Berger, Arthur Asa. (2011). Media Analysis Techniques, SAGE Publications, Inc. ISBN-10: 1412987768

Altheide, David L. & Schneider, Chrsitopher J. (2012). Qualitative Media Analysis (Qualitative Research Methods), SAGE publications. ISBN-10: 145223056


Please Note: Much of the information for this career guide was gathered from actual job postings, which due to the brief nature of their online presence, are not listed here as sources.




Scholarships for Becoming a Media Analyst

Scholarships listed for majors that apply to becoming a Media Analyst can be found using our Communications Scholarships and Marketing Scholarships pages.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Applicable Majors for Becoming a Media Analyst

The university majors below are applicable to a career as a media analyst, as they can teach you relevant skills and competencies. Click on the majors to find out what other careers are applicable to them!


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