Online producers are employed by digital media organizations; book, newspaper, and magazine publishers that have an online or new media presence; advertising and marketing agencies; employment firms; nonprofits; government agencies; and any other organizations that has a Web site or utilizes new media.
A job as an assistant or associate online producer is a common starting point for this career. Many companies hiring online producers require at least three years of experience in Web journalism. Internships are your best bet to gain experience and training as well as valuable industry contacts for the future.
Check with you school's career counselor for possible leads on summer internships; some publications or companies may hire high school students. Even if you spend your working day running for coffee or answering phones, at least you will be in the company of industry professionals. Contact your local newspaper to see if any part-time employment opportunities are available during the school year or summer vacation.
Also, check with associations for job leads. The Online News Association and other news organizations post job openings at their Web sites.
Larger publications promote experienced online producers to senior or executive status. Those employed at regional publications could seek jobs at larger publications with broader news coverage. Online producers working in the corporate realm could advance their careers by working for larger, more diverse companies, or those with multiple Web sites.
Tips for Entry
Learn all you can about computers and Web site design, including computer languages like HTML and programs like Adobe Photoshop.
In high school and college, pursue volunteer opportunities like being webmaster of your school or college Web site.
For summers, keep your eye out for internship possibilities not just in print or online journalism, but also for other companies that maintain a Web presence, such as nonprofits and advertising agencies.
Surf the Web and analyze media and corporate Web sites. How well do they present their content? How easy are they to navigate?
Check out Poynter Online (https://www.poynter.org) for industry news, information on seminars and fellowships, tip sheets, and other resources.