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Top Online Broadcasting Schools

Communications Media

Top Online Broadcasting SchoolsWhile broadcasting started with the radio, the term and, in some cases, the sentiment of broadcasting has expanded into the world of broadcast television, cable television and finally online podcasts and video-blogs. While it may seem as simple as talking into your laptop’s microphone or using your iPad’s forward facing camera to create digital broadcasts, classes in mass communications, directing and production, journalism and A/V editing can teach you not only how to articulate but how to produce an entertaining program that has an air of professionalism.

Students interested in broadcasting may want to pursue a journalism or communications degree. The following were ranked by U.S. News & World Report as 2012’s top graduate communication schools in multimedia and visual communications. These degree programs included areas of study such as interactive design and journalism instruction—under which the study of broadcasting typically falls.

1.  Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh
2.  California Institute of the Arts
3.  School of the Art Institute of Chicago
4.  Rhode Island School of Design
5.  University of California, Los Angeles
6.  Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y.
7.  University of California, San Diego
8.  New School - Parsons School of Design
8.  University of Southern California
10. School of Visual Arts, New York

Below are some of the broadcasting focuses available from online schools and colleges on SchoolsGalore.com

Radio Broadcasting Production

Besides the technical aspects of producing a mass communication broadcast a radio broadcast can thought of as the combination of three equally important disciplines: the announcer, the program director and the audio editor.

The announcer, sometimes called the on-air talent or DJ, is literally the voice of a radio or audio broadcast. While it may seem simple, these DJs have taken classes in dictation and voice to assess their own voice’s strengths, eliminate mumbling and control their breathing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov, 2012), many DJs spend years perfecting their “personalities” in small broadcast markets, or audiences, before moving up to larger markets.

The audio editor, in essence, makes the talent sound good. They keep audio levels balanced so when the DJ – or guest or caller – gets excited their voice is still audible. They are also responsible for ensuring equipment is working properly. They may also be responsible for recording segments for broadcast at a later date. In news programs these can be interviews or segments, if the entire program is recorded it can be known as cyber-jockeying. Cyber-jockeying can be used to syndicate a single program across many different stations.

The program director gives the talent advice on how to improve their performance and directs the audio editor on when to cut, mix or play a recording. They may also book guests and set up the structure of the program.

The BLS (BLS.gov, 2012) notes that professionals in all aspects of the radio broadcast field posses some form of post-secondary education. Announcers and DJs typically have a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism or communications while directors can also have a bachelor’s in arts management or writing (BLS.gov, 2012). Some might have earned a master’s in fine arts as well. Sound editors typically have either a vocational degree or certification in sound editing (BLS.gov, 2012) and certification programs can typically take about a year, while associate degree programs can take two. Bachelor’s degree programs, as usual, take four years to complete.

The BLS (BLS.gov, 2012) also reports that radio and television announcers, earned a national median salary of $27,280 per year in May of 2011 with the highest 10 percent earning more than $74,350 per year. While in the past announcers had to work night and late night shifts, modern technology now allows some stations to record programming during the day and aired later that night. The employment growth for radio and TV announcers is expected to be half as much as all other occupations, projected to increase only up to seven percent from 2010 to 2020 (BLS.gov, 2012).

Television Broadcasting Production

While television has expanded as a medium and art form to rival Hollywood blockbuster movies, what is known as “broadcast” television has remained relatively the same since its creation in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Because TV broadcasting evolved from radio broadcasting, much of roles are the same with the addition to two positions: the camera operator and the producer. The on-air talent was the same as in radio; in fact many radio personalities moved onto TV, the most famous of which is perhaps Edward A. Murrow.

While it may be desirable to think of a camera operator as the same as a sound editor, the camera operator is physically responsible for the camera and the pictures it takes and, with cameras that are not digital, properly loading and unloading the film. They must keep the picture in focus at all times and follow interesting subject matter even if their shots are not being used.

According to the BLS (BLS.gov, 2012), if they are assigned to the field, they may be required to keep track of batteries and rapidly set up and disassemble a mobile broadcast station. They may be required in some situations to physically hold the camera as well.

The BLS (BLS.gov, 2012) also notes that many camera operators have a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting, or film and some have taken classes in camera operation or video editing.

The producer is similar to the a broadcast director with the one exception that they are responsible for directing both more broadcast engineers and more complex actions as television broadcasts are larger productions than radio programs. This can include choosing which camera to broadcast picture from, which visuals to use, which angles to shoot, how accurate the visuals are and what colors the on-air talent should dress in. The BLS (BLS.gov, 2012) notes that there are no formal education programs for broadcast producers, although some take classes in writing or journalism, and that much of the experience is learned on the job.

The BLS reports that camera operators and producers employed in broadcast made a national yearly salary of $40,170 (BLS.gov, 2012) and $69,540 (BLS.gov, 2012), respectively, in May of 2011. Both professions are expected to see an employment growth from 2010 to 2020; growth is projected to increase by up to 11 percent for producers (BLS.gov, 2012) and up to two percent for camera operators (BLS.gov, 2012).

Learn more about accredited broadcasting programs from online schools and colleges on SchoolsGalore.com

When researching online colleges and universities, make sure to verify that your choice of school is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council or by another accrediting agency that approved by The U.S. Department of Education or The Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or both. DETC and CHEA both provide a searchable list of approved schools.

The National Association of Schools of Theatre accredits schools providing theater arts programs and provides a searchable list of member institutions.


Sources and further reading:

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation

The U.S. Department of Education

The Distance Education and Training Council

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

O*NET Online

The National Association of Schools of Theatre

Online Broadcasting Schools