Few people fulfil the journalist's dream of becoming a BBC foreign correspondent, but many other media organisations have offices around the world
Since communication is key to many media jobs, having foreign language skills can be a major advantage.
The largest London-based advertising agencies are becoming part of international groups. Advertising needs to be tailored to suit different cultural contexts, and sometimes there is a role for UK-based staff who can use other languages when ideas are being exchanged. Some overseas companies use UK advertising agencies to promote their products and services in the UK.
Market research agencies may undertake work overseas for British clients or take commissions in the UK for foreign clients. For more information, see marketing, advertising and PR.
The BBC World Service is renowned for its unique programmes in a wide range of languages. Candidates for World Service traineeships should have detailed knowledge of the countries they aim to broadcast to, and have spent time living and working abroad. Your foreign languages would be regarded as a useful asset rather than an essential requirement. Programme assistants in a language service require knowledge of the relevant language.
BBC Monitoring is part of the World Service and listens to radio and television programmes from around the world. It recruits language monitors with a command of one or more foreign languages. The ability to translate into good English, familiarity with the relevant country and its culture, and a good understanding of world affairs are necessary.
The BBC also employs linguists for international sales, marketing, programme research and website translations.
A few British journalists work abroad either as foreign correspondents or with news agencies such as Reuters or Bloomberg, where knowledge of both language and culture or business is required.
Some graduates, especially those with unusual languages, can get jobs on academic and trade journals dealing with particular parts of the world. See newspaper journalist, magazine journalist and broadcast journalist.
A large proportion of books published in Britain are exported, especially educational books. Working in this international field is akin to export sales and marketing.
As a result of modern technology, the printing industry is increasingly operating in an international market and graduates may be recruited in sales, marketing, production and finance.
Speaking another language may benefit a publishing rights manager when negotiating overseas deals and following up throughout the production process, though not essential.
Find out more about the media and publishing sector.
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