Week 6: Working practices in the media industry – Unit 3


In this task i will be looking into the different types of contracts and working practices that people who work in the media industry have.


Freelance work is when you have no permanent contract, but work for a few days or weeks here and there for different companies and productions in order to earn money. The job is very flexible and there may be times when there is no work or too much work. This means when work is available it’s very hard to turn it down as there may not be any more after. This means there is a lack of security in the job; most freelancers on average work 1/3 of the year, and so have to save money for the time they’re not working.

Working on a variety of projects also means that your skill base will improve. You’ll work with a wide range of people; which will help with networking if you ever want to become self-employed and run your own business. However if you haven’t networked before becoming a freelancer it may be hard to get work. It’s also very important to be organized or you could be at risk of losing reputation.


Here is an example of an advertisement for a freelance camera operator, as their main camera operator is on a sabbatical and so they need someone to work.

Permanent Contract:

Permanent contracts are when you have a full contract that tells you how many hours you’ll be working each money and you’ll get a set amount of pay each month too. This is good for older people with more responsibility (mortgages, family etc) so they have a set income. However the pay is far less than a freelancer,

This job can get very repetitive though, for instance having a permanent position at a shopping channel, and having to zoom on different rings everyday could get infuriating. This is a very safe job compared to freelancing.


Here is an example of a permanent job working for a news company, these are harder jobs to find, as most work in the media industry is not permanent.

Short term contract:

A short term contract is when a company takes on staff members for a short period of time to work on multiple projects for them. It is usually somewhere between 3-6 months, but can be up to a year. This job is more secure than a freelancer but there is less pay. The work for this is very seasonal and is usually more available over Christmas and the summer.

Once the time period is over the work will be over and you will have to search for another job.

Project contract:

Project contract is similar to freelance in that you work for lots of different companies, however for this you work on the entire project instead of just a part of it. This is more of a secure job than freelance, but once the project is done you will have to find another job. There is also less pay than freelance on this.


This is when you run your own business that makes videos and films instead of working for someone else. This is much more independent than permanent contract, as you get to pick and choose what you want to create, however there is a lot more risk, as you have to set up the company, pay staff, buy equipment, and more. This is all very expensive and if you can’t get clients or lose clients then you could lose a lot of money. There is also the potential to make a lot of money though.

The harder you work the more money you earn in this type of job. As if you take on more clients then you can get more jobs done.

Personally I think that project contract is the best job for me. As you get to do a variety of different types of work, yet have a little more security than freelance. You still get decent pay and are likely to work much more of the year. You also get the feeling that you’ve worked on the whole production and that you’ve contributed to the production of it.


I wasn’t aware that there were so many different contract types when working in the media industry that i am aware of now. I knew there was Freelance and permanent contracts but didn’t know about others. I think this is important to learn about so that when i work in the industry later in life i know all about what type of practices are in place.


Week 6: Working practices in the media industry – Unit 3

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