News Reporter: What Types of Journalism Courses Should I Take?
A news reporter is a journalism professional who gathers information to create a news article or news broadcast. News reporting is a possible career for a student who is interested in writing and communications.
Journalism Program Information
Many news reporters major in journalism in college because it provides them with the opportunity to develop their writing and speaking skills. At a minimum, employers generally seek candidates with bachelor's degrees in journalism or other communications-related majors. In addition to bachelor's degrees, many schools also offer master's and doctoral degree programs in journalism.
Most journalism programs have courses that specifically focus on skills and topics a news reporter will encounter. A list of courses from a standard journalism program may include online journalism, ethical problems in the media, news reporting and international communication.
Journalism programs also allow students to specialize in certain areas, such as business journalism, convergence photojournalism and sports journalism. Students should select a concentration based on their interest areas and the kinds of subject matter they want to cover in their future careers. Particular journalism concentrations, which are often interdisciplinary collaborations, will have their required and elective journalism courses tailored to fit the specifications of their concentrations.
Experience Requirements for News Reporters
While formal education is important for prospective news reporters, employers highly value candidates with practical experience as well. Students can take advantage of work opportunities with their school newspapers while they are in high school or college. They can also participate in internships or summer job opportunities with local newspapers or news organizations. Securing piece work as a freelance journalist is a way to gain work experience to build up a future news reporter's resume.
Career Outlook Information for News Reporters
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job prospects for news reporters and correspondents are expected to decline six percent between 2010 and 2020 (www.bls.gov). This decline is mostly attributable to the economic downturn, and competition for news reporter positions, especially in bigger cities and larger news organizations, will remain high. As of 2012 BLS data, the median annual salary for reporters and correspondents was $35,870.
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