News Reporter Career Information, Job Duties and Salary Info
News reporters gather information, develop factual stories and produce articles or multimedia for broadcast. Most employers prefer to hire news reporters with a bachelor's degree in journalism, communication or a related field, though experience may be considered as well.
News Reporter Career Information
To enter into a career as a news reporter, typically one must hold a bachelor's degree in broadcasting, journalism or communication. When hiring new reporters, employers often look for candidates with publication or broadcast experience, whether at a broadcasting station, university or through internships. There is heavy competition to acquire a reporter position at the national level and in metropolitan areas because larger companies require reporters to have a great deal of experience upon being hired.
Due to the high level of competition obtaining news reporter positions at bigger publications and broadcasting stations, most aspiring reporters begin their careers at smaller companies tackling general assignments. The more experience they gain and time they spend in the field, the more likely they are to be assigned to a specialized area at higher difficulty levels.
In 2008, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 53% of news reporters wrote and reported for magazines, newspapers and book publishers, followed by 21% who reported for television and radio broadcasting (www.bls.gov). Employment opportunities for news reporters were predicted by the BLS to drop by six percent between 2008 and 2018 due to the merging of large publishing and broadcasting firms as well as a lack of funding from a strained economy. However, it was expected that as Internet news outlets grew, job opportunities would as well.
The BLS reports a high level of pressure in a news reporter job due to irregular hours and tight deadlines. News reporters, also known as journalists, investigate, observe, interview and write news stories. Their general job duties include collecting information, preparing a factual story and creating articles or broadcasts that impart information to the public. These stories often involve local, state, national and international topics on current events.
Often news reporters will also carry cameras and take photos or video footage of objects or places of potential significance. It can take weeks to gather information for a story, depending on the depth and new outlet for which news reporters work. Work hours differ depending on the medium in which the reporter works; for instance, magazine reporters typically work during the day and morning paper reporters tend to work in the evenings.
According to the BLS, news reporters' yearly income varies greatly depending on experience and employer. In May 2008, the median annual wage of news reporters was $34,850. In newspaper publishing, the median annual wage was $33,430; and television and radio, $37,710.
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