How to Become a News Reporter

News reporters work in the media to deliver news and reports on current events.

News reporters work on a variety of television shows across all kinds of networks.

If you have an interest in journalism, excellent communication skills, and a strong work ethic then you might like to consider a career as a news reporter.

To an outsider’s perspective, working as a news reporter may seem like a glamorous job.

However, to succeed in this business you will need to put in a lot of long hours for little pay in the beginning of your career.

You should also be aware that this is a highly competitive industry where there are far more people wanting to become news reporters than there are jobs available.

That being said, like with any job, if you are prepared to work hard and put in the hours, you will be rewarded with a very satisfying career path.

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Education Requirements to Become a News Reporter

If you’re in high school, you can start working to become a news reporter now.

Take classes like English and drama at school.

Getting yourself familiar with being in the spotlight will help you succeed.

If you have a newspaper or magazine at your school, volunteer as a writer or editor.

You may like to inquire about doing some work experience at a local TV station.

You’ll need a four-year bachelor degree to become a news reporter.

Your major should be in communications, broadcast journalism or a similar area.

While at college, you should take the opportunity to work on your school’s newspaper, or any other similar programs, which will allow you to gain experience.

Many employers state that practical experience is the most important part of a reporters education.

For this reason, it’s important to get as much of it as you can.

Internships, school papers, and even online writing experience can all contribute to you landing that all-important first job after college.

Completing internships is essential.

Working as an intern provides real life experience, and may also lead to you gaining a full-time position later on.

Getting your first job as a news reporter may require you to relocate.

As this is a competitive industry, you may need to move around to get jobs and promotions.

News Reporter Job Description

A news reporter puts together reports on current events which become a part of a news program.

They usually research their own leads, or are given briefs to complete.

They will conduct research into a story, interview people, then write up a report which they will deliver on screen.

Here are some of the duties of a news reporter:

  • Finding story leads
  • Reading briefs
  • Researching stories
  • Conducting interviews, on and off air
  • Traveling to locations where events are happening
  • Reporting the news on air
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Communicating with colleagues

To become a news reporter, you’ll need to be able to work under pressure.

You’ll always be working hard to deliver quality work before deadline.

You will often be working weekends and holidays also.

More experienced reporters and anchors will get more of a say in when they have days off.

News Reporter Salary and Career Path

It’s likely that your first job as a reporter will be at a small local station.

Most people start their career this way.

With experience, your skill will be recognized and you will gain a better position at a larger network.

Don’t expect a lot of money for your first job, your salary will likely be around $20,000 a year to begin with.

The median salary is $35,000, which you could expect to earn once you have established yourself within the industry.

The top 10% earn over $77,000.

Many reporters receive good perks as a part of their role.

They may get gifts from advertisers, as well as access to magazines, DVDs, and be invited to industry events.

Many reports move on to become news anchors, and may work for national news networks once they become established.

Some may become journalists, work in other roles within television presenting, others become editors or writers.

While working as a news reporter is no doubt challenging, it can also be very rewarding.

If you are interested in journalism and have your heart set on working on television, then it’s likely this is a good choice of career for you.

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