Broadcast Journalist: Career Education to Be a Broadcast Journalist

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a broadcast journalist. Get an overview of the requirements, degree programs and job duties to find out if this is the career for you.

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Broadcast journalists tell the latest and breaking news either through television, radio or even Internet broadcasts. They will typically have bachelor's degrees in mass communications or journalism, which gives them the skills to stand out in a highly competitive field. The current job market is expected to experience a sizable decline through 2024.

Essential Information

Broadcast journalists report the news to television, Internet and radio audiences. Some journalists report news stories by going to the scene and sending live reports back to the news station. Other journalists remain in the news studio to broadcast news stories as they happen. Many broadcast journalists work odd hours to follow story leads and meet deadlines. While not always required, employers may prefer those who have a bachelor's degree.

Required Education Bachelor's degree may be preferred
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) -9% for all reporters, correspondents and broadcast news analysts*
Mean Salary (2015) $51,430 for all reporters and correspondents working in radio and television broadcasting*

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Information

Broadcast journalists tell audiences about late-breaking news through television, radio and Internet broadcasts. Sometimes called newscasters or news anchors, broadcast journalists keep the public informed about community concerns as well as issues happening in the state and in the country. Information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed that some broadcast journalists specialize in different fields of news, such as arts and entertainment, sports or politics (www.bls.gov).

Some broadcast journalists work in studios where newscasts are filmed. They read the news off prompters or paper scripts and interact with other journalists during the newscast session. Occasionally journalists interview celebrities and other persons of interest during the newscast. Journalists often research trending news topics and write articles to be included in the next newscast.

Several broadcast journalists work in the field to report live news events on-scene. Before arriving on-scene, field broadcast journalists research information about the news event, so they can ask probing questions. Once on-scene, a small film crew follows and documents the journalist while he or she interviews people involved in the action as well as those watching on the sidelines. Afterwards, the journalist goes through and edits the footage into a viewable news story.

The BLS projected that jobs for correspondents, reporters, and broadcast news analysts would decline 9% from 2014-2024. May 2015 salary information from the BLS showed mean salaries of $51,430 for reporters and correspondents working in radio and television broadcasting and $91,900 for broadcast news analysts in the radio and television broadcasting industry.

Education Requirements

Information from the BLS showed that education requirements for this career usually include a bachelor's degree in areas such as mass communications or journalism. Employers hiring journalists in specialty fields, such as economics, are more likely to hire workers with a bachelor's degree in their specialty field. Journalism degree programs include coursework such as writing for the media, communications law, media technology and investigative reporting.

Part of the education process includes gaining real world experience. Most journalism programs include opportunities for students to work with the school news broadcasting stations as well as the school newspapers. Several programs also help students get into internship programs with local and national news broadcasting agencies.

Broadcast journalists are the people who bring the public breaking news over television, radio and the Internet. They typically have bachelor's degree in communication fields like mass communication and journalism. They'll need these skills to stand out in a competitive job market that's declining in positions by 9%.

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