News Producer: Job Description and Education Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a news producer. Get an overview of the requirements as well as degree programs and job duties to see if this career is right for you.

Essential Information

News producers are responsible for supervising the overall content and flow of news distribution. While educational programs specifically designed for news producers are rare, undergraduate degree programs in journalism or broadcasting can prepare graduates to enter this career field.

Required EducationBachelor's degree
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)*3% (for all producers and directors)
Average Salary (2013)*$69,330 (for producers and directors in radio and TV broadcasting)

Source:*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

News producers may work in several different media, including print, radio, television and online news. These professionals primarily oversee both the editorial content of the news and how that news is produced and presented to the public. Job duties include writing news stories, selecting footage to include in broadcasts and reviewing sound bytes in order to ensure smooth composition and flow of the news.

News producers are, at times, looked to as leaders of a news production team, and may be expected to have management experience as well as good communications skills. News producers must also have basic computer skills and knowledge of commonly used office software and text editing programs. News producers may be required to work odd hours that include evenings or weekends, depending on the employer.

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Job openings for producers and directors were expected to increase three percent during the 2012-2022 decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The average salary for producers and directors in the radio and television broadcasting industry was $69,330 in 2013, reports the BLS.

Education Requirements

Increasingly, news producers are required to have a college degree at entry level, along with some experience in the medium in which they will act as producer. Education programs for entry-level jobs are normally undergraduate programs. Graduate-level education programs may be useful for those who wish to advance their careers and for those who wish to teach.

Most educational institutions do not tailor their programs specifically to news producers, but many institutions offer degrees with an emphasis in a particular medium, such as television, radio or print journalism. Prospective news producers may choose to complete a journalism program that specifically covers the medium in which they wish to specialize. A few education programs may be intended specifically for those who will take particular roles among news staff, such as reporters or producers.

Common courses in a journalism education program may include:

  • Mass communication process and effect
  • Law and ethics in mass media
  • Writing news for television and radio
  • News selection and discovery
  • Intermediate broadcast news
  • Editing and videography
  • Broadcast operations and management
  • Performance for live broadcast

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