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Be a Newscaster: Education and Career Roadmap

Learn about the education and experience needed to work as a professional newscaster. Explore what the job entails and the step-by-step journey one might take to get started in the field.

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Should I Become a Newscaster?

Newscasters have the opportunity to communicate relevant and important information through broadcast journalism and news analysis to their TV or radio audience. This profession requires a background in journalism as well as skills in public speaking and the ability to improvise. From local to national and international levels, newscasters can become important public figures in their communities.

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  • Broadcast Journalism
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Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Journalism and mass communications
Key Skills Professionalism, public speaking, journalistic inquisitiveness, approachability and neutrality
Salary $61,450 per year (Median salary in May 2014 for all broadcast news analysts)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step One: Get a Bachelor's Degree

Employers typically prefer to hire newscasters who possess bachelor's degrees in journalism or mass communications. Most journalism or mass communications programs offer a concentration in broadcast journalism that prepares students for careers in newscasting. Students learn the basics of reporting, interviewing and investigative reporting. An internship is often a required part of the curriculum. Many programs have students completing final projects similar to reporting a live story to an audience.

Step Two: Gain Work Experience and Contacts

Students desiring to become newscasters should participate in as many journalism and broadcasting activities as possible while enrolled in school. Many students complete an internship with the campus radio or television station but may also intern for a local station or news organization. Remaining in contact with professors and joining student clubs or professional organizations in the field can establish worthwhile contacts that may lead to employment opportunities.

Step Three: Develop the Necessary Professionalism

Newscasters are expected to display a certain level of professionalism to appeal to a large audience and make them comfortable. Television newscasters must often be professionally groomed and dressed while maintaining a neutral and approachable personality. Speaking clearly and accurately is another important aspect of newscaster professionalism. Remaining comfortable in front of large audiences or interviewees is important because an interview may be ruined if a newscaster slips up.

Step Four: Begin Working in the Field

After obtaining the necessary education and experience, most newscasters work themselves up the career ladder at local broadcast stations. Many start out handling basic reporting assignments and are eventually promoted to the anchor desk. Newscasters with extensive experience may be hired to work for major broadcasting stations on television or radio.

Step Five: Consider Graduate School

While advanced education is not necessary in order to become a newscaster, many obtain a master's degree in the field to continue developing additional journalistic skills and increase opportunities for advancement. Others specialize in a specific subject like economics, politics or business in order to do newscasting in that area as a specialist.

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