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Be a Newscaster: Education and Career Roadmap

Newscasters, also known as news analysts or news anchors, report local and international events on television or radio to audiences. At larger stations, newscasters might specialize in reporting a specific aspect of news that broadcasts either locally or nationwide. Most newscasters possess a bachelor's degree in journalism; some complete graduate degrees in the field.

Becoming a Newscaster

Step One: Obtaining 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 degree programs offer a concentration in broadcast journalism that prepares students for careers in newscasting. Students learn the basics of reporting and interviewing, broadcast journalism 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: Gaining 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: Developing 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: Considering 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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