News Reporter Training Programs and Requirements

News reporters and journalists write and present stories for newspapers, television stations, magazines, online news websites and other media outlets. News reporters conduct research, edit stories for accuracy and then present news with professionalism and timeliness. News reporters are required to have a bachelor's degree in journalism and several years of experience.

Training Requirements and Recommendations

News reporters must have a high school diploma or GED certificate as well as a bachelor's degree in journalism from an accredited university. Although it is not required, news reporters typically gain experience in college by working with the college or community newspapers, radio or television stations.

Many employers prefer to hire news reporters with several years of experience. Candidates must submit news writing or video samples along with their resume. Broadcast news reporters must have excellent presentation skills in order to showcase news on television or radio stations. Reporters must be inquisitive, professional, objective and detail-oriented. Writing, editing, interviewing and organizational skills are important. Some positions may require reporters to have some video or audio production experience. Because news reporters often work under tight deadlines, they must demonstrate the ability to quickly and efficiently produce news copy.

Formal Education

A bachelor's degree in journalism or mass communication is required to be a news reporter. Within the journalism major, areas of emphasis are often available and include news editorial, broadcast journalism or photojournalism.

Bachelor of Arts in Journalism

A bachelor's degree prepares students to work as reporters and journalists for a number of media outlets. Programs teach students to conduct news research, organize information and present stories in a logical, objective and timely manner. Students learn to interview news sources and create print and digital news presentations. Typical courses include:

  • Investigative reporting
  • Audio and video production
  • News research and interviewing skills
  • News editing and design
  • Public relations
  • Principles of copyediting
  • History of journalism
  • Visual communication
  • Broadcast news reporting

Job Experience

Employers typically require news reporters and journalists to have 1-5 years of news reporting experience. News reporters with little experience can obtain entry-level positions with small-market media outlets. Broadcast news reporters, who regularly appear on television, are required to have more experience than other news reporters. Most reporters gain experience through internships and work with college or community newspapers. Internships are available with newspapers, magazines, television stations and online news organizations.

Workshops and Seminars

Universities generally offer day-long workshops or seminars in broadcast journalism, photojournalism or investigative reporting. Workshops are typically held by the communications or journalism department of a university and provide students with information that might not be taught in typical journalism courses. Guest speakers may include local or regional news reporters.

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) holds conferences and training seminars for journalists of all experience levels. Conferences are typically held in large cities and provide numerous resources for news reporters. Conferences last three days and include guest speakers, training labs, career advice seminars and other events.

Additional Professional Development

News reporters and journalists can join the Society of Professional Journalists for access to resources, continuing education and networking opportunities. The organization is more than 100 years old and has approximately 10,000 members. It offers countless resources for news reporters, including internship and fellowship opportunities, a job directory, training aids, legal advice and tools for media managers. The SJP publishes a magazine on journalism and offers several newsletters and blogs created by reporters.

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