Obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism or Mass Communication degree will be helpful to students aspiring to become news reporters. Students can also specialize in news editorial, broadcast journalism or photojournalism. To be admitted to a bachelor's degree program, you must have a high school diploma or a GED credential.
These programs help students learn how to write and present stories for newspapers, television stations, magazines, online news websites and other media outlets. Students practice conducting research, editing stories for accuracy and presenting news with objectivity, professionalism and timeliness. They will often develop skills in the areas of writing, editing, interviewing and video or audio production.
As employers prefer to hire news reporters with experience, students can find it useful to gain experience in college by working with the college or community newspapers, radio or television stations.
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism or Mass Communication
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
- Principles of copyediting
- Broadcast news reporting
Salary Information and Employment Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) predicted that employment of reporters and correspondents would decline by 8% between 2014 and 2024. The BLS also reported that the median annual salary for this same group was $36,360 as of May 2015.
Continuing Education Information
News reporters and journalists can join the Society of Professional Journalists for access to resources, continuing education and networking opportunities. 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.
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.
Universities also 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.
A Bachelor of Arts in Journalism or Mass Communication will help students acquire the necessary skills and required experience to become a news reporter. Joining relevant organizations for continuing education and networking opportunities can also help with professional development in an industry with slow growth.