A career in business journalism can mean working as a journalist, a news analyst, or an editor. Journalists interview people and write articles for magazines, newspapers, web publications or television, while editors review articles to ensure any technical errors are corrected before the material is published. Broadcast news analysts relay information on television and offer analysis of topics for their audience.
Business journalists primarily cover finance and economics topics. Individuals who work in this field may have a variety of titles, such as news analyst, reporter or journalist. Although both undergraduate and graduate programs in journalism are available, candidates can find jobs with just a bachelor's degree. Master's degree programs may allow them to further specialize in business journalism. Internships are common in journalism programs.
|Career||Journalist (Reporter and Correspondent)||Broadcast News Analyst||Editor|
|Education Requirements||A bachelor's degree in journalism or communications||A bachelor's degree in journalism or communications||A bachelor's degree in journalism, communications or English|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||-8% decline (for reporters and correspondents)||-13% decline||-5% decline|
|Median Annual Salary (May 2015)*||$36,360 (for reporters and correspondents)||$65,530||$56,010|
Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Business journalist study news trends and events, investigate leads, analyze documents and conduct interviews with key individuals in the economic, business and finance industries. They prepare newspaper stories, reports and statistics. These individuals may also be required to shoot video or take photographs, as well as edit their material.
Common titles for careers in business journalism include broadcast news analyst, reporter, columnist, journalist and editor. These careers can be found at newspapers, business magazines, news programs, radio stations, websites, blogs or other publications.
Journalists, also known as reporters and correspondents, conduct interviews and write articles for television, magazines, online publications, and newspapers. They may read their reports during live radio or television broadcasts. There was expected to be a decline of 8% among reporters and correspondents during the 2014-2024 decade. The median salary for these professionals was $36,360 in May of 2015.
Broadcast News Analysts
Although broadcast news analysts may deliver news and weather reports on the air, they primarily provide an in-depth analysis of various topics for their listeners and viewers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that broadcast news analysts would experience a 2% decline in employment, and that overall employment for correspondents, news analysts and reporters would decline by 13% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also noted that reporters and news analysts would have tougher competition for jobs at larger newspapers or other media outlets; however, websites, online newspapers and other new media are providing a growing number of opportunities. Median annual salaries for broadcast news analysts were approximately $65,530 in May of 2015.
Editors read material to evaluate spelling, punctuation and grammar, and they verify the correctness of information. They review copy for readability, develop story ideas and plan the content of publications. According to the BLS, a 5% decline was expected in employment opportunities for editors from 2014-2024. In May of 2015, editors earned median annual salaries of $56,010.
According to the BLS, most employers prefer applicants with a bachelor's degree in mass communications or journalism. There are a variety of related programs available at this level, such as the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Business Writing and B.A. in Business Journalism. Coursework in finance, political science, business, economics, English, radio and television broadcasting can also serve as preparation.
The BLS adds that employers also look for applicants with experience in the field, which can be gained during college through internships, assistantships, fellowships or other journalism opportunities, such as freelance writing for the school newspaper. For many positions, experience in technology may also be necessary for researching and publishing.
Master's degree programs, such as the Master of Arts in Business Journalism or Master of Mass Communication in Business Journalism, offer further, specialized training in the field. Earning a master's degree can prepare students for career advancement, including editorial positions in business journalism or careers in business research.
Studies in finance, business, economics, political science, English and broadcasting are all assets to those who are interested in a career in business journalism. Most employers prefer applicants with a degree in journalism or mass communication. Career advancement may require completion of a relevant master's degree.