Media Reporter: Overview of Journalism Programs for Media Reporters

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a media reporter. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and experience required to find out if this is the career for you.

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Media reporters are typically required to have at least a bachelor's degree in a relevant field. It's common for aspiring reporters to study communications or journalism, which are programs that will emphasize writing, researching, editing and ethics. Employers do prefer applicants with experience, which can be acquired by working on their college newspaper or by completing an internship.

Essential Information

Media reporters provide the public with newsworthy information, a task that often involves travel to diverse locations and witnessing major events as they happen. They usually need bachelor's degrees, good writing skills and related professional experience to obtain employment.

Required Education Bachelor's usually required
Other Requirements Related experience, writing skills preferred by employers
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* -8% (decline) for reporters and correspondents
Median Salary (2015)* $36,360 annually for reporters and correspondents

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Education Information

Media reporters gather information in order to write or broadcast news. They investigate news tips, examine records, survey incidents at the scene of a story and interview witnesses. Degree programs are available at bachelor's and master's degree levels for those interested in working in this industry. These can be found at colleges and universities around the country.

Media reporters need to have good research and writing skills, a strong news sense and the ability to work under pressure. Media reporters commonly work long, unpredictable hours. Depending on the publication, some reporters' working hours are delegated by breaking news. Reporters work for online and print publications, broadcasting stations, cable networks and other news sources. Educational programs often give aspiring media reporters the opportunity to gain experience and build a portfolio of clips that can help finding work after graduation.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that jobs for reporters and correspondents are expected to decline 8% from 2014 to 2024. In May 2015, a BLS report showed that the median salary for reporters and correspondents was $36,360.

Bachelor's Degrees

Most media reporters enter this career field after receiving a bachelor's degree in journalism or communications. These programs teach students about news reporting and writing, editing, ethics, researching and interviewing. When employers are looking to hire a reporter, they prefer to hire those who have a bachelor's degree and relevant work experience.

By having work experience, the potential reporter shows that he or she knows how to work under stressful working conditions and to communicate with other co-workers and sources. Students can acquire professional experience by working at their school's newspaper, magazine or broadcasting station. Additionally, they can apply for internships where they learn from professionals in the industry.

Master's Degrees

The BLS states that journalists with master's degrees typically work in the news industry, although teachers, researchers and other communications professionals may also pursue the degree. Journalism graduate curriculum is generally more advanced and provides more research opportunities.

Learning About New Media

As new technology creates new ways for people to get their news and information, news sources have to constantly update the way they deliver the news. Colleges and universities are incorporating information on new media into their journalism programs. To ensure they are learning new media techniques, students can look for journalism programs that teach blogging, video, slideshows and online publishing.

Media reporters inform the public of newsworthy information. They may investigate stories they report on, or need to travel to cover a story on location. As technology has evolved the opportunities for reporters have expanded to include blogging and publishing online.

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