Work As a TV News Reporter: Education and Job Requirements

A TV news reporter is required to have some formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and necessary skills to see if this is the right career for you.

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News reporters present the news in the studio or out in the field, covering a range of topics. They must speak well, remain poised, and look presentable. To land a position, experience is strongly preferred or required in addition to a journalism or communications degree.

Essential Information

TV news reporters need to have journalistic skills, good verbal and interpersonal skills and knowledge of media ethics. A bachelor's degree is typically required for this career, along with practical experience at college broadcast stations and internships.

Required Education Bachelor's degree typically required
Other Requirements Internships and broadcast experience required or preferred
Projected Job Growth (2014- 2024)* -8% for reporters and correspondents
Median Annual Salary (2015)* $36,360 for reporters and correspondents

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

TV News Reporter Education Requirements

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many TV news employers require applicants to have bachelor's degrees in journalism, mass communications or a related field (www.bls.gov). Broadcast journalism students take classes like reporting and editing, media law and ethics, broadcast writing and TV production. Mass communications students take courses on legal issues in the media, communication and culture communication technology, public speaking and interpersonal communication. Students in both fields typically are required to complete writing courses.

Gaining College Experience

Gaining work-related experience in broadcasting is essential while pursuing a degree. Many big-city news station employers won't hire someone who has no experience, according to the BLS. The best way to gain experience as a student is by working at a college broadcasting station or through internships. Duties may include producing content and assisting with local TV productions.

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TV News Reporter Job Requirements

Television news reporters typically have a background in journalism, which provides the skills and abilities to interpret and present newsworthy topics to the public. These professionals must have a clear understanding on libel and slander to avoid legal problems. Good interpersonal skills are expected of TV news reporters because they spend much of their time interviewing people. Additionally, they need to have good verbal skills and be able to maintain composure during chaotic circumstances.

Workplace

Television news reporters often work flexible and unpredictable hours that require them to cover breaking news at any time of the day or night. News stations constantly compete to report events first, which creates a fast-paced and often stressful environment. Although technical duties are usually delegated to other employees, knowing how to work camera equipment and edit news segments may be required.

Duties

General assignment TV news reporters who report on a variety of topics must be well-informed on a variety of current events and topics that may range from social to economic issues. TV news reporters who are assigned to a specific area, like healthcare or sports, may be required to have intimate knowledge of that field.

Career Outlook and Salary Info

The BLS expected employment of reporters and correspondents to decrease by 8% during the 2014-2024 decade, due to the shrinking number of television viewers. In May 2015, the BLS listed the median annual salary of reporters and correspondents at $36,360.

Experience, education, speaking skills, and the ability to handle stress are all important when it comes to being a TV reporter. TV reporters should be informed about current issues and may need to have some technical skills along with broadcasting knowledge. Those working in this occupation face a decline of 8% in job opportunities between 2014 and 2024, according to the BLS.

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