Be a Newscaster: Education and Career Roadmap

Learn about the education and experience needed to work as a professional newscaster. Explore what the job entails and the step-by-step journey one might take to get started in the field. View article »

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  • 0:03 Newscaster Career Info
  • 0:59 Get Bachelor's Degree
  • 1:32 Gain Work Experience
  • 2:48 Consider Graduate School

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Video Transcript

Newscaster Career Info

Newscasters, also known as news analysts or news anchors, report local and international events on television or radio to audiences. At larger stations, newscasters might specialize in reporting specific aspects of news that broadcasts either locally or nationwide. Newscasters have the opportunity to communicate relevant and important information through broadcast journalism and news analysis to their TV or radio audiences. This profession requires a background in journalism and neutrality, as well as skills in public speaking and the ability to improvise. From local to national and international levels, newscasters can become important public figures in their communities. In 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that broadcast news analysts in general earned a median salary of $65,530 per year.

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Journalism, mass communications
Key Skills Professionalism, public speaking, journalistic inquisitiveness, approachability, and neutrality
Median Salary (2015) $65,530 per year (for all broadcast news analysts)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Get Bachelor's Degree

Employers typically prefer to hire newscasters who possess bachelor's degrees in journalism or mass communications. Most journalism or mass communications programs offer a concentration in broadcast journalism that prepares students for careers in newscasting. Students in these programs learn the basics of reporting, interviewing, and investigative reporting. An internship is often a required part of the curriculum. Many programs have students completing final projects similar to reporting a live story to an audience.

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Gain Work Experience

Students desiring to become newscasters should participate in as many journalism and broadcasting activities as possible while enrolled in school. Many students complete an internship with the campus radio or television station but may also intern for a local station or news organization. Remaining in contact with professors and joining student clubs or professional organizations in the field can establish worthwhile contacts that may lead to employment opportunities.

Newscasters are often expected to display a certain level of professionalism to appeal to a large audience and make them comfortable. Television newscasters must often be professionally groomed and dressed while maintaining a neutral and approachable personality. Speaking clearly and accurately is another important aspect of newscaster professionalism. Remaining comfortable in front of large audiences or interviewees is important because an interview may be ruined if a newscaster slips up.

After obtaining the necessary education and experience, most newscasters work themselves up the career ladder at local broadcast stations. Many start out handling basic reporting assignments and are eventually promoted to the anchor desk. Newscasters with extensive experience may be hired to work with major broadcasting stations on television or radio.

Consider Graduate School

While advanced education is not necessary in order to become a newscaster, many obtain a master's degree in the field to continue developing additional journalistic skills and increase opportunities for advancement. Others specialize in a specific subject like economics, politics, or business in order to do newscasting in that area as a specialist.

Again, those who aspire to work as newscasters should first get an undergraduate degree in journalism, broadcast journalism, or a similar field before gaining hands-on experience through an internship and working their way up through the market.

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