Broadcasting College Degree Program Information

Broadcasting makes news public through radio, television or online media outlets. Learn more about the different degree options, specializations, career paths, and salaries.

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Essential Information

Broadcast journalists work in television, radio or online media formats. There are a variety of specializations within this field, including media writing, reporting, editing, camerawork, and directing.

Bachelor's degree programs in broadcasting require a high school diploma or GED, but competitive applicants will also have experience with various written and spoken forms of communication, either through work or as a volunteer. Master's degree programs in broadcasting require a bachelor's degree, and both bachelor's and master's programs will have some component of internship or hands-on experience in the field as a part of the curriculum. Students enrolled in these degree programs learn and practice the various roles of the news production process as they prepare for careers in diverse media organizations.

Bachelor's Degree in Broadcast Journalism

To distinguish qualified graduates from the increasing number of people participating in amateur broadcast journalism, programs in this field emphasize writing and technical skills, knowledge of journalistic ethics, competency in advanced digital media technologies and the ability to perform journalistic research.

Students learn to prepare objective stories about local, state or national events and report them to the public. Students can develop basic public speaking and reporting skills and a fundamental understanding of broadcasting processes. Bachelor's degree programs in broadcast journalism combine didactic learning and real-world experience. Undergraduate students commonly practice techniques at a campus-based radio or TV station. Examples of classes that might appear in the curriculum are:

  • Media writing
  • Public speaking
  • Reporting
  • Media technologies
  • Broadcast process

Master's Degree in Broadcasting

A master's degree in broadcasting builds on the fundamental skills learned in a related bachelor's degree program with advanced theoretical study and rigorous original research. It is common for master's degrees in broadcasting to be offered by a school's journalism or communications college.

Students can expect to explore such in-depth topics as media history and criticism, cultural studies and broadcast operations, and international media programming. Other areas of study might include economics of mass media, audience research, globalization and television news.

Programs almost always facilitate some sort of external learning process, such as paid internships at local or international broadcasting stations. Most master's degree programs in broadcasting are research-oriented and have models in place to help students publish original academic work. Classes that might appear in the curriculum include:

  • Media ethics
  • Global media markets
  • History of television
  • Internet and niche markets
  • Mass communication theory and criticism

Career Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the employment rate for broadcast news analysts will decline 13% for the years 2014 through 2024. Employment growth is expected to slow as a result of an ongoing decline in advertising revenue experienced by traditional news media outlets. In 2015, the BLS reported that broadcast news analysts made a median annual wage of $65,530. The lowest-paid ten percent of news analysts made less than $27,370, while the highest-paid ten percent of workers earned more than $187,200 (www.bls.gov).

Popular Career Options

Graduates of master-level broadcast journalism programs are eligible for leadership positions in broadcasting organizations. Roles may include:

  • News analyst
  • Director of operations
  • Senior correspondent
  • Broadcast producer

There are both bachelor's and master's degree programs available in broadcast journalism and broadcasting, respectively. These degrees prepare students to enter careers working for various media outlets through coursework and hands-on experiential learning opportunities.

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