News Reporter Career Information, Job Duties and Salary Info

Sep 10, 2019

News reporters need to have some formal education. Learn about the degree, job duties and experience required to see if this is the right career for you.

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News reporters and correspondents research, interview, film and write stories tailored to the needs of their employers and audiences. The news industry is incredibly competitive, so any experience a new or aspiring news reporter or correspondent can gain can be very helpful in finding better projects and employment opportunities.

Essential Information

News reporters gather information, develop factual stories and produce articles or multimedia for broadcast. Most employers prefer to hire news reporters with a bachelor's degree in journalism, communications or a related field. Job candidates with prior experience in the industry are also preferred.

Required Education Bachelor's typically required
Other Requirements Experience preferred
Mean Annual Salary (May 2018)* $41,260 (for all Reporters and Correspondents)
Job Decline (2018-2028)* 12% (for all Reporters and Correspondents)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

News Reporter Career Information

To enter into a career as a news reporter, typically one must hold a bachelor's degree in broadcasting, journalism or communication. When hiring new reporters, employers often look for candidates with publication or broadcast experience, whether at a broadcasting station, university or through internships. There is heavy competition to acquire a reporter position at the national level and in metropolitan areas because larger companies require reporters to have a great deal of experience upon being hired.

Due to the high level of competition obtaining news reporter positions at bigger publications and broadcasting stations, most aspiring reporters begin their careers at smaller companies tackling general assignments. The more experience they gain and time they spend in the field, the more likely they are to be assigned to a specialized area at higher difficulty levels.

In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the majority of news reporters and correspondents wrote and reported for newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers, followed by those in television and radio broadcasting ( Employment opportunities for news reporters and correspondents were predicted by the BLS to drop by 11% percent between 2018 and 2028 due to declining advertising revenue, the merging of large publishing and broadcasting firms as well as a lack of funding from a strained economy. However, it was expected that as Internet news outlets grew, job opportunities would as well.

Job Duties

The BLS reports a high level of pressure in a news reporter job due to irregular hours and tight deadlines. News reporters, also known as journalists, investigate, observe, interview and write news stories. Their general job duties include collecting information, preparing a factual story and creating articles or broadcasts that impart information to the public. These stories often involve local, state, national and international topics on current events.

Often news reporters will also carry cameras and take photos or video footage of objects or places of potential significance. It can take weeks to gather information for a story, depending on the depth and news outlet for which news reporters work. Work hours differ depending on the medium in which the reporter works; for instance, magazine reporters typically work during the day and morning paper reporters tend to work in the evenings.

Salary Info

According to the BLS, news reporters' yearly incomes vary greatly depending upon experience and employer. In May 2018, the mean annual salary for news reporters and correspondents was $41,260. In cable and other subscription programming, the average annual salary was $70,540; in television and radio, the average salary was $64,820.

A new news reporter or correspondent may find it difficult to get a job covering important stories for major organizations. It is more typical to start by covering small assignments and stories for smaller news outlets, whether in print, Internet or radio and television broadcasting. Employment expectations and salaries for new entrants vary by field and media type, so choosing which area of news reporting to pursue first is an important choice to make.

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