News Reporter College and School Program Information

The most common degree program for aspiring news reporters is a bachelor's degree in journalism. Other options, however, are available at the associate and graduate levels. Learn more about coursework and program requirements as well as job options.

Essential Information

Aspiring news reporters could pursue degree programs in journalism, communication or broadcasting. These programs are available on the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels.

Students studying news reporting learn how to research, write and report informative news stories in radio, print, television and new media formats. At the undergraduate level, they will take courses in basic reporting, mass communications, interviewing techniques and visual and broadcast journalism. Graduate students will focus on advanced methods in reporting, journalism philosophies and investigative writing.

Prospective students who are interested in pursuing an associate's or a bachelor's degree are required to have a high school diploma or GED credentials. Applicants for a master's degree program must first obtain a bachelor's degree in English or a similar field.

Associate's Degree in Journalism and Communication

An associate's degree program in journalism and communication will provide students with a broad understanding of news gathering and reporting concepts. These 2-year programs often focus heavily on methods of mass communication as well. Courses offered in an associate's degree program may include the following:

  • Introduction to mass communication
  • Basic journalism
  • Reporting
  • Introduction to television production
  • English composition
  • Introduction to psychology

Bachelor's Degree in Journalism

Undergraduate degree programs come in several flavors, including the Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, Bachelor of Science in Journalism, Bachelor of Arts in Broadcasting and Bachelor of Science in Communication with a journalism concentration. A 4-year journalism degree program provides students with the knowledge and training necessary to research and write news stories. Journalism programs also focus strongly on media ethics and current issues of debate in news reporting. Many programs require a student to complete an internship at a news outlet before graduating. Some courses included in a bachelor's degree program in journalism include:

  • Mass media
  • Interviewing
  • Investigation techniques
  • Editing
  • Visual journalism
  • Broadcast journalism

Master's Degree in Journalism

A graduate degree program in journalism can result in a Master of Science in Journalism, Master of Science in Media Communication, Master of Arts in Journalism or Master of Arts in Broadcasting, among other degrees. These programs are designed to prepare students for upper-level positions in journalism and academia. Many of these programs allow students to focus on particular specialties, including news reporting, writing, and design, photojournalism, advertising, or magazine writing. Most of the coursework included in a 2-year master's degree program focuses heavily on research and hands-on professional experience. The following may be included in coursework:

  • News practicum
  • Mass media seminar
  • Philosophy of journalism
  • Media ethics
  • Communication law
  • Investigative writing
  • Research methods in journalism
  • Advanced reporting

Popular Career Options

Because many news reporter jobs require at least a bachelor's degree in journalism, individuals who receive an associate's degree in the field have limited job opportunities. However, students with an internship and associate's degree could work their way up the ladder from the following entry-level positions:

  • Associate news producer
  • Associate news editor
  • Publisher's assistant
  • Researcher
  • Writing assistant

Several different career options are available to individuals who are interested in reporting news for a living. These include:

  • Newspaper staff writer
  • Newspaper editor
  • Television news anchor
  • Television news reporter
  • Radio news reporter
  • Features editor
  • News producer

Students who complete a master's degree program in journalism may be eligible for the following careers:

  • News director
  • News reporter
  • Newsmagazine editor
  • Newspaper editor in chief
  • Publisher
  • Producer

Students aspiring to become news reporters may choose from several degree programs, including journalism, communication and broadcasting, which are available at the associate's, bachelor's and graduate degree levels. Bachelor's degree programs and graduate degree programs may require students to take internship or hands-on professional experience.

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