News Reporter Education Requirements

Sep 12, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a news reporter. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs and job duties to find out if this is the career for you.

News reporters typically earn a bachelor's degree in journalism or mass communications and can earn a master's degree for advancement. Internships in the field provide on-the-job training. News reporters work for newspapers, magazines, radio or television stations.

Essential Information

News reporters research information, put together news stories and package the news for broadcasts or written articles on current events and issues. Those working in larger news outlets can specialize in a particular news type, like sports, entertainment or politics.

It's common for news reporters to possess a bachelor's degree in journalism or mass communications, and they might pursue a specialization in news reporting. Those seeking advancement might earn a journalism-related master's degree. Possessing work experience that was obtained during an internship is usually also preferred.

Required Education Bachelor's degree related to mass communications or journalism for entry-level; master's degree in journalism or related field for advancement
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028) 12% decline for all reporters and correspondents*
Median Annual Salary (2018) $41,260 for all reporters and correspondents*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

News Reporter Education Options

News reporters can learn through on-the-job training with internships at magazines, newspapers, radio stations or television stations. They can also pursue formal education through a bachelor's program in mass communications or journalism. Education and training varies for potential news reporters in broadcast or print media.

Bachelor's Programs

Through a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications program, students learn the basis and theories of communication, journalism, news, persuasion and public relations strategies. Introductory courses on broadcast journalism and print journalism expose cub reporters to multiple types of news media before they commit to a branch of journalism. Other classes in a B.S. in Mass Communications or Bachelor of Journalism program cover law and ethics, databases and public records, electronic news gathering, creative writing and economics.

Broadcast or Print Journalism Specializations

After completing prerequisite courses, news reporting students take classes that pertain to their chosen track in television, print or digital news media. For instance, those interested in broadcast might take such courses as television operations, audio and visual production and advanced broadcast news reporting, while print journalism students might take classes on editing and layout, online news, advanced print news reporting and feature writing. Additionally, most universities require that students complete an internship during their last semester. News reporting students can also gain experience working with student newspapers or campus radio or television stations.

Graduate Education

Those interested in further advancing their education might consider earning a master's degree in journalism. A Master of Arts in News Reporting program focuses on research, interviewing, editing and investigative reporting. Graduate students can focus on a specific type of media, including digital media, sports broadcasting, Spanish-language media, political journalism or cultural journalism. Graduate programs include in-depth classroom instruction, as well as research projects, seminars, independent study opportunities and fellowships.

In undergraduate mass communications or journalism programs, aspiring news reporters study subjects like theories of communication, news, persuasion, public relations strategies, law and ethics and creative writing. They may focus on a specific type of news, such as sports or entertainment. News reporters holding master's degrees have furthered their studies in areas such as digital media, sports broadcasting and political journalism.

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