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Reporter Career Information and Job Duties

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

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Do you have a knack for details, writing, and communicating? Then maybe news reporting is the career for you! After fine-tuning those skills in school by earning a bachelor's degree in journalism or a related field, you can live out your dream of being on the scene of all of the latest happenings.

Essential Information

Reporters inform the public about news events and other items of interest. A bachelor's degree in journalism or communications is the minimum educational requirement for becoming a reporter. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that jobs for reporters are expected to continue to decline over the next few years due to consolidation and technological changes in the news industry.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in journalism, communications or related field
Projected Job Growth (2014-24) 8% decline (for all reporters and correspondents)*
Median Salary (2015) $36,360 (all reporters and correspondents)*

Sources: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Career Information for Reporters

An eight percent decline in the employment of reporters and correspondents is expected for the period between 2014 and 2024, according to the BLS. Traditional areas for employment, such as newspapers and the broadcasting industry, may no longer provide opportunities for graduates of journalism degree programs.

However, the rise of the Internet and online news magazines that cover national and local politics, among other areas, are strong alternatives to traditional journalism. The downturn in the economy forced many television stations, which are dependent upon advertising dollars, to revise their hiring schedules. Reporters who have specialized knowledge of an area, such as science, have a strong chance of securing employment. The BLS reports that the median annual salary of a reporter was $36,360 in 2015.

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Job Duties

A reporter is required to be on the scene of a news story as quickly as possible in order to gather all of the facts needed to write an article or present a television or radio broadcast. Reporters also have to develop a rapport with police forces, political figures and informants in order to receive the best possible information. Those who work for large news agencies, such as television news networks, are often sent abroad to report on events happening around the world. This particular type of work is only given to journalists with many years of experience and who are fluent in a second language.

A good reporter should have strong interviewing skills, be able to analyze and interpret large amounts of information and possess strong writing skills. News editors expect their reporters to thoroughly research a story and verify all information. The hours a reporter works are nontraditional and may include work on weekends or in the middle of the night. Reporters often work long hours in order to meet deadlines.

Reporters are responsible for gathering and reporting local, national, and international news and interest items. Those wishing to become a reporter will need to earn a bachelor's degree in journalism or a related field. Job opportunities are competitive, as the job growth rate is projected to decline 8% between 2014-2024.

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