How Do I Become a News Reporter?

Do you have excellent communication skills and the ability to write well and objectively? If so, you might wonder how to become a news reporter. News reporters communicate local, national and international news and events to the public through print, digital and broadcast media. News reporters typically strive to tell stories in a way that is well-written and objective, without including the news reporter’s personal perspectives.

News reporters research and write stories to be published in newspapers and magazines or on websites and blogs. They also write the scripts that television correspondents and anchors read over television and radio news broadcasts. News reporters may interview sources that can share relevant knowledge or opinions about the event. Some news stories require the news reporter to provide the news reader, watcher or listener with larger context regarding the implications of the news story. News reporters are responsible for fact-checking and proofreading their work so that it is free of errors. A news reporter might also be called on to interview sources for television or radio news broadcasts and edit those interviews to provide context, information and other opinions or rearrange the topics covered in the interview into a logical progression.

Though news reporters may cover general news stories on any topic that comes up, certain news reporters specialize in the news of a particular subject. Sports news reporters, medical news reporters and politics news reporters are among the most common specializations. News reporters might also write particular columns in which they provide personal opinions and analyses of events and other news. News reporters may spend a significant amount of their time traveling to the sites of local, regional or national news stories to gather information and interview contacts and sources for their perspectives on the story.

The first step to becoming a news reporter is earning a bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism or a related subject. Students will most likely complete coursework in researching stories, best practices for conducting interviews and the application of ethics in journalism as well as courses in the liberal arts, such as English, political science, history and economics. An educational background in English or political science might also prepare students for a career as a news reporter. During a student’s educational career, he or she should gain hands-on experience serving as a news writer for a college newspaper or completing relevant internships with news media.

News reporters may be employed full-time or occasionally part-time by a news organization. There are also self-employed news reporters that accept work on a freelance basis and get paid per assignment. According to the United States Labor Department Bureau of Labor Statistics, full-time news reporters earn a median salary of $34,530 per year, which is comparable to the median annual pay for all occupations, $33,840. If you have objective writing and communication skills, are good with people and show persistence, knowing how to become a news reporter can help you begin a thrilling, fast-paced career.

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