Career and Job Highlights for News Analysts, Reporters and Correspondents
News Analyst, Reporter, and Correspondent Career Overview
News reporters, correspondents, and analysts gather and prepare useful information for local and nationwide audiences. They inform society on current events and the actions of public, corporate, and special interest figures.
News analysts, or newscasters or news anchors, harness and interpret news to be broadcast. They present on-air videotapes, stories, or live transmissions from correspondents outside of the studio. Some newscasters specialize in either weather or sports, and hence receive the titles of weathercasters and sportscaster. They gather and deliver information relating to these areas of interest. Some weathercasters are actual meteorologists who make their own weather forecasts.
Reporters are heavily involved with all phases of news gathering, organizing, shooting, and delivering. They often interview individuals with cameras and later edit the material for presentation. Often this information will be sent via electronic transmission to news writers who write about the material. Television and radio reporters may submit material live from a news source. They usually record an introduction to their story to be presented. Commentators and columnists are journalists who provide readers and listeners with their own personal opinions.
Reports write on assigned topics of relative importance, such as political or company events, accidents, or celebrity visits. Some reporters will be assigned special interest stories such as “police beats.” Still others specialize in unique fields of interest, such as sports, politics, health, consumer affairs, science, religion, entertainment, and others. Investigative journalists may spend days to weeks at a time working on stories. Teams that include reporters, photographers, graphic artists, and editors are often gathered to report on particular events or stories.
News correspondents cover news stories in regional stationed areas. Reporters that work with smaller publications involve themselves with all phases of gathering and presenting news, from taking photographs to laying out pages and editing final transcriptions. They may also sell advertising and do some office work.
News reporters, correspondents, and analysts should anticipate busy schedules and pressure deadlines. They may have to rush to broadcast a story by a certain time. Work environments vary from comfortable offices to rooms full of technical equipment and other workers. Outside field reporters may find the environment of an event to be extremely hectic and even dangerous.
Work schedules vary. While print reporters typically work in the late hours of the day until midnight, television, radio, and magazine reporters usually have day schedules with some evening work.
In order to meet a deadline, reporters may have to adjust their schedule or work overtime. This is especially so as many stations have 24 hour broadcast schedules. Travel may also be necessary for breaking news events.
News Analyst, Reporter, and Correspondent Training and Job Qualifications
A bachelor’s degree in communications or journalism is looked favorably upon by employers. They always prefer one to have experience with print or broadcasting in an organization. Other citywide stations or newspapers may seek individuals with specialty interest in such fields as business, politics, or economics. Large-scale print and broadcast stations usually only hire experienced journalists.
More than 400 universities and colleges offer journalism programs that emphasize liberal arts and journalism courses. Classes may include basic reporting and editing, intro to mass media and journalism, media law, and ethics. Most prospective career candidates well have taken courses in television production, radio production, and editorial journalism. Experience with the necessary computer software is essential to create the proper elements for video and sound presentation.
Some junior and community colleges also house journalism programs that offer transferable accreditation. 120 schools house Master’s programs while 35 schools have Ph.D. programs. While some of these programs are career oriented, others prepare students for teaching areas of journalism.
High school students aiming for careers in journalism should take related courses in journalism, social studies, and English. Beneficial college courses may include more special emphasis areas, such as political science, sociology, writing, history, psychology, and economics. Foreign language fluency and knowledge of business and computers is also highly useful.
Reporters ought to have solid computer skills, especially in graphics, publishing, and word processing. Familiarity with computing will advance the data finding and analyzing process, as well a knowledge of photography which is often packaged with reporting.
Any kind of education should contain practical experience through internships or part-time work through a print or broadcast station. Additional experience can be gained working on any school, U.S. Armed Forces, or station publications. Students should also apply for scholarships offered by many colleges and foundations. Freelance reporting experience is also highly beneficial.
An important element of reporting is that of accuracy in gathering news. Reporters should be professional and maintain physical, mental, and emotional health in order to work what is often a stressful schedule. They should be able to adapt well and work well in front of a camera, maintaining a pleasant appearance and demeanor.
Reporters typically begin their careers at smaller stations or publications and move on to larger ones later in their career. These large stations usually require years of experience and rarely hire directly out of college.
Entry-level reporters will usually begin summarizing court and club meeting proceedings, speeches, obituaries, and other civic events. As they become more experienced, they will work perhaps work in a specialized field or cover a particular beat.
News reporters and analysts can become correspondents, columnists, announcers, public relations specialists, or writers for large stations or publications. Advancements also include becoming program or publishing manager.
News Analyst, Reporter, and Correspondent Job and Employment Opportunities
Employment for news reporters, correspondents, and analysts will grow at rates slower than all other occupational averages over the next eight years. This is largely due to less circulation and profits, higher expenses and competition, consolidations and mergers. Prospects will be greatest in magazine and newspaper publications, and job replacement needs will always be present. Some workers leave their job because of the pressure of working odd schedules and tight deadlines.
Job prospects are greatest in small area publications and stations. Placement into jobs at stations and publications in large cities is highly competitive. These jobs are reserved for people with specialized knowledge in technical areas. Freelance writers will continue to be highly sought after.
Because of the related job profiles between some careers, many workers move into public relations, advertising, and managerial positions in non-journalism or media areas.
Broadcasting and print industries are sensitive to economic and business cycles as they are completely dependent on revenue from advertising.
Historical Earning Information
Approximate annual salaries for reporters, correspondents, and analysts range from $18,000 for the lowest ten percent to $69,000 for the top ten percent. Middle earnings in 2002 were $31,000. This, however, varies according to whether one is employed in print or broadcast.
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