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Career and Education Opportunities for Reporters in Fort Smith, Arkansas

For those living in the Fort Smith, Arkansas area, there are many career and education opportunities for reporters. Currently, 560 people work as reporters in Arkansas. This is expected to grow by 17% to 650 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for reporters, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 7.6% over the next eight years. Reporters generally collect and analyze facts about newsworthy events by interview, investigation, or observation.

Reporters earn approximately $13 per hour or $27,290 yearly on average in Arkansas. Nationally they average about $16 hourly or $34,850 yearly. Incomes for reporters are not quite as good as in the overall category of Journalism in Arkansas, and not quite as good as the overall Journalism category nationally. Reporters work in a variety of jobs, including: meteorologist, travel journalist, and news editor.

The Fort Smith area is home to nine schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Fort Smith where you can get a degree as a reporter. Given that the most common education level for reporters is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years studying to be a reporter if you already have a high school diploma.


Reporter video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, reporters collect and analyze facts about newsworthy events by interview, investigation, or observation. They also report and write stories for newspaper, news magazine, or television.

Reporters inspect and evaluate notes taken about event aspects so as to isolate pertinent facts and details. They also decide on a story's emphasis and format, and organize material accordingly. Equally important, reporters have to arrange interviews with people who can furnish data related to a particular story. They are often called upon to research and analyze background data pertaining to stories so as to be able to furnish complete and accurate data. They are expected to check reference materials such as books and public records so as to obtain relevant facts. Finally, reporters inspect copy and correct errors in content and punctuation, following prescribed editorial style and formatting guidelines.

Every day, reporters are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment. It is also important that they speak clearly.

It is important for reporters to photograph or videotape news events, or request that a photographer be assigned to furnish such coverage. They are often called upon to design concepts and material for columns or commentaries by analyzing and interpreting news, current issues, and personal experiences. They also transmit news stories or reporting data from remote locations, using equipment such as satellite phones or modems. They are sometimes expected to write columns or reviews that interpret events or offer opinions. Somewhat less frequently, reporters are also expected to decide on a story's emphasis and format, and organize material accordingly.

Reporters sometimes are asked to consider issues with editors in order to determine priorities and positions. They also have to be able to conduct taped or filmed interviews or narratives and present live or recorded commentary via broadcast media. And finally, they sometimes have to research and analyze background data pertaining to stories so as to be able to furnish complete and accurate data.

Like many other jobs, reporters must be thorough and dependable and want to innovate to meet new challenges.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Fort Smith include:

  • Editorial Specialist. Perform variety of editorial duties, such as laying out, indexing, and revising content of written materials, in preparation for final publication.
  • News Analyst. Analyze, interpret, and broadcast news received from various sources.
  • Technical Writer. Write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions. May assist in layout work.


Carl Albert State College - Poteau, OK

Carl Albert State College, 1507 S McKenna, Poteau, OK 74953-5208. Carl Albert State College is a small college located in Poteau, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,454 students. Carl Albert State College has an associate's degree program in Journalism which graduated three students in 2008.


Certified Forensic Interviewer: The objective of this certification program is to create comprehensive, universally accepted professional standards combined with an objective measure of an interviewer's knowledge of those standards.

For more information, see the Center for Interviewer Standards and Assessment Ltd. website.


Fort Smith, Arkansas
Fort Smith, Arkansas photo by Infrogmation

Fort Smith is located in Sebastian County, Arkansas. It has a population of over 84,716, which has grown by 5.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Fort Smith, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Fort Smith are priced at $151,400 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, two hundred one new homes were constructed in Fort Smith, down from two hundred ninety-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fort Smith are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is food, construction, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 17 minutes. More than 18.6% of Fort Smith residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fort Smith is 8.1%, which is greater than Arkansas's average of 6.9%.

The percentage of Fort Smith residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 68.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Mallalieu United Methodist Church, Loves Chapel Seventh Day Adventist Church and King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church are among the churches located in Fort Smith. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Fort Smith is home to the Fort Smith Trolly Museum and the Fort Smith Inter-Faith Community Center as well as Riverfront Park and Kay Rodgers Park. Shopping centers in the area include Laville Shopping Center, Maybranch Shopping Center and Midland Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Fort Smith can choose from Patel P L, Westark Inn Motel and Stonewall Jackson Inn for temporary stays in the area.