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Career and Education Opportunities for Reporters in Jackson, Mississippi

If you want to be a reporter, the Jackson, Mississippi area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 390 jobs for reporters in Mississippi and this is projected to grow by 10% to about 430 jobs 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.

Income for reporters is about $14 per hour or $29,540 yearly on average in Mississippi. Nationally, their income is about $16 hourly or $34,850 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Journalism, people working as reporters in Mississippi earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Journalism nationally. Reporters work in a variety of jobs, including: television news reporter, newspaper reporter, and press writer.

The Jackson area is home to seventeen schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Jackson where you can get a degree as a reporter. The most common level of education for reporters is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years training to become a reporter if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Reporter

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 Jackson 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.
  • Public Address Announcer. Make announcements over loud speaker at sporting or other public events. May act as master of ceremonies or disc jockey at weddings, parties, or other gathering places.
  • Radio and Television Announcer. Talk on radio or television. May interview guests, act as master of ceremonies, read news flashes, identify station by giving call letters, or announce song title and artist.
  • Technical Writer. Write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions. May assist in layout work.
  • Writer. Create original written works.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Reporter Training

Jackson State University - Jackson, MS

Jackson State University, 1440 J R Lynch St, Jackson, MS 39217. Jackson State University is a medium sized university located in Jackson, Mississippi. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,530 students and an admission rate of 36%. Jackson State University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Mass Communication/Media Studies which graduated forty and nine students respectively in 2008.

Hinds Community College - Raymond, MS

Hinds Community College, 501 East Main Street, Raymond, MS 39154. Hinds Community College is a large college located in Raymond, Mississippi. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,398 students. Hinds Community College has an associate's degree program in Journalism which graduated two students in 2008.

Mississippi College - Clinton, MS

Mississippi College, 200 South Capitol Street, Clinton, MS 39058. Mississippi College is a small college located in Clinton, Mississippi. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,788 students and an admission rate of 62%. Mississippi College has a bachelor's degree program in Mass Communication/Media Studies which graduated two students in 2008.

Tougaloo College - Tougaloo, MS

Tougaloo College, 500 W County Line Rd, Tougaloo, MS 39174. Tougaloo College is a small college located in Tougaloo, Mississippi. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 864 students and an admission rate of 96%. Tougaloo College has a bachelor's degree program in Mass Communication/Media Studies which graduated three students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Jackson, Mississippi

Jackson, Mississippi
Jackson, Mississippi photo by Yassie

Jackson is situated in Hinds County, Mississippi. It has a population of over 173,861, which has shrunk by 5.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Jackson, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Jackson cost $101,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, four hundred fifty-six new homes were built in Jackson, up from two hundred twenty-three the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Jackson are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 27.1% of Jackson residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Jackson is 9.2%, which is less than Mississippi's average of 9.5%.

The percentage of Jackson residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.4%, is more than both the national and state average. Bibleway Baptist Church, Saint Johns Missionary Baptist Church and Saint John Deliverance Temple Number 2 are some of the churches located in Jackson. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Jackson is home to the Riverhills Country Club and the Colonial Country Club as well as Smith-Wills Stadium and Lefleurs Bluff State Park. Shopping malls in the area include North Terry Road Shopping Center, Northside Shopping Center and Northtown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Jackson can choose from Days Inn-Coliseum, Econo Lodge and Regal Sales Office for temporary stays in the area.