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Career and Education Opportunities for Reporters in Austin, Texas

If you want to be a reporter, the Austin, Texas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 2,650 people work as reporters in Texas. This is expected to grow 5% to 2,800 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. In general, reporters collect and analyze facts about newsworthy events by interview, investigation, or observation.

Income for reporters is about $16 per hour or $33,880 per year on average in Texas. Nationally, their income is about $16 per hour or $34,850 per year. Incomes for reporters are not quite as good as in the overall category of Journalism in Texas, and not quite as good as the overall Journalism category nationally. Reporters work in a variety of jobs, including: newspaper columnist, police reporter, and music critic.

There are thirty-five schools of higher education in the Austin area, including four within twenty-five miles of Austin where you can get a degree to start your career as a reporter. Reporters usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so 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 Austin 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

Huston-Tillotson University - Austin, TX

Huston-Tillotson University, 900 Chicon St, Austin, TX 78702-2795. Huston-Tillotson University is a small university located in Austin, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 785 students and an admission rate of 56%. Huston-Tillotson University has a bachelor's degree program in Mass Communication/Media Studies.

The University of Texas at Austin - Austin, TX

The University of Texas at Austin, , Austin, TX 78712. The University of Texas at Austin is a large university located in Austin, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 49,984 students and an admission rate of 44%. The University of Texas at Austin has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Journalism which graduated 153, twenty-seven, and four students respectively in 2008.

Texas State University-San Marcos - San Marcos, TX

Texas State University-San Marcos, 601 University Dr, San Marcos, TX 78666. Texas State University-San Marcos is a large university located in San Marcos, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 29,125 students and an admission rate of 74%. Texas State University-San Marcos has 2 areas of study related to Reporter. They are:

  • Mass Communication/Media Studies, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated one and eighteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Journalism, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Southwestern University - Georgetown, TX

Southwestern University, 1001 University Ave, Georgetown, TX 78626. Southwestern University is a small university located in Georgetown, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,270 students and an admission rate of 65%. Southwestern University has 2 areas of study related to Reporter. They are:

  • Mass Communication/Media Studies, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Political Communication, bachelor's degree.

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: Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas photo by Wikidiculous

Austin is located in Travis County, Texas. It has a population of over 757,688, which has grown by 15.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Austin, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Austin are valued at $139,500 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, 1,928 new homes were constructed in Austin, down from 3,155 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Austin are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 40.4% of Austin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Austin is 6.5%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Austin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 46.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Pilgrim Rest Primitive Baptist Church, Adam and Eve Garden Baptist Church and Pleasant Hill Baptist Church are all churches located in Austin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Austin is home to the Morris Williams Golf Course and the Sixth Street Historic District as well as Wild Basin Wilderness Park and Rudolph Gamblin Field. Shopping centers in the area include Capital Plaza Shopping Center, Capital Plaza Shopping Center and Lamar Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Austin can choose from Club Hotel by Doubletree Austin University Area, Austin Folk House and AmeriPark at Austin for temporary stays in the area.