How to Become a Reporter: Overview of the Education Requirements and Skills Needed to Become a Reporter
Are you interested in being in the center of the action, gathering and reporting information about the people and events happening around you? If so, then you may want to consider a career as a Reporter. An undergraduate degree in journalism or mass communications, in addition to college broadcasting or newspaper experience, is all it takes to get started as a Reporter.
Reporter Career Summary
A Reporter is a journalist who gathers and presents information for mass media, such as television, radio, magazines or newspapers. Reporters investigate leads, attend press conferences, interview people, witness events and read press releases, news briefings and wire reports in order to cover a story. Behind the scenes, Reporters organize the information, write news stories and edit accompanying footage. Reporters then relay this information via radio and television broadcasts or through Internet and and other print media.
Education Required to Become a Reporter
A 4-year, undergraduate journalism or mass communications degree program provides the knowledge and skills required to become a Reporter. Previous experience at a college newspaper, television or radio station, as well as an internship with a news organization can give a job seeker a competitive advantage. If the Reporter specializes in a particular niche, such as politics, business or finance, a degree in that field can be helpful. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, a typical journalism bachelor's degree curriculum combines liberal arts and journalism classes. Courses focus on such topics as mass media, the history of journalism, basic reporting, copy editing, media law and ethics. Technical classes are also important because Reporters may be required to work with equipment and software such as audio, video, photo editing and graphic design. Students with an interest in either broadcast or print media should take additional classes that focus on those subjects.
Skills Needed to Become a Reporter
Reporters need to have accurate reporting, interviewing, research and writing skills. O*Net Online, online.onetcenter.org, lists other important skills, such as critical thinking, time management, social awareness, coordination, judgment and decision making. Reporters also need to be adept at written and verbal communications, active listening, reading comprehension and active learning.Online, online.onetcenter.org, lists other important skills, such as critical thinking, time management, social awareness, coordination, judgment and decision making. Reporters also need to be adept at written and verbal communications, active listening, reading comprehension and active learning.
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