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PERSONALIZED JOBS

Become A Journalist

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Working As A Journalist

  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $44,243

    Average Salary

What Does A Journalist Do

Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts inform the public about news and events happening internationally, nationally, and locally. They report the news for newspapers, magazines, websites, television, and radio.

Duties

Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts typically do the following:

  • Research topics and stories that an editor or news director has assigned to them
  • Interview people who have information, analysis, or opinions about a story or article
  • Write articles for newspapers, blogs, and magazines and write scripts to be read on television or radio
  • Review articles for accuracy and proper style and grammar
  • Develop relationships with experts and contacts who provide tips and leads on stories
  • Analyze and interpret information to increase their audiences’ understanding of the news
  • Update stories as new information becomes available

Reporters and correspondents, also called journalists, often work for a particular type of media organization, such as a television or radio station, newspaper, or website.

Those who work in television and radio set up and conduct interviews, which can be broadcast live or recorded for future broadcasts. These workers are often responsible for editing interviews and other recordings to create a cohesive story and for writing and recording voiceovers that provide the audience with the facts of the story. They may create multiple versions of the same story for different broadcasts or different media platforms.

Most television and radio shows have hosts, also called anchors, who report the news and introduce stories from reporters.

Journalists for print media conduct interviews and write articles to be used in newspapers, magazines, and online publications. Because most newspapers and magazines have print and online versions, reporters typically produce content for both versions. Doing so often requires staying up to date with new developments of a story so that the online editions can be updated with the most current information.

Some journalists may convey stories through both broadcast and print media, as well as help manage the organization’s web content. For example, television stations often have a website, and a reporter may post a blog or an article for the website. Similarly, a reporter working for newspapers or magazines may create videos or podcasts that people access online.

Stations are increasingly relying on multimedia journalists to publish content on a variety of platforms, including radio and television stations, websites, and mobile devices. Multimedia journalists typically record, report, write, and edit their own stories. They also gather the audio, video, or graphics that accompany their stories.

Reporters and correspondents may need to maintain a presence on social media networking sites. Many use social media to cover live events, provide additional information for readers and viewers, promote their stations and newscasts, and engage better with their audiences.

Some journalists, particularly those in large cities or large news organizations, cover a particular topic, such as sports, medicine, or politics. Journalists who work in small cities, towns, or organizations may need to cover a wider range of subjects.

Some reporters live in other countries and cover international news.

Some reporters—particularly those who work for print news—are self-employed and take freelance assignments from news organizations. Freelance assignments are given to writers on an as-needed basis. Because freelance reporters are paid for the individual story, they work with many organizations and often spend some of their time marketing their stories and looking for their next assignment.

Some people with a background as a reporter or correspondent work as postsecondary teachers and teach journalism or communications at colleges and universities.

Broadcast news analysts are another type of media occupation. Broadcast news analysts are often called upon to provide their opinion, rather than reporting, on a particular news story. They may appear on television, radio, or in print and offer their opinion to viewers, listeners, or readers. However, most broadcast news analysts come from fields outside of journalism and have expertise in a particularly subject—for example, politics, business, or medicine—and are hired on a contract basis to provide their opinion of the subjects being discussed. Becoming a broadcast news analyst is typically not a career path for new journalists.

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How To Become A Journalist

Employers generally prefer to hire reporters and correspondents who have a bachelor’s degree in journalism or communications along with an internship or work experience from a college radio or television station or a newspaper.

Education

Most employers prefer workers who have a bachelor’s degree in journalism or communications. However, some employers may hire applicants who have a degree in a related subject, such as English or political science, and relevant work experience.

Bachelor’s degree programs in journalism and communications include classes in journalistic ethics and techniques for researching stories and conducting interviews. Some programs may require students to take liberal arts classes, such as English, history, economics, and political science, so that students are prepared to cover stories on a wide range of subjects.

Some journalism students may benefit from classes in multimedia design, coding, and programming. Because content is increasingly being delivered on television, websites, and mobile devices, reporters need to know how to develop stories with video, audio, data, and graphics.

Some schools offer graduate programs in journalism and communications. These programs prepare students who have a bachelor’s degree in another field to become journalists.

Other Experience

Employers generally require workers to have experience gained through internships or by working on school newspapers. While attending college, many students seek multiple internships with different news organizations. These internships allow students the opportunities to work on stories and put together a portfolio of their best writing samples or on-air appearances.

Advancement

After gaining more work experience, reporters and correspondents can advance by moving from news organizations in small cities or towns to news organizations in large cities. Larger markets offer job opportunities with higher pay and more responsibility and challenges. Reporters and correspondents also may become editors or news directors.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Journalists must be able to report the news both verbally and in writing. Strong writing skills are important for journalists in all kinds of media.

Computer skills. Journalists should be able to use editing equipment and other broadcast-related devices.

Interpersonal skills. To develop contacts and conduct interviews, reporters need to build good relationships with many people. They also need to work well with other journalists, editors, and news directors.

Objectivity. Journalists need to report the facts of the news without inserting their opinion or bias into the story.

Persistence. Sometimes, getting the facts of a story is difficult, particularly when those involved refuse to be interviewed or provide comment. Journalists need to be persistent in their pursuit of the story.

Stamina. The work of journalists is often fast paced and exhausting. Reporters must be able to keep up with the additional hours of work.

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Journalist jobs

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Journalist Career Paths

Journalist
Communications Specialist Sales Manager Retail Sales Manager
Advertising Director
6 Yearsyrs
Managing Editor Project Manager Product Manager
Brand Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Photographer Art Director Marketing Director
Chief Marketing Officer
10 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Communications Manager
Communications Director
7 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Marketing Consultant Marketing Communications Manager
Content Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Communications Coordinator Communications Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Producer Marketing Manager Director Of Strategy
Director Of Digital Strategy
11 Yearsyrs
Copy Editor Managing Editor Public Relations
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
7 Yearsyrs
Communications Specialist Senior Account Executive Public Relations
Director Of Public Affairs
8 Yearsyrs
Managing Editor Communications Director
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Communications Manager
Manager Of Corporate Communications
8 Yearsyrs
Writer Writer And Editor Marketing Specialist
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Editor Marketing Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Editor Project Manager Program Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Program Manager Marketing Consultant
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Media Coordinator Media Relations Manager
Media Relations Director
5 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Writer And Editor Public Affairs Specialist
Public Affairs Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Fellow Program Analyst Public Affairs Specialist
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Writer Managing Editor Communications Director
Vice President Of Communication
5 Yearsyrs
Photographer Sales Manager Marketing Director
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Print Journalist 5.1 years
Photo Journalist 3.4 years
Journalist 3.0 years
Travel Journalist 2.7 years
Reporter 2.6 years
Writer/Reporter 2.5 years
Columnist 2.5 years
Video Journalist 2.2 years
Staff Writer 2.1 years
Writer 2.0 years
Staff Reporter 2.0 years
Music Journalist 2.0 years
Freelance Reporter 1.9 years
Sports Journalist 1.8 years
Fashion Journalist 1.0 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 22.6%
Reporter 11.3%
Editor 6.8%
Volunteer 5.4%
Server 4.4%
Teacher 4.1%
Writer 3.7%
Cashier 2.9%
Manager 2.4%
Top Employers After
Internship 12.4%
Editor 9.7%
Reporter 6.6%
Server 5.3%
Teacher 5.1%
Writer 5.1%
Volunteer 5.1%
Manager 3.0%
Consultant 3.0%
Cashier 3.0%

Journalist Demographics

Gender

Female

51.7%

Male

43.7%

Unknown

4.6%
Ethnicity

White

73.8%

Hispanic or Latino

12.0%

Asian

10.5%

Unknown

3.0%

Black or African American

0.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

36.4%

French

14.6%

Chinese

8.7%

Mandarin

7.5%

German

5.5%

Arabic

5.0%

Russian

4.6%

Italian

3.4%

Portuguese

3.4%

Cantonese

2.0%

Japanese

1.9%

Korean

1.1%

Serbian

0.9%

Ukrainian

0.8%

Croatian

0.8%

Greek

0.8%

Hebrew

0.8%

Turkish

0.7%

Urdu

0.7%

Romanian

0.5%
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Journalist Education

Schools

Syracuse University

7.0%

New York University

7.0%

University of Texas at Austin

6.1%

University of Florida

6.1%

Arizona State University

5.8%

Northwestern University

5.6%

Temple University

5.6%

Michigan State University

5.1%

University of Missouri - Columbia

5.1%

Ohio University -

4.9%

University of Southern California

4.6%

Columbia University

4.6%

University of Iowa

4.4%

Boston University

4.4%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

4.1%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.1%

University of Alabama

3.9%

Florida International University

3.9%

San Francisco State University

3.9%

Pennsylvania State University

3.9%
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Majors

Journalism

25.1%

Communication

20.2%

English

10.8%

Business

5.5%

Writing

4.3%

Political Science

4.0%

Marketing

3.8%

Public Relations

3.4%

Agricultural Public Services

3.0%

Photography

2.9%

History

2.2%

Journalism And Mass Communications

2.2%

Law

2.0%

Education

2.0%

Psychology

1.8%

Fine Arts

1.7%

Graphic Design

1.4%

Liberal Arts

1.3%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.3%

Area Studies

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

52.0%

Masters

20.5%

Other

16.9%

Associate

3.5%

Doctorate

3.3%

Certificate

2.8%

Diploma

0.9%

License

0.1%
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Journalist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Junior Journalist Reuters America LLC Los Angeles, CA Jan 22, 2016 $156,341
Junior Journalist Reuters America LLC Los Angeles, CA Aug 19, 2015 $153,275
Journalist Reuters America LLC Los Angeles, CA Jan 29, 2014 $149,537
Data Journalist Move, Inc. San Jose, CA Oct 08, 2016 $135,000
Data Journalist Move, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Oct 08, 2016 $135,000
Junior Journalist (Correspondent) Reuters America LLC San Francisco, CA Oct 01, 2014 $113,069
Junior Journalist (Correspondent) Thomson Reuters (Markets) LLC San Francisco, CA Aug 25, 2014 $113,069
Journalist (Reporter) The New York Times Company New York, NY Oct 01, 2013 $108,110
Data Journalist-Bloomberg Graphics News Desk Bloomberg, LP New York, NY Jan 09, 2016 $108,000
Junior Journalist Reuters America LLC New York, NY Aug 28, 2015 $105,598
Junior Journalist Reuters America LLC New York, NY Sep 04, 2015 $105,598
Journalist Thomson Reuters U.S. Inc. New York, NY Sep 01, 2012 $96,606
Intermediate Journalist The New York Times Company New York, NY Oct 01, 2015 $85,000
Online Journalist Buzzmedia, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Oct 01, 2012 $55,000
Journalist Kpopstars Inc. New York, NY Sep 16, 2015 $54,000
Journalist Kpopstars Inc. New York, NY Sep 15, 2014 $54,000
Multimedia Journalist New Media News LLC D/B/A Dnainfo New York, NY Aug 01, 2014 $53,000
Multimedia Journalist New Media News LLC D/B/A Dnainfo New York, NY Apr 11, 2014 $53,000
Journalist Esquared Communications Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2011 $52,175
Journalist-Reporter Bulmedia Group Inc. Bensenville, IL Oct 01, 2013 $52,175
Data Journalist Daily News, L.P. New York, NY Sep 16, 2015 $52,000
Journalist and Editor STW Productions Inc. New York, NY Dec 11, 2014 $43,827
Data Journalist Hanley Wood Washington, DC Aug 17, 2016 $43,202
Multimedia Journalist Univision Television Group, Inc. Salt Lake City, UT Jan 08, 2016 $43,000
Writer/Journalist Takuyo Corporation Torrance, CA Oct 01, 2012 $42,784
Journalist/Writer Los Angeles News Publishing Corp. Los Angeles, CA Apr 28, 2011 $42,723
Multimedia Journalist Scripps NP Operating, LLC Naples, FL Aug 30, 2016 $42,016
Multimedia Journalist Scripps NP Operating, LLC Naples, FL Aug 22, 2016 $42,016

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Top Skills for A Journalist

WebStoriesDailyNewspaperFeatureOnlinePublicationVideoPackagesNewsStoriesJournalismTopicsEventCoveragePhotographyFacebookTwitterMultimediaNewsArticlesPressReleasesInvestigativeLocalNewsCurrentEventsWeeklyArticlesInternationalNews

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Top Journalist Skills

  1. Web Stories
  2. Daily Newspaper
  3. Feature
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Write AP Style web stories, posted web videos Develop sources, maintain contacts and pursue leads that result in original stories
  • Covered variety of beats for daily newspapers, including session of the Alaska Legislature.
  • Provided photography that illustrated feature stories, sports and spot news.
  • Experience providing video production for online publication.
  • Reported, filmed and edited daily news and enterprise video packages for online publication and weekly news cast.

Top Journalist Employers

Journalist Videos

Day in the Life: Photojournalist

Day in the Life: Photojournalist / Sneak Peek

Career Advice on becoming a Journalist by Hattie C (Highlights)

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