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Reporter

What is this job like?

Reporters gather information and write news stories. These stories appear in newspapers and magazines. Some reporters appear on television and radio. To get information, reporters look at documents. They also observe the scene and interview people.

Reporters write about events. These include things such as an accident, a rally, or a company going out of business.

Radio and television reporters often report "live" from the scene.

News correspondents mostly work in large U.S. cities. Some report from foreign cities covering the events in the city.

Reporters must meet deadlines. Some work in private offices, while others often work in large rooms with other reporters. Television and radio reporters may encounter curious onlookers, police, or other emergency workers.

Reporters work long hours and sometimes have odd schedules. They may have to travel. At morning newspapers, reporters might work from late afternoon until midnight. At evening or afternoon papers, they may work from early morning until afternoon. Radio and television reporters work day or evening shifts. Magazine reporters generally work during the day. Reporters may have to work extra hours to meet deadlines. They may have to change their work hours to follow a story.


How do you get ready?

A college degree in journalism is preferred. Some employers hire graduates with other majors. Working at school newspapers or broadcasting stations is good experience. Internships with news organizations may also help when seeking a job as a reporter.

Reporters must write clearly and effectively. They also need word processing, computer graphics, and desktop publishing skills. Speaking a second language is necessary for some jobs.

In high school, you should take courses in English, journalism, and social studies, with an emphasis on writing.

How many jobs are there?

News analysts, reporters, and correspondents held about 69,300 jobs in 2008. Most worked for newspaper, magazine, book, and directory publishers. Others worked in radio and television broadcasting, and some were self-employed.What about the future?

Employment of news analysts, reporters, and correspondents is expected to decline moderately through 2018. Still, some job openings will occur in newer media areas, such as magazines and newspapers on the Internet. It is difficult to get a job at newspapers and broadcast stations in large cities. The best chances for a first job are on small town and suburban newspapers.


How much does this job pay?

In May 2008, reporters and correspondents had average yearly wages of $44,030.

The average starting salary for journalism majors in July 2009 was $35,328.

Are there other jobs like this?

Disc Jockeys

Editors

Interpreters and translators

Public relations specialists

Writers

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