A reporter, also called a journalist, investigates and delivers news stories. He or she conducts interviews, observes events and does research to get all the facts about a story after getting a lead or tip. Then the reporter either writes up the story which will be published in a newspaper or on a website or reports the story on air on a television or radio broadcast.
There were 62,000 reporters employed in 2008.
Most employers prefer to hire reporters who have a bachelor's degree in journalism or mass communications. Others are willing to hire job candidates who have other degrees.
Reporters must be computer proficient as they are often responsible for all aspects of producing a news story. Because they do a lot of research, they must be familiar with online databases. Reporters in entry-level jobs must also have knowledge of news photography.
A reporter usually starts his or her career covering court proceedings and meetings or writing obituaries before moving on to more difficult assignments. Some eventually specialize in a specific field like business or politics. Many who work for smaller publications or television stations move on to larger ones.
There will be a moderate decline in employment growth for reporters through 2018 with keen competition for jobs in large metropolitan areas and with national newspapers, networks and magazines.
Reporters earned a median annual salary of $34,360 in 2009.
Use the Salary Wizard at Salary.com to find out how much a reporter currently earns in your city.
A Day in a Reporter's Life:
On a typical day a reporter's tasks might include:
- interviewing sources to get more information about a story
- reading documents, doing research in print and online sources
- videotaping stories
- writing stories
- taking photographs
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Reporter, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos088.htm (visited April 14, 2011).
Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET Online, Reporter, on the Internet at http://www.onetonline.org/link/details/27-3022.00 (visited April 14, 2011).