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).