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TV Reporter Job Description

The career of a television news reporter is not only exciting and glamorous, but also stressful when delivering a story swiftly and accurately to meet tight deadlines. Reporters must also be willing to work long hours and weekends in pursuit of their craft. The job of a TV reporter also requires "physical fitness, stamina and unflagging self-motivation," according to The Princeton Review. A strong constitution also helps, as gruesome crime scenes and dangerous situations and events will often be covered over the course of a career.

Educational Requirements

Most television stations -- both on a national and local affiliate level -- typically require a bachelor's degree in either broadcast journalism, journalism or communications from an accredited college or university, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. One of the most prominent universities offering degrees in the discipline of broadcast journalism is Syracuse University, which affords students a rich selection of majors related to news in all its current forms -- print, broadcast and the Internet. According to NewsPro Magazine's December 2013 issue, other schools with notable journalism programs include the University of Missouri, Northwestern University (in Evanston Illinois) and Arizona State .

Duties and Responsibilities

Perhaps the most well-known image is that of the lone reporter portraying a live stand-up shot, where the story is delivered at the scene of the event. Pre-taped background video and corresponding audio is often run as part of the news broadcast. Reporters are also responsible for conducting interviews, gathering information, investigating leads and developing copy “on location." Without question, strong broadcast writing skills are the singular talent most demanded of a competent TV news reporter -- and the story often has to be written on the fly to meet the broadcast deadline.

Occupational Outlook

The career prospects for a TV news reporter are somewhat mixed. Even in the best of times, broadcasting is a highly competitive field, with a finite number of jobs available to a great number of qualified job seekers. Individuals interested in pursuing TV news as a career must be willing to move wherever an opportunity exists. Also, jobs in smaller TV markets pay lower wages in comparison to larger markets. The median salary for the profession was $37,090 in 2012, according to the BLS. In addition, the number of positions available in the field is expected to decline 13 percent over the span of 2012 to 2022.

Preparing Yourself

While strong broadcast writing skills are required by anyone seeking to make a mark in the field of TV news, there are other abilities that lend themselves well to the occupation. In an era of increasingly specialized reporting across both cable TV and Web news outlets, it is becoming common to observe news journalists covering specific topic areas, such as medicine, consumer news, sports, science and politics. According to The Princeton Review, journalism job applicants must also show news writing experience and demonstrate that they have had experience on school newspapers or at college television stations.



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