Newscaster: Job Duties, Occupational Outlook, and Education Prerequisites

A newscaster's job involves presenting current information and news via live radio or television broadcasts. Newscasters can specialize in areas like weather reporting or sports. If you'd like to become a newscaster, read on for specific job duties, the employment outlook and educational prerequisites. Schools offering Journalism degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Job Duties Might I Have as a Newscaster?

A newscaster is both a journalist and a broadcast specialist who communicates the news to a viewing or listening public. Depending on the location and the size of the station for which you work, you may report on international, national or local news. Your responsibilities might encompass performing research, interviewing guests, reporting, writing and giving on-air news presentations. Sometimes, you might go to the scene of a story and remotely assemble a report for broadcast. In other instances, you might verbally set the stage for a taped segment or react to a breaking news report.

What Is the Expected Occupational Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 7,700 broadcast news analysts worked in the United States in 2008 (, but that number had shrunk to 5,670 workers by May 2010. The BLS predicted that employment of newscasters would decrease by about six percent between 2008 and 2018, due largely to an economic decline and consolidation in the broadcasting and newspaper publishing industries.

However, forecasts also estimated that technological advances would create more online positions at web-based magazines and newspapers, and that newscasters would have better opportunities at smaller news stations. Median annual incomes for broadcast news analysts who worked in radio and television broadcasting as of 2010 were $75,720, but salaries in this field varied depending upon responsibilities, location and the sizes of the stations and audiences.

What Education Prerequisites Must I Complete?

A Bachelor of Arts in Journalism or Mass Communications is the preferred credential of most news and broadcast employers. You should also seek broadcasting experience through your college newspaper and internships at area radio and television stations. These experiences will be an important part of your resume and can open doors to entry-level employment.

Ideally, you should enroll in a journalism program that has been accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. A journalism program will consist of classes such as political science, reporting and writing, advanced editing, investigative reporting and literary journalism. Your curriculum should also include courses in economics, foreign language, psychology, sociology and history.

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