How to Become a Newscaster in 5 Steps
Explore the career requirements for a newscaster. Get the facts about education requirements, typical job duties, job growth and potential salary to determine if this is the right career for you.
Career Information At a Glance
A newscaster delivers local, national or international news to the public through televised newscasts. As a newscaster, you'd gather news from various sources, help prepare scripts, edit tapes and present stories via television, radio or the Internet. If this career appeals to you, read on for an outline of important information about this position.
|Education Required||Bachelor's degree|
|Field of Study||Journalism, communications, English or related field|
|Key Responsibilities||Give on-camera reports about various news stories, interview key people regarding the news, interpret changing and complicated stories to provide the public with a clear story, and research background information|
|Job Growth (2012-2022)||-2% for broadcast news analysts*|
|Median Salary (2014)||$61,450 for all broadcast news analysts*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Does a Newscaster Do?
As a newscaster, also called an anchorman or broadcast news analyst, you report on news stories on-camera for the public. You may interview bystanders for information on breaking news or question experts for special stories. You may also prepare for broadcasts by memorizing scripts or researching background information.
Step 1: Know What to Expect
Since news is a 24-hour-a-day endeavor, you can expect to work irregular hours and to travel as needed. Because newscasts often are live, you may have to improvise during interviews or when receiving breaking news. You can find yourself under pressure to meet deadlines and with little time to prepare for broadcasts.
Step 2: Gain Experience in High School
As an aspiring newscaster in high school, you can build writing, speaking and editing skills by getting involved with your high school newspaper. If your high school doesn't have a newspaper, you can speak directly with administration and faculty about setting one up. You may polish your presentation skills by volunteering to do school announcements. You may also check to see if small local newspapers are offering internships to try to gain additional experience.
Step 3: Earn a Bachelor's Degree
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2012, news employers favored job candidates with practical experience and bachelor's degrees in journalism, mass communication or a related field (www.bls.gov). As of September 2014, 114 programs have been accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications ('www2.ku.edu'). As a student in one of those programs, you may take courses in television reporting, videography, media law, ethics, public relations, news writing and radio performance. In terms of practical experience, many of the programs give you the option of completing an internship with a news media company.
Step 4: Start Small
Be prepared to begin as an entry-level reporter and work your way up to newscaster by excelling at your position, maintaining a professional appearance and perfecting your speaking skills. You may start out with general assignments, such as court proceedings and obituaries, while you gain exposure and learn from more seasoned newscasters. This process of working your way up may involve doing freelance jobs for larger stations in the hopes of landing a full-time position.
Step 5: Consider a Specialty
The BLS reported in 2012 that job opportunities for newscasters will suffer a decline between then and 2022 (www.bls.gov). Your chances of employment may be better with smaller broadcast companies, where you can develop your reporting portfolio. You may be able to help your job prospects by gaining professional experience in a reporting specialty, such as international affairs, science news, sports or weather.