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Master's in Broadcast Journalism: Online and Campus-Based Programs

Learn about career options in the field of broadcast journalism and average salaries for these careers. Find course information and online options for master's degrees in journalism.

What Are the Educational Prerequisites?

You need at least a bachelor's degree to be considered for admission. Although some programs accept applicants with all kinds of degrees, most prefer students with degrees in a related field, like journalism, communication or English. You should also expect to submit writing samples, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation and a personal statement.

PrerequisitesBachelor's degree, letters of recommendation, writing samples
Program Length1-3 years
Common CoursesEditing, television and radio writing, public affairs reporting, desktop publishing
Online AvailabilityFully and partially online available
Median Salary (2018)$66,880* (for broadcast news analysts)
Job Outlook (2016-26)0% growth* (for all broadcast news analysts)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Study for a Master's Degree in Broadcast Journalism?

Master's degrees specifically in broadcast journalism are rare. However, degree programs in journalism and mass communications can also train you in broadcast journalism, and programs may allow you to take broadcast journalism as an emphasis. A master's degree program in broadcast journalism prepares you to work as a reporter for radio or television. You'll learn general skills like writing, business, information gathering and standard industry practices.

More specific techniques include interviewing, reporting and storytelling. You learn how to deliver information live in several different media settings. Ethics may also be a large part of your instruction, because journalists must make moral decisions when following tips, using anonymous sources, dealing with sensitive issues and handling censorship.

Most programs focus on the relevant technologies as well, training you in both equipment operation and technical literacy. This degree takes 1-3 years to complete and may culminate in a thesis or a large journalistic project. Additionally, most programs help students develop a portfolio of work, often taking the form of a demo reel that can be shown to prospective employers.

What Kinds of Classes Will I Take?

Coursework in master's degree programs in journalism can vary depending on your specialization. Here are some courses likely to appear in the curriculum:

  • Writing in the journalistic style
  • Editing for journalism
  • Radio writing
  • Television writing
  • International journalism
  • Public affairs reporting
  • Desktop publishing
  • Magazine article writing

Can This Degree Be Earned Online?

Master's degrees in journalism are rarely offered fully online; a few universities may offer online courses within a hybrid program taking place mostly on campus. Broadcast journalism is not a typical concentration for online or hybrid programs, though some offer coursework in multimedia. The length it may take to complete an online master's degree in journalism could vary, though some programs set a maximum time for completion. In online degree programs, students may use e-mail, discussion forums and even video chat software to communicate and turn in work.

What is the Job Market Like?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that employment for broadcast analysts will grow 0% between 2016-2026. This is mostly due to news sources other than television and radio becoming increasingly more popular. Also, competition for jobs will be stiff because there are many qualified applicants. The median annual salary of broadcast news analysts was $66,880 in May 2018.