News Broadcaster: Career Profile, Job Outlook, and Education Requirements

Explore the career requirements for news broadcasters. Get the facts about degree options, responsibilities and career outlook to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Journalism degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a News Broadcaster?

News broadcasters' duties can range from researching stories and conducting interviews to actually presenting the news on television or radio. On the journalism side, news broadcasters work as reporters; a director assigns a story and they collect background information, conduct interviews, and present their findings. It is therefore helpful for broadcasters to develop and maintain relationships with individuals who may provide information about stories and can provide leads. Using the information gathered, the reporter will then write a script that they or another broadcaster will report on television or radio. News broadcast analysts are typically experts in a specific area outside of journalism, such as sports or politics. They often broadcast commentaries and opinions about the news rather than reporting the news itself. Read on to learn more about common educational paths for entering this career field, and find out about the career outlook in the chart below.

Broadcast News Analysts Reporters and Correspondents
Degree Required Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Broadcasting, mass communication, journalism Broadcasting, mass communication, journalism
Key Responsibilities Report important information to the public via TV, newspapers, websites or radio on a national, local, or international level Collect information and interviews, assemble facts and deliver information during a news broadcast
Job Growth (2014-2024)* -13% -8%
Median Salary (2015)* $65,530 $36,360

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Profile for News Broadcasters

With on-air experience and skills, news broadcasters can be generalists who research and report any and all stories, or they can specialize in a specific topic or segment of the news. Sports, weather, business or politics are possible areas of expertise for news broadcasters. News broadcasters work from the studio while reporters and correspondents help to assemble the facts, interviews, audio sound bytes and video footage for their reports. Broadcast professionals often work irregular hours in a hectic environment, but the scope of responsibilities and opportunities hinges on the size of the station and the population that station reaches.

Educational Requirements

Bachelor's degrees in journalism, broadcasting or mass communications are possible paths toward a news broadcasting position. Although over 500 schools offer such degrees, just 111 are accredited. These programs teach writing, reporting, editing, production, ethics, law and history as it connects to the news. However, a diploma is not a ticket to automatic success in broadcasting. News broadcasters must develop key skills and personality traits, such as leadership abilities, reporting acumen, curiosity, rapport with viewers, aggressiveness, energy, experience with technology, intelligence, passion and the ability to work under pressure.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

Between 2014 to 2024, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports an 8 percent decrease in jobs for news broadcasters, correspondents, and reporters (www.bls.gov). The reason for the decrease is declining advertising revenue for television, radio, and print media. Additionally, declining print readership and television viewing and an increase in online readership assists in the career's negative outlook (www.bls.gov).

The BLS reports news broadcasters working as analysts had median earnings of $65,530 in May 2015. The bottom ten percent earned under $27,370, while the top ten percent earned over $187,200. The BLS also reports correspondents and reporters earned a median salary of $36,360. The bottom ten percent earned $21,390 or less, while the top ten percent earned $81,580 or more.

Professional Organizations

An important part of any career is networking and associating with peers in your chosen industry. Professional organizations such as the National Association of Broadcasters (www.nab.org) and the Radio and Television Digital News Association (www.rtdna.org) allow newcomers and seasoned professionals to engage in networking and information sharing events, such as conferences and awards ceremonies.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Much of the research that goes into understanding the background of a story is very similar to what authors and writers will do when researching to make their stories believable. When putting scripts together and preparing them for broadcast, news broadcasters may use many of the same skills used by editor when preparing manuscripts. When it comes to the final broadcast of the news there are a number of related careers, including announcers and meteorologists. Announcers primarily work in radio broadcasting and announce music, sporting events and the news. Meteorologist study weather patterns, make predictions and then broadcast those predictions via television or radio.

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