How to Become a News Broadcaster in 5 Steps

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

What Does News Broadcaster Do?

News broadcasters make a living by communicating current events and breaking news to a local, national and international audience. Their job is to research and report on news in a manner that can be clearly understood by the public, often utilizing analytical and investigative skills by carrying out interviews or ensuring that both sides of a story are presented. News broadcasters transmit their information through television, radio and online formats, with most broadcasters working primarily for a single company or media organization as a news anchor. As well as having strong communication and interpersonal skills, news broadcasters need to be able to respond quickly to new information and think on their feet, as the nature of their jobs means that they are often broadcasting live.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Journalism; mass communication; speech and broadcasting
Key Responsibilities Present news, sports and weather to the public; prepare news scripts; field interviews
Job Growth (2014-2024) -9% (for all reporters, correspondents and broadcast news analysts)*
Mean Annual Salary (2015) $89,240 (for all broadcast news analysts)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What is a News Broadcaster?

News broadcasters inform the public about any current events that are happening on a local, national or global level. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employers typically select candidates with a bachelor's degree in a mass media-related program (www.bls.gov). Additionally, large stations and newspaper publishers usually show preference to candidates with degrees in majors such as economics or political science.

Step 1: Research Career Duties and Education Requirements

Working as a news broadcaster involves presenting headline news, stories and updates to viewers. You may perform your own investigative work to find out news information or use work compiled by news reporters. Working in the field to conduct interviews may also be a part of your responsibilities.

Other aspects of your work would involve organizing your research into a script and then presenting your work on television, over the radio or Internet. You may either tape reports in advance or broadcast live from the newsroom. You may also choose to work in an area of specialty such as sports or weather broadcasting.

Step 2: Take Part in a High School or Youth Journalism Program

Working with your high school television or radio station can help build your writing and reporting skills. If your high school doesn't offer these services, you may be able to join a local youth broadcasting program, such as the High School Journalism Initiative. Additionally, high school subjects such as oral communication, music and theatre can help prepare you for a career in news broadcasting.

Step 3: Choose an Accredited Program

Attending a college or university that offers accredited journalism programs can ensure that the education you receive meets a standard of quality. Doing this can also improve your hiring potential, as employers typically seek candidates with degrees from accredited institutions. You can search for accredited programs on the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication website.

Step 4: Complete a Degree Program

A bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism or mass communications is a common degree program for this career. Completing a bachelor's program can help strengthen your investigating, reporting and writing skills as well as teach you how to produce and deliver news using various media outlets. Courses offered that are beneficial to perform the duties of a news broadcaster include news gathering and reporting, broadcast writing and speech.

Step 5: Develop Your Skills Through an Internship Program

The BLS predicts few new job opportunities for news broadcasters from 2014 through 2024. Therefore, first-time job seekers will need to find a way to stand out. You can do this by submitting a strong audition video tape that demonstrates your ability to speak clearly, informatively and creatively.

These skills are often acquired by working as an intern at a college television, radio station or other mass media establishment. The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF) offers a 2-year fellowship where you can participate in a hands-on internship or leadership development program.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are many other positions within the media that are similar to a news broadcaster and require a similar level of education. Film and video editors also work to cover breaking news, although their responsibilities are to maintain and manage the technical aspects of broadcasting. Announcers and commentators, such as those that narrate sports events, also have to adapt quickly to changing situations and report on them accordingly, skills that can be acquired over the course of a journalism degree program. Students who are particularly interested in the communications aspect of broadcasting may want to consider becoming public relations specialists, as these professionals oversee a great deal of media content.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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