Press Reporter Courses and Degrees

Press reporters research current events and communicate news to the public using writing and presentation skills. Undergraduate and graduate degree programs train you in the art of journalism and prepare you to enter the profession. Read on to learn more. Schools offering Digital Marketing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

As an aspiring press reporter, you'll learn how to gather, write and edit news for a variety of media, including newspapers, magazines, television, radio or Internet-based news programs. If you want to become a press reporter, it's important to get hands-on bachelor's-level education that prepares you for a competitive job market.

Courses Journalism law and ethics; article writing; reporting for print and broadcast; research methods
DegreesBachelor's degree in a field like journalism, broadcasting, communications or media arts; graduate degrees are widely available
Salary (2017 Median) $39,370 for all reporters and correspondents

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Degree Can I Earn to Become a Press Reporter?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, you'll typically need a bachelor's degree to start a career as a press reporter (www.bls.gov). Several schools offer bachelor's degree programs in journalism, communications or broadcasting. However, you might find that a liberal arts or professional major with practical experience in journalism may provide you with sufficient education to become a press reporter. For example, if your interests lie in politics and journalism, majoring in political science with a minor in broadcasting might be your ticket to covering local, state or federal news for a broadcast, print or online news outlet.

What About Graduate Degrees?

Many graduate degree programs exist in journalism and mass communications that can help press reporters. A Master of Arts in Journalism might be a good option for students who have already completed their bachelor's degree and want to study a specialization. For example, a professional development track may be available with elective courses in health journalism and international journalism. A Research and Theory Master's program might be available in addition to a Professional Master's program offered through journalism and communications departments. These programs are designed to help students learn the most up-to-date skills in order to compete in the communications market. Students can also enroll in a Doctor of Philosophy in Journalism and Mass Communication as a research-based program. A Doctor of Philosophy in Information and Media may also be available.

What Courses Will I Take?

If you major or minor in broadcasting or journalism, you'll usually gain hands-on experience reporting and working behind-the-scenes through student-run news outlets. You'll typically study the following topics:

  • Column writing
  • Community journalism
  • Editing and proofreading
  • Health and science reporting
  • Journalism law and ethics
  • Television and radio announcing
  • Media industries and trends
  • Multi-media writing
  • Visual design
  • Broadcast news writing
  • Digital journalism

How Should I Choose a School?

Look for schools that include training on radio and video production tools, editing equipment and other technologies you'll use on the job. You can also gain valuable experience by selecting a school that offers internships or on-campus, student-run newspaper, radio, television and Internet news reporting.

You'll find that programs with small class sizes help you get adequate attention from instructors. When looking for postgraduate employment, some companies may prefer to hire graduates of programs accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.

What Kind of Job Could I Get?

Press reporters are used in every form of news media, employed to research news stories and report on current events. As a press reporter or journalist, you'll gather information through research, interviews and information you observe by being on the scene. You can choose to become a broadcast journalist, reporting from the scenes of news events or editing your audio and video recordings back to a studio. You could also be a print reporter, writing your stories from interviews and observations and submitting your article to an editor for publication.

You might be given general news assignments or have a particular specialty that you write about consistently. You could focus on visual journalism, telling news stories through photos and video. You might choose to become an investigative journalist, creating informative reports from information gathered over days, weeks or months. Whatever avenue you opt for in your career, your job will typically involve irregular hours and some travel.

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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