Television Journalist: Career, Outlook and Education Info

Explore the career requirements for television journalists. Get the facts about educational requirements, salary, job outlook and responsibilities 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 Television Journalist?

Television journalists collect and report news on-camera. Journalists that work as correspondents or reporters will often be conducting interviews and delivering the news, sometimes in a live format. Some reporters work in the field and must report and edit stories to be aired later on television. Journalists may also be broadcast analysts, which differs from a reporter in that they may be asked to provide their own opinion and analysis on a particular news story. The following chart shows an overview of what you may want to know about becoming a television journalist.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Journalism with broadcast emphasis or broadcast journalism
Key Responsibilities Reporters and correspondents collect and report news; analysts give commentaries on news
Job Growth (2014-2024) -13%, broadcast analysts
-8%, reporters and correspondents*
Average Salary (2015) $89,240, broadcast analysts
$46,560, reporters and correspondents*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will Be My Job Duties as a Television Journalist?

Television journalists gather facts and information about new and developing news situations, structure the information into coherent stories and present the stories for broadcast. Your exact duties will vary depending on whether you're a reporter or an analyst. As a broadcast analyst you conduct research into ongoing stories at the local, state, national or international level, derive an original interpretation of a story based on your research and experience, and write, edit and deliver your commentary.

As a reporter or correspondent covering breaking news you travel to the scene of the event, interview witnesses and local authorities, take notes, determine the length and emphasis of your story and deliver your report. You might also write news copy, correct factual and grammatical errors and conduct research. Your reports might cover a particular area or beat, such as politics, education, crime or business.

What Jobs Could I Hold?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), far more television journalists were employed as reporters and correspondents than broadcast analysts. However, both types of journalists were anticipated to see a drop in employment from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). The number of jobs for reporters and correspondents is projected to go down by 8%, and the employment of analysts is projected to decrease by around 13% during this timeframe.

As of 2015, the BLS indicated that reporters earned an average annual salary of $46,560, and broadcast analysts made about $89,240 per year. You will encounter the strongest competition for jobs in large urban areas, while more opportunities may be available with TV stations in smaller broadcast markets. Streaming online media is currently seeing the fastest growth and is likely to provide new employment opportunities.

What Education Should I Consider?

A bachelor's degree in journalism with a broadcasting emphasis would be a good match for your career objective. Many such programs are offered at 4-year colleges and universities. Broadcast journalism programs teach you theories of mass communication and broadcast production technology, and also provide you with the skills to write and present news in a broadcast medium. Other course topics might include broadcasting history, media law and production methods. Many programs include an internship.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

For individuals who are interested in television news and journalism but may want to work behind the camera, there are a number of jobs in editing, producing, camerawork, and sound engineering that are all key to a successful television news broadcast. Those with a scientific mind may wish to work as meteorologists and report the weather, which would require them to earn a different or additional degree.

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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