Broadcast Journalism

Broadcast journalism is a challenging career that can involve working under deadlines or prying information from reluctant sources. You can pursue a career in front of the cameras or choose to work behind the scenes. Read on to discover if broadcast journalism is a good fit for you.

Is Broadcast Journalism for Me?

Career Overview

Broadcast journalism includes the gathering, writing, producing and transmitting news and other information through audio and visual media. Broadcast journalists traditionally reported news or sports on TV and radio, but technological advances have expanded that platform to include the Internet and mobile devices.

As a broadcast journalist, you'll perform research and interview sources to gather information for stories. Your duties might include reporting live on location or your stories could be recorded and aired later. You'll record voiceovers and edit interviews when preparing stories. Some broadcast journalists work behind the scenes manipulating recording devices, cameras and other technical equipment. Working as a broadcast news analyst, your duties could include explaining the significance of news topics to the audience.

Career Options

Broadcast journalism includes careers in radio and TV announcing, programming and directing. Common broadcast journalism job titles include reporter, editor, news analyst, producer, newscaster, program director, Web news editor and documentary maker.

Employment Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that jobs for broadcast news analysts would decline 2% between 2012 and 2022. Employment opportunities for reporters and correspondents, a category including both print and broadcast journalists, were projected to drop 14% between 2012 and 2022. Job openings will be limited due to a decline in audiences for TV news and newspapers, as well as mergers of news organizations, the BLS said.

According to the BLS, as of May 2013, broadcast news analysts earned a median yearly salary of $60,470. Reporters and correspondents for print and broadcast media outlets received median annual pay of $35,600.

Required Skills

Successful broadcast journalists need tenacity to pursue difficult stories and the ability to communicate both orally and in writing. You must feel comfortable working under a tight deadline. Other career-boosting traits include the abilities to build rapport with sources and to work as part of a news team when necessary.

How Can I Work in Broadcast Journalism?

Education

The majority of employers favor hiring broadcast journalists who possess a bachelor's degree in journalism or communications, according to the BLS. Completing an internship while earning your degree may help you find entry-level work.

Bachelor's degree programs in broadcast journalism typically teach journalism basics as well as multimedia skills. In addition to broadcasting, you might learn the technical tasks needed behind the scenes at radio and TV organizations. You could study broadcast production, announcing and writing. Your broadcast journalism coursework may include communication theory, media law, computer-assisted reporting, media ethics, videography and public affairs journalism.

You can also gain hands-on experience in addition to classroom studies during the degree program. You may create live or recorded broadcasts while working on local news and information programs or at school-owned TV and radio stations.

A master's degree is the most prevalent graduate degree for aspiring broadcast journalists. You can even choose a master's degree program that prepares you for a specific career in the industry, such as a broadcast sports journalist.

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