Broadcast journalists, also known as broadcast news analysts, news anchors, or newscasters, analyze and report news stories and information on radio or television. They gather sources, conduct interviews, and perform other research to compile a story to present to the viewing or listening public.
Broadcast journalists may also edit other writers’ work, determine which stories are appropriate for the air, and organize material for presentation. At larger news stations, broadcast journalists often specialize in one area.
Along with strong written and oral communication skills, an aspiring broadcast journalist should also have a great eye for detail and excellent critical thinking and analytical reasoning abilities.
The willingness to relocate is crucial for a career in broadcast journalism.
Entry-level jobs in broadcast journalism require at least an associate degree, preferably in journalism. More often, however, employers require a bachelor’s or master’s degree in broadcasting, journalism, communications, English, or similar discipline, especially through a program approved by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.
Coursework in broadcast journalism programs include broadcast news production, investigative production, journalism ethics, news writing, video editing, and photojournalism.
Many employers prefer experience to providing on-the-job training; aspiring broadcast journalists can gain such experience in college or local radio stations, newspapers, and television studios.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that median annual wages of broadcast news analysts in May 2008 were $51,260 with the middle 50% earning between $32,000 and $88,630.
The U.S. Department of Labor predicts fierce competition, especially in urban areas. Those with a degree in broadcasting, journalism, communications, or related subject plus experience should see the best opportunities.