News Reporter

News reporters work as a part of team including analysts, correspondents, and researchers to share the news with television news and radio listeners. Reporters investigate relevant story leads, examine relevant documents and data, monitor events and conduct interviews. Some reporters write their own material while others have assistance from researchers, writers and editors.

News reporters spend part of their time in the field, even filing stories remotely via laptops and phones. They also work in offices following up on calls, compiling researched material and writing detailed news reports and stories. A news reporter may be employed by a television, radio station, newspaper or online organization.

News reporters generally hold at least a bachelor’s degree in a related area, and some reporters hold multiple degrees in specialty areas such as finance, economics or political science. Typically, a news reporter candidate should earn a bachelor’s degree in a relevant area of study, such as journalism or communications.

A master’s or doctorate in journalism provides for greater job opportunities and higher levels of income. Fluency in a commonly spoken foreign language is generally seen as a plus in this industry.

News Reporter Job Description

News reporters start with an idea or lead and follow it through until the story is reported or abandoned. Investigative news reporters examine current issues, sometimes even working alongside police and other professionals. These reporters research background information, conduct interviews and report on the situation.

General assignment news reporters cover almost any pertinent issue. They may have news leads assigned to them or have the opportunity to explore their own ideas. Other reporters specialize in certain areas such as politics, crime, foreign affairs or business news. These specialty reporters often have career experience and/or education in these areas.

News reporters are responsible for many different job tasks including:

  • Following up on leads
  • Networking with other professionals to gain leads, information and interview opportunities
  • Researching data and documents
  • Attending and observing events
  • Conducting interviews
  • Conferring and planning with other news team members
  • Reporting the news

Some news reporters are required to act quickly and respond immediately to events as they occur. Other reporters may spend weeks or even months investigating a particular lead and creating a relevant news story.

News Reporter Salary

The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that while competition is expected to remain keen in large metropolitan areas, other opportunities will become available through smaller local news and online organizations. Due to economic conditions and the consolidation of publishing and news organizations, this profession is expected to experience a slight decline, about 6% in job opportunities through 2018.

According to the Department of Labor, salaries in this industry vary greatly depending on employers and locale. In general, the average salary for a news reporter is almost $35,000 annually. Salaries range from over $20,000 to around $54,000 per year, with a small number of news reporters earning in excess of $77,000.

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