Radio reporters gather and share news stories with listeners, often through live broadcasts. Unlike their colleagues in television, radio reporters have to rely on what is heard rather than what is seen. What a radio reporter says and how it is said often determines the value of the news report. Radio reporting also offers immediate, on-the-spot opportunities requiring professionals who can react immediately.
Within a larger radio station, reporters may be assigned to specific topics such as entertainment, sports or breaking news. Smaller stations hire reporters to generally cover all types of news.
Radio reporting is a highly competitive market and education can provide a distinct employment advantage. Most reporters earn at least a bachelor’s degree in broadcast communication or journalism. A master’s degree in communication or journalism may also prove beneficial.
Volunteering or interning while earning a degree can provide essential industry experience and make a candidate more appealing.
Radio reporters develop story ideas, perform research, interview people, write their stories and broadcast reports. Some stories require time and development while others occur quickly and demand an immediate response. Most radio reporters begin working in smaller markets and work their way up to larger, more prominent stations.
Radio broadcast professionals must write well, possess strong research skills and speak articulately. They often have to think on their feet when covering a breaking story. Uniquely, radio reporters only have their voice to reach their audience, so they often use sound effects and other audio techniques to hold the listening audience’s attention.
Radio reporters may complete any of the following tasks:
Reporting on the radio requires objectivity while presenting the facts to a listener.
According to the Department of Labor, the average salary for a radio reporter is about $38,000. The salary range for radio reporters is from around $26,000 to $52,000 annually. The size of the listening market, education level and the amount of experience affect the overall salary rate.