How Do You Become a Broadcast Journalist?

Broadcast JournalismIf you’ve always dreamed of working in front of the camera to report late-breaking news, then there are several steps you can take to successfully become a broadcast journalist. Often called newscasters or anchors, broadcast journalists inform the public on new developments occurring in the local community, state, country, and globe. Broadcast journalism focuses on keeping people updated on current news events, according to the College Board. Most will either read the news off a teleprompter, report live on-scene, or write their own scripts for interviewing people of interest. Whether broadcast journalists specialize in television, radio, or Internet multimedia, the field is competitive. Follow this step-by-step guide to have the greatest chance of reaching your goal to become a broadcast journalist.

Earn an Accredited Bachelor’s Degree

The majority of news agencies will require that broadcast journalists have a four-year bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college. Most successful newscasters are educated with an undergraduate major in journalism, broadcast journalism, communications, or interactive media. Those looking to specialize in government commentary could benefit from a political science degree too. Journalism programs will cover the basics in researching stories, conducting interviews, and ethically publishing news. In today’s digital world, taking electives in web design, coding, and programming could be valuable to create mobile news content.

Complete an Internship Program

Undergraduates must market themselves as broadcast journalists by completing at least one for-credit internship during college. Many internships are unpaid, but they provide ample hands-on work experience in broadcast journalism that’s invaluable. Internships are usually found at television stations, radio shows, and Internet media outlets. You’ll learn how to edit, produce, research, and write exciting stories that pique the audience’s interest. Working for your college’s on-campus TV or radio station is also recommended.

Find a Broadcast Journalism Job

Since declining revenue has forced many news stations to downsize, locating a broadcast journalism job is perhaps the toughest step. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the employment of broadcast news analysts will drop two percent through 2022. Gaining a competitive edge over other journalism graduates is essential. Visit your school’s Career Services department for help building your resume. Show off your modern skills by gaining experience in online broadcast technology and podcasting. If needed, relocate to a bigger city where the media market has more ample job openings.

Consider Attending Graduate School

Although this step isn’t required, you may want to consider solidifying your professional competence with a master’s degree. Many accredited graduate schools offer Master of Science (M.S.) programs in broadcast journalism. One of the biggest benefits to earning a master’s degree is the ability to select a specialization, such as photojournalism, public policy, economics, international news, or sports reporting. Building a niche can make you more marketable in an unfortunately shrinking field. Graduate students also can interact with more experienced journalists for reaping long-lasting connections and potential job offers.

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Successfully becoming a broadcast journalist will require the right balance of classroom learning and real-world experience. Choosing this career can be risky due to fierce competition, but it can pay off for gifted storytellers devoted to covering news. Broadcast journalists bring home an average yearly salary of $45,800. When you follow these steps to become a broadcast journalist, you’ll be on track to convey important facts to the public through television, radio, and print media.