What do Reporters and Correspondents Do?
Have you ever considered a career in the media or entertainment industry? Do you enjoy learning about or discussing important world events? If you answered yes to both of these questions, you may want to consider becoming a reporter or correspondent. Reporters collect and analyze facts about “newsworthy” events and present them to the public. They report on a wide range of issues such as politics, community events, entertainment news, and public concerns. Reporters may work for local, regional, or national television and radio networks.
Reporters and Correspondents Skills and Abilities
First and foremost, reporters must have the ability to speak clearly and communicate important information to the general public. Reporters should feel comfortable traveling to different environments, and many workers in this industry become foreign correspondents. Since you will be presenting information using a variety of media outlets, the ability to stay calm and composed during news segments is needed. This is not a career for camera-shy or reserved individuals, and the ability to convey information in a captivating manner is highly beneficial.
Reporters and Correspondents Duties
The primary function of a reporter is to inform the general public about relevant local, national, and world events. Reporters usually receive assignments or generate leads in order to develop story ideas. Workers in this field are also responsible for researching stories and determining whether or not they are true. Unlike reporters, correspondents are often sent abroad to report news from foreign countries. Many reporters perform interviews with celebrities and prominent figures, and some may even specialize in a specific “field” such as politics, economics, or entertainment. They may also be asked to:
- Edit video or audio recordings
- Operate video cameras
- Monitor important trends
- Write and edit material
- Analyze information obtained from reliable sources
Reporters and Correspondents Tools and Technology
Desktop and notebook computers are commonly used to research, organize, and store material. Word processing programs and other editing programs are used to write stories create videos. Cameras record events and interviews, so reporters should feel comfortable operating them. Basic office devices such as phones, faxes, and printers are employed daily by reporters when communicating with coworkers, superiors, and others.
Education and Training for Reporters and Correspondents
Entering into this field does require a college-level education. Roughly 63% of reporters and correspondents held a bachelor’s degree, and 19% held a master’s degree. Reporters usually receive 3-5 years of education, and take classes in communications, journalism, and media studies. Many reporters start out in behind-the-scenes positions before stepping in front of the camera. Although this industry does require a formal education, it does not require advanced degrees, so this could be an option for someone looking to quickly enter the workforce.
Reporters and Correspondents Salary
The median annual wage for this career is $36,000, with almost 10% of reporters earning in excess of $90,000. Salaries vary from place to place, and more prominent networks pay larger salaries. There was a 1.6% increase in wages over the last year for workers in this field. Reporters employed by special organizations earned the highest wages. Those employed by newspapers and publishing companies earned the lowest.
Reporters and Correspondents Jobs by Geography
The states of California, New York, and Florida employed the largest numbers of reporters in the country. Washington, D.C., New York, and Rhode Island offered the highest wages to workers in this industry. The New York City metro area is the top paying urban area in the country for reporters. There are currently over 42,000 Americans employed as reporters or correspondents, and there was a 2.4% increase in employment levels over the previous year.