News Reporter Job Description
News Reporters collect and analyze information of interest, including crime, government and breaking news, and broadcast it to the public through newspapers, television, radio and the Internet. They gather information, write coverage, conduct interviews, report on-air and edit broadcasts. News Reporters often cover specific beats, such as education, and may work independently or with a team of other reporters, typically under the direction of an editor or producer.
The news media industry is in a period of transition, and jobs for News Reporters are declining. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a decline of 9 percent in employment of Reporters, Correspondents and Broadcast News Analysts from 2014 to 2024.
News Reporter Duties and Responsibilities
To accomplish their primary goal of broadcasting current and accurate information to consumers, News Reporters perform many tasks. We analyzed several job listings to identify these core News Reporter duties and responsibilities.
Gather and Write News
News Reporters collect information on assigned topics to report accurate and timely news. They talk to sources, follow-up on leads, and do research to be as well informed as possible. They fact-check their findings, then write them up in an article for printing or a script to be read on-air.
In broadcasting, News Reporters are filmed or recorded presenting the news. They may be recorded in a studio or in the field, depending on the story. They usually read off of a script, but also must be knowledgeable about the topic that they are reporting on.
A key component of a News Reporter’s job is to conduct interviews. These may be broadcast live, or pre-recorded and edited. The News Reporter must have done research in advance and be prepared to to ask pointed and interesting question of the interview subject.
News Reporters are tasked with generating new and interesting news stories to cover. They must always be looking for unique, relevant and urgent topics to bring to the public, and investigating interesting new angles of stories that have already been covered.
News Reporter Skills
Inquisitive, outgoing and driven, successful News Reporters are curious to find out as much as they can about any given topic and share it with the public. They are driven and persistent, and have excellent interpersonal skills and strong ethics. In addition to these general skills and personality traits, employers are seeking News Reporter candidates with the following skills.
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want News Reporters with these core skills. If you want to work as a News Reporter, focus on the following.
- Strong writing skills, and ability to convey information in a clear, concise and conversational manner
- Excellent live reporting skills and strong on-camera presentation skills
- Able to work a flexible schedule, including nights and weekends
- Ability to interact professionally and build relationships and sources
- Ability to shoot and edit digital video
- Strong research skills, including the ability to navigate online search engines
- Excellent understanding of Associated Press style
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your News Reporter toolbox and broaden your career options.
- Anchoring Experience
- Social Media experience
- Multimedia experience
- Bilingual in English and Spanish
News Reporter Resources
We searched the Web to find the best industry resources to help you continue exploring a career as a News Reporters. From thought leaders to industry groups, this list is packed with opportunities to learn, connect and engage.
On the Web
Journalist’s Toolbox – Links to all of the most useful online resources available to News Reporters.
Common Sense Journalism – A former broadcaster, reporter and editor provides insights into a journalism career.
AP Industry News – Keep up-to-date on the latest in the media news from this globally respected news leader.
Online Reporters – Network with over 50,000 professionals who create and edit content for online news sources.
Society of Professional Journalists – Access a huge library of resources for journalism professionals.
The Poynter Institute for Media Studies – Take a high-quality online workshop in journalism, or read up on journalism-related research.
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press – Offers many useful tools for News Reporters, including a Freedom of Information Act letter generator.
News Reporters Books
Melvin Mencher’s News Reporting and Writing – Learn the fundamentals of reporting and writing and the main theories of the practice of journalism.
Television News: A Handbook for Reporting, Writing, Shooting, Editing and Producing – A helpful guide that covers all facets of television news reporting
Associated Press Stylebook – The definitive style guide that all News Reporters will be expected to follow to the letter.
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