Reporter: Career Information

A television news reporter files a live report. DreamPictures / Stockbyte / Getty Images

Job Description:

A reporter, also called a journalist, investigates and delivers news stories. He or she conducts interviews, observes events and does research to get all the facts about a story after getting a lead or tip. Then the reporter either writes up the story which will be published in a newspaper or on a website or reports the story on air on a television or radio broadcast.

Employment Facts:

There were 62,000 reporters employed in 2008.

Educational Requirements:

Most employers prefer to hire reporters who have a bachelor's degree in journalism or mass communications. Others are willing to hire job candidates who have other degrees.

Other Requirements:

Reporters must be computer proficient as they are often responsible for all aspects of producing a news story. Because they do a lot of research, they must be familiar with online databases. Reporters in entry-level jobs must also have knowledge of news photography.

Advancement Opportunities:

A reporter usually starts his or her career covering court proceedings and meetings or writing obituaries before moving on to more difficult assignments. Some eventually specialize in a specific field like business or politics. Many who work for smaller publications or television stations move on to larger ones.

Job Outlook:

There will be a moderate decline in employment growth for reporters through 2018 with keen competition for jobs in large metropolitan areas and with national newspapers, networks and magazines.


Reporters earned a median annual salary of $34,360 in 2009.

Use the Salary Wizard at to find out how much a reporter currently earns in your city.


A Day in a Reporter's Life:


On a typical day a reporter's tasks might include:

  • interviewing sources to get more information about a story
  • reading documents, doing research in print and online sources
  • videotaping stories
  • writing stories
  • taking photographs

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Reporters Correspondents, and Broadcast News Analysts on the Internet at (visited April 14, 2011).
Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET Online, Reporter, on the Internet at (visited April 14, 2011).

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