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Career Profile of a Broadcast Journalist

Job Descriptions November 30, 2012

Audiences rely on broadcast journalists to report the news to them through radio, internet and television. News stations receive live reports from journalists who choose to go to the scene to track news stories. Some others perform live broadcasts of stories from news studios. The work of a broadcast journalist involves working at odd hours because they follow up on leads to gather stories and broadcast them within tight deadlines.

Job Profile

Everyone gets to read and hear breaking news through the internet, radio and television from the efforts of broadcast journalists. Also, known as news anchors and newscasters, broadcast journalists work to ensure that the public obtain information about issues and community concerns that happen both in the country and within the state.

There are several areas of specialization — in different areas of news — for broadcast journalists to work in, such as politics, sports, arts and entertainment (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov)).

When broadcast journalists involved themselves in the filming of newscasts, they operate from studios. Typically, in a newscast session, a broadcast journalist is given paper scripts or news prompters to read the news off, even as they interact with other journalists present during a session. Sometimes, a newscast includes interviews by the journalists on celebrities and other people in the news. Journalists’ work involves examination of trending news subjects and writing of articles for inclusion in the newscast to follow.

Many broadcast journalists do field work as they strive to be on-scene and produce current news events as it happens to audiences. Such on-scene reportage is preceded by research conducted by broadcast journalists who seek to learn everything about the news event to allow them to ask probing questions. The on-scene reportage involves the participation of a film crew following the journalist and documenting them even as they conduct interviews of the people involved in the news event as well as spectators. Thereafter, the footage is turned by the journalist who peruses the footage and edits it into a news story that is ready for viewing by audiences.

Education Prerequisites

For an entry-level role in broadcast journalism, a bachelor degree in journalism or mass communications will serve (source: BLS). Recruiters in specialty fields, such as sports, seeking to recruit journalists will probably prefer to employ people who hold a bachelor degree in their chosen field of specialty. Journalism degree courses require students to complete coursework in a variety of areas including investigative reporting, media technology, communications law, and writing for the media. Journalists are required to gain real world experience as an essential component of the training process. Many journalism courses provide their students an opportunity to work with both the newspapers published at school and the news broadcasting stations ran by them. Students can join internship programs with national news broadcasters and their local counterparts.

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