International and local events are reported to audiences, on radio or television, by professionals called newscasters who are also commonly referred to as news anchors or news analysts. Newscasters employed with larger stations are often required to focus on reporting on specific aspects of news that are broadcast across the country or within the local area. While a bachelor degree in journalism is the most commonly held qualification by a majority of newscasters, some employed in the profession hold master degrees in the area of specialization. In this article, we will present a stage-wise guide for an aspiring newscaster to use to map a career path in this field.
Stage One: Earn Bachelor Degree
Employers usually require a prospective newscaster to hold a bachelor degree in mass communications or journalism. Broadcast journalism is an area of specialization offered in a majority of degree courses in mass communications or journalism that students seek to complete before pursuing a career as a newscaster. Coursework in such programs includes basic knowledge of investigative reporting, broadcast journalism, reporting and interviewing. The curriculum often includes an internship. Several programs require students to complete final projects in which every student has to simulate the reporting of a live story to an audience.
Stage Two: Get Work Experience
It is in the best interest of prospective newscasters to take part in broadcasting and journalism activities whenever possible during their school tenure. An internship with the campus television or radio station is a route that many students take; alternatively, they can consider completing an internship with a local news agency or station. The contacts formed through networking with professors or joining professional organizations or student clubs will help them get employed.
Stage Three: Develop Professionalism
A large audience is expected to feel more comfortable with newscasters and find them appealing if they exhibit a level of professionalism. For instance, an audience prefers a professionally groomed and dressed television newscaster who is approachable and maintains a neutral stance. Professionalism demands that newscasters speak in a clear and accurate manner. A newscaster is expected to remain comfortable in front of interviewees and large audiences, so they will not ruin an interview by slipping up.
Stage Four: Start News Casting Work
Once they have completed the required educational programs and garnered experience in the field, majority of newscasters start working at broadcast stations in their area. Several newscasters take their first crucial steps in the career when they are assigned basic reporting jobs that lead to future anchor desk assignments. Once they have sufficient experience, newscasters can expect to receive radio or television job offers by broadcasting stations.
Stage Five: Pursue Advanced Education
Newscasters are not required to have more than a bachelor degree to get employed, but getting a master degree in the field will not only helps them improve their journalistic skills, it will enhance their career growth potential. Some prospective newscasters seek master degrees in other areas of specialization such as business, politics or economics.