Is becoming a news reporter right for me?
The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:
Still unsure if becoming a news reporter is the right career path? Take the free CareerExplorer career test to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a news reporter or another similar career!
Described by our users as being “shockingly accurate”, you might discover careers you haven’t thought of before.
How to become a News Reporter
Becoming a news reporter involves a combination of education, experience, and skills. Here are the steps you can follow to become a news reporter:
- Earn a Bachelor's Degree: While a journalism degree is not always required to become a news reporter, it can be beneficial to have a degree in journalism, broadcast journalism, communications, or a related field. This will provide you with a strong foundation in the principles of journalism and the skills necessary for reporting, writing, and editing.
- Build Your Writing Skills: Writing is a fundamental skill for a news reporter. It is essential to develop strong writing skills to craft compelling and informative stories that will engage your audience. Take writing courses, practice writing every day, and seek feedback from mentors or professors to improve your writing.
- Gain Experience: One of the most important aspects of becoming a news reporter is gaining experience. Start by working for your college newspaper, intern at a news outlet or a journalism organization, and look for opportunities to write for local publications. Build a portfolio of your work to demonstrate your skills and experience to potential employers.
- Develop Multimedia Skills: In today's digital age, multimedia skills are becoming increasingly important for news reporters. Learn how to create and edit videos, record and edit audio, and take photographs to supplement your written stories.
- Build a Network: Networking is essential in the world of journalism. Attend events and conferences, join professional organizations, and seek out mentors in the field. Build relationships with editors and reporters, and let them know you are interested in working in the field.
- Apply for Jobs: When you feel confident in your skills and experience, start applying for jobs. Look for opportunities at local news outlets, radio stations, or TV stations. Be prepared to start in an entry-level position and work your way up.
- Stay Informed: As a news reporter, it is essential to stay up to date on current events and trends in the industry. Follow news outlets, read industry publications, and continue learning to stay relevant and informed.
Organizations and Associations
The following are just a few examples of the many associations and organizations that exist for news reporters. Depending on a journalist's area of focus or interests, there are likely to be many other groups that could be helpful in supporting their career. Here are some examples:
- Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ): This is one of the largest and oldest organizations for journalists in the United States. It advocates for press freedom, ethical journalism practices, and supports the professional development of journalists.
- National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ): This organization is dedicated to supporting and advocating for Black journalists and media professionals, promoting diversity in newsrooms, and fostering the education and career development of its members.
- Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE): This is a nonprofit organization that provides training, resources, and support for investigative journalists. It offers a variety of workshops, conferences, and online resources to help reporters improve their skills and stay on top of industry trends.
- Online News Association (ONA): This organization is focused on advancing digital journalism and supporting the professionals who produce it. It offers networking opportunities, training programs, and resources to help journalists navigate the fast-changing digital landscape.
- National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ): This organization promotes the recognition and advancement of Hispanic journalists in the United States, provides training and support for its members, and advocates for diversity in newsrooms.
- Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA): This organization promotes diversity in newsrooms and supports Asian American and Pacific Islander journalists through training, mentorship, and networking opportunities.
- National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA): This organization advocates for fair and accurate coverage of LGBTQ+ issues and supports LGBTQ+ journalists through training, networking, and scholarships.
- Society for News Design (SND): This organization is focused on promoting excellence in visual journalism, including graphic design, illustration, and photography. It offers training and networking opportunities for visual journalists and hosts an annual design competition.
- Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM): This organization supports women who work in sports journalism, offering networking opportunities, career advice, and advocacy for equal representation in sports media.
- Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA): This organization represents news professionals in broadcast and digital journalism and advocates for ethical journalism practices, freedom of the press, and professional development for its members.
Here are some online resources for news reporters:
- AP Stylebook - A widely used reference guide for news writers and journalists. It provides guidelines on grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage.
- Reuters Handbook of Journalism - A comprehensive guide for journalists that covers the basics of news gathering, writing, and editing.
- Poynter Institute - A non-profit organization that offers a wide range of resources for journalists, including news and analysis, training programs, and professional development courses.
- The Society of Professional Journalists - A professional organization for journalists that offers resources on ethical standards, newsroom diversity, and legal issues.
- Nieman Lab - A publication from the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University that covers the latest developments in journalism, including new technologies and trends.
- Columbia Journalism Review - A magazine that provides analysis and criticism of the media industry, as well as in-depth reporting on current events.
- News University - An online training and professional development platform for journalists, with courses on writing, reporting, and multimedia journalism.
- Muck Rack - A platform that connects journalists with sources and provides tools for tracking and analyzing social media activity.
- MediaShift - An online publication that covers the intersection of media and technology, with a focus on innovation and new business models.
- The Online News Association - A professional organization for digital journalists that provides resources on the latest tools and technologies, as well as networking opportunities and training programs.