So You Want to be a News Journalist
News journalists, analysts, and reporters collect prepare stories, collect relevant information, and make television, radio, and Internet broadcasts that tell the rest of the world about important news events. They sometimes also present their opinions about issues currently in the news.
As the 'fourth branch of government', journalists investigate and report about the doings of our public officials that you would otherwise not know about. This helps restrain any abuses of government power.
There are several types of jobs that are often referred to as news journalists.
News analysts interpret, examine, and broadcast news from numerous different places. The head journalist, also known as a news anchor, typically present stories and introduce taped reports or live breaking transmissions from other reporters who are one the scene.
At larger television stations newscasters will niche themselves so that they specialize in a particular type of news. For example, one person may report only about the weather or about sports.
Weather reporters give the public forecasted and current weather conditions. It is their responsibility to get and analyze information from different wire services, weather services, and bureaus. If you are interested in becoming a weather reporter you probably should also be trained as a meteorologist so that you have the authority to develop your own weather forecasts that others can rely on.
Sportscasters obviously write and cover news from the world of sports. This may include interviews with sports personalities and coverage of games and other sporting events.
News correspondents report on local news occurring where they are located.
General-assignment reporters are those who investigate and write about any events they, or their bosses, consider newsworthy.
The more experience you have the more control you will be in selecting the stories to be covered.
Many significant newspapers, radio services, and television stations will assign certain reporters to locate news stories about certain issues. This can include, for instance, education stories or crime stories.
Some general assignment reporters develop a specialty in particular fields such as business, sports, politics, theatre, health, foreign affairs, social events, etc.
Investigative reporters will try to cover all aspects of a story, and generally write a much longer piece than a regular news story. Often the story will be reported in chunks over several days.
It can take quite a long time to gather all of the information required for this type of story. On the other hand, the rewards can be significant as it is investigative reporters who are often nominated for industry-related awards and recognition.
Whatever your specific interest, being a news reporter can be a challenging, yet very rewarding profession. As with life itself, it is not dull, and chasing stories can take you to many interesting places and let me meet any interesting people.
About the Author: Kimberly Guilfoyle is an excellent example of how anyone can be a news reporter. She progressed from Victoria's Secret model to attorney to Fox news journalist.