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Reporter or Correspondent

Job Outlook: -10% (Decline)

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What News Analysts, Reporters, and Journalists Do About this section

news analysts, reporters, and journalists image
Those who work in television and radio set up and conduct interviews, which can be broadcast live or recorded for future broadcasts.

News analysts, reporters, and journalists keep the public updated about current events and noteworthy information. They report international, national, and local news for newspapers, magazines, websites, television, and radio.

Duties

News analysts, reporters, and journalists typically do the following:

  • Research topics that an editor or news director has assigned to them
  • Develop relationships with experts and contacts who provide tips and leads on stories or articles
  • Interview people who have information, analysis, or opinions about a story or article
  • Analyze and interpret information to increase audience understanding of the news
  • Write stories or articles for newspapers, magazines, or websites and create scripts to be read on television or radio
  • Review stories or articles for accuracy, style, and grammar
  • Update stories or articles as new information becomes available
  • Investigate new story or article ideas and pitch ideas to editors

News analysts, reporters, and journalists often work for a particular type of media organization, such as a television or radio station, newspaper, or website.

Those who work in television and radio set up and conduct interviews, which can be broadcast live or recorded for future broadcasts. These workers often edit interviews and other recordings to create a cohesive story or report, and they write and record voiceovers to provide the audience with supplementary facts or context. They may create multiple versions of the same story or report for different broadcasts or media platforms.

News analysts, reporters, and journalists for print media conduct interviews and write stories or articles to be used in newspapers, magazines, and online publications. Because most newspapers and magazines have print and online versions, these workers’ content typically appears in both versions. As a result, they must stay up to date with developments related to a content item and update the online version with current information, if necessary.

Outlets are increasingly relying on multimedia journalists to publish content on a variety of platforms, such as a video content on the website of a daily newspaper. Multimedia journalists typically record, report, write, and edit their own stories or articles. They also gather the audio, video, or graphics that accompany their content.

News analysts, reporters, and journalists may need to maintain a social media presence. Many use social media to cover live events, provide additional information for readers and viewers, promote their stations and newscasts, and engage with their audiences.

Some workers, particularly those in large cities or large news organizations, cover a particular topic, such as sports, medicine, or politics. Those who work in small cities, towns, or organizations may be generalists and cover a wide range of subjects.

Some news analysts, reporters, and journalists are self-employed and accept freelance assignments from news organizations. Because freelancers are paid for individual stories or articles, they may work with many organizations and spend some of their time marketing their content and looking for their next assignment. Self-employed news analysts, reporters, and journalists also may publish news and videos on their own platforms.

The following are examples of types of news analysts, reporters, and journalists:

Columnists write articles offering an opinion or perspective about a particular subject. They submit a piece to a publication, often on a schedule, such as once per week. Their work may be published in a newspaper, magazine, or other outlet or self-published on the columnist’s website.

Correspondents report the news to a radio or television network from a remote location. Those who cover international events, called foreign correspondents, often live in another country and report about a specific region of the world.

News anchors lead television or radio shows that describe current events. Others are news commentators who analyze and interpret reports and offer opinions. They may come from fields outside of journalism and have expertise in a particular subject, such as finance, and are hired on a contract basis to provide their opinion on that subject.

These workers also may collaborate with editors, photographers, videographers, and other reporters and journalists when working on an article or story.

For information about workers with a background in this field who teach journalism or communications at colleges and universities, see the profile on postsecondary teachers.

Work Environment About this section

news analysts, reporters, and journalists image
News analysts, reporters, and journalists spend a lot of time in the field, conducting interviews and investigating stories or articles.

News analysts, reporters, and journalists held about 47,100 jobs in 2021. The largest employers of news analysts, reporters, and journalists were as follows:

Radio and television broadcasting 35%
Newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers 32
Other information services 8

News analysts, reporters, and journalists spend a lot of time in the field, conducting interviews and investigating stories or articles. Reporters spend some time in an office or newsroom, but they often travel to be on location for events or to meet contacts and file stories remotely.

Injuries and Illnesses

Working on news items about some topics or events, such as conflicts and natural disasters, may put news analysts, reporters, and journalists in dangerous situations. In addition, reporters often face pressure or stress when trying to meet a deadline or cover breaking news.

Work Schedules

Most news analysts, reporters, and journalists work full time, and their schedules vary. They may need to work additional hours or change their schedules in order to follow breaking news. Because news can happen at any time, they may need to work nights and weekends. They may also work nights and weekends to lead news programs or provide commentary.

How to Become a News Analyst, Reporter, or Journalist About this section

news analysts, reporters, and journalists image
News analysts, reporters, and journalists must be determined when pursuing stories or articles.

News analysts, reporters, and journalists typically need a bachelor’s degree to enter the occupation. Internship or work experience on a college newspaper, radio station, or television station also may be helpful.

Education

News analysts, reporters, and journalists typically need a bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, or a related field, such as English.

Bachelor’s degree programs in journalism and communications include courses in journalistic ethics and techniques for researching topics and conducting interviews. Some programs may require students to study liberal arts subjects, such as history and economics, to prepare for covering a range of topics. Students may further specialize in the type of journalism they wish to pursue, such as print or broadcast.

Journalism students may benefit from courses in multimedia design, coding, and programming to be able to develop content that includes video, audio, data, and graphics.

Other Experience

Employers generally prefer to hire candidates who have had an internship or have worked on school newspapers, radio stations, or TV stations. While attending college, students may seek multiple internships with different news organizations. Internships allow students to gain experience and develop samples of their writing or their on-air appearances.

News commentators who come from a field outside of journalism typically have expertise in areas on which they comment.

Advancement

After gaining experience, field reporters at a local news station may become that station’s anchor. News analysts, reporters, and journalists may also advance by moving from news organizations in small cities or towns to news organizations in large cities. Large markets may offer opportunities for more responsibility and challenges. Reporters and journalists also may become editors or news directors.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. News analysts, reporters, and journalists must be able to clearly convey information. Strong writing skills also are important.

Interpersonal skills. To develop contacts and conduct interviews, news analysts, reporters, and journalists must be able to build relationships. They also need to work well with other journalists, editors, and news directors.

Persistence. News analysts, reporters, and journalists must be determined when pursuing stories or articles. Investigating topics and gathering facts may be difficult, particularly when those involved refuse to be interviewed or to provide comment.

Stamina. The work of news analysts, reporters, and journalists is often fast paced and exhausting. They must be able to adapt to the irregular hours of work.

Technological skills. News analysts, reporters, and journalists should be able to use editing equipment and other broadcast-related devices. They also should be able to use multimedia and coding software in order to publish stories on websites and mobile devices.

Pay About this section

News Analysts, Reporters, and Journalists

Median annual wages, May 2021

Media and communication workers

$62,340

News analysts, reporters, and journalists

$48,370

Total, all occupations

$45,760

 

The median annual wage for news analysts, reporters, and journalists was $48,370 in May 2021. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,210, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $120,590.

In May 2021, the median annual wages for news analysts, reporters, and journalists in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Other information services $73,180
Radio and television broadcasting 49,720
Newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers 38,210

Most news analysts, reporters, and journalists work full time, and schedules vary. They may need to work additional hours or change their schedules in order to follow breaking news. Because news can happen at any time, they may need to work nights and weekends. They may also work nights and weekends to lead news programs or provide commentary.

Job Outlook About this section

News Analysts, Reporters, and Journalists

Percent change in employment, projected 2021-31

Media and communication workers

5%

Total, all occupations

5%

News analysts, reporters, and journalists

-9%

 

Employment of news analysts, reporters, and journalists is projected to decline 9 percent from 2021 to 2031.

Despite declining employment, about 4,900 openings for news analysts, reporters, and journalists are projected each year, on average, over the decade. All of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment

Declining advertising revenue in radio, newspapers, and television is expected to impact the long-term demand for these workers. In addition, television and radio stations are continuing to publish content online and on mobile devices. As a result, news organizations may have difficulty selling traditional forms of advertising, which is often their primary source of revenue.

News organizations also continue to consolidate and increasingly share resources, staff, and content with other media outlets. As consolidations, mergers, and news sharing continue, the demand for journalists may decrease as organizations downsize.

In some instances, however, consolidation provides increased funding and resources from the larger organization that helps limit the loss of jobs. In addition, increasing demand for online news may offset some of the impacts from declining advertising revenue and downsizing.

Employment projections data for news analysts, reporters, and journalists, 2021-31
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2021 Projected Employment, 2031 Change, 2021-31 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

News analysts, reporters, and journalists

27-3023 47,100 43,100 -9 -4,100 Get data

Contacts for More Information About this section

For more information about news analysts, reporters, and journalists, visit

National Association of Broadcasters

Online News Association

Radio Television Digital News Association

Society of Professional Journalists

For more information about internships, visit

Dow Jones News Fund

 

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News Analysts, Reporters, and Journalists

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