Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

What is this job like?

Reporters gather information and write news stories. These stories appear in newspapers and magazines. Some reporters appear on television and radio. To get information, reporters look at documents. They observe the scene. They interview people.

Reporters write about events. These include things such as an accident, a rally, or a company going out of business.

Radio and television reporters often report "live" from the scene.

News correspondents work in large U.S. cities. Some report from foreign cities. They write about events in the city in which they work.

Reporters must meet deadlines. Some work in private offices. Others work in large rooms with other reporters. Television and radio reporters encounter curious onlookers, police, or other emergency workers.

Reporters work long hours. They might work odd schedules. They may have to travel. At morning newspapers, reporters might work from late afternoon until midnight. At evening or afternoon papers, they may work from early morning until afternoon. Radio and television reporters work day or evening shifts. Magazine reporters generally work during the day. Reporters may have to work extra hours to meet deadlines. They may have to change their work hours to follow a story.

How do you get ready?

A bachelor's degree in journalism is preferred. Some employers hire graduates with other majors. Working at school newspapers or broadcasting stations is good experience. Internships with news organizations also help when seeking a job as a reporter.

Reporters must write clearly and effectively. They need word processing, computer graphics, and desktop publishing skills. Speaking a second language is necessary for some jobs.

In high school, good courses include English, journalism, and social studies. Valuable courses in college include speech, computer science, and English, with an emphasis on writing.

Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

See also: Newspaper, Magazine, and Television Journalists.

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