How to Advance (Advancement)
Most reporters start at small publications or broadcast stations as general assignment reporters or copy editors. They are usually assigned to cover court proceedings and civic and club meetings, summarize speeches, and write obituaries. With experience, they report more difficult assignments or specialize in a particular field. Large publications and stations generally require new reporters to have several years of experience.
Some news analysts and reporters can advance by moving to larger newspapers or stations. A few experienced reporters become columnists, correspondents, writers, announcers, or public-relations specialists. Others become editors in print journalism or program managers in broadcast journalism, supervising reporters. Some eventually become broadcasting or publishing industry managers.
News analysts, reporters, and correspondents held about 69,300 jobs in 2008. About 53 percent worked for newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers. Another 21 percent worked in radio and television broadcasting. About 19 percent of news analysts, reporters, and correspondents were self-employed (freelancers or stringers).
Employment is expected to decline moderately through 2018. Competition will continue to be keen for jobs on large metropolitan and national newspapers, broadcast stations and networks, and magazines. Small broadcast stations and publications and online newspapers and magazines should provide the best opportunities. Talented writers who can handle highly specialized scientific or technical subjects will have an advantage.
Employment of news analysts, reporters, and correspondents is expected to decline 6 percent between 2008 and 2018. Many factors will contribute to the decline in this occupation. Consolidation and convergence should continue in the publishing and broadcasting industries. As a result, companies will be better able to allocate their news analysts, reporters, and correspondents to cover news stories. Since broadcasting and newspapers—the two industries employing most of these workers—are dependent on advertising revenue, employment growth will suffer during an economic downturn. Improving technology may eventually lead to more employment growth in this occupation by opening up new areas of work, such as online or mobile news divisions. The continued demand for news will create some job opportunities. Job openings also will result from the need to replace workers who leave their occupations permanently; some news analysts, reporters, and correspondents find the work too stressful and hectic or do not like the lifestyle, and transfer to other occupations.
Competition will continue to be keen for jobs at large metropolitan and national newspapers, broadcast stations and networks, and magazines. Job opportunities will be best for applicants in the expanding world of new media, such as online newspapers or magazines. Small local papers and news stations also will provide greater job prospects for potential reporters and news analysts. For beginning newspaper reporters, freelancing will supply more opportunities for employment as well. Students with a background in journalism as well as another subject, such as politics, economics, or biology, will have an advantage over those without additional background knowledge in moving beyond an entry-level position.
Journalism graduates have the background for work in closely related fields such as advertising and public relations or communications, and many take jobs in these fields. Other graduates accept sales, managerial, or other nonmedia positions.
Salaries for news analysts, reporters, and correspondents vary widely. Median annual wages of reporters and correspondents were $34,850 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $25,760 and $52,160. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $20,180, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $77,480. Median annual wages of reporters and correspondents were $33,430 in newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishing, and $37,710 in radio and television broadcasting.
Median annual wages of broadcast news analysts were $51,260 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $32,000 and $88,630. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,470, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $156,200. Median annual wages of broadcast news analysts were $51,890 in radio and television broadcasting.
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