News analysts, reporters, and correspondents produce informative and entertaining presentations for the public. These professionals cover events related to politics, sports, weather, and business, just to name a few common areas of emphasis. They are the eyes and ears of the average citizen, and are responsible for ensuring that people receive the information they need to make informed choices in a free-market democracy.
A news analyst interprets the information he or she gathers from a range of sources. News analysts spend much of their day reading reports and watching the news produced by other outlets. They also conduct interviews with experts and people who are involved in important events. A news analyst then organizes this information and presents it so that the audience will know the essential points. News analysts often specialize in a certain area, like sports or weather.
A reporter, meanwhile, collects information and presents it to the public. Reporters find primary sources and eyewitnesses to important events. They conduct interviews and consult important documents. A reporter must spend a great deal of time outside of the newsroom hunting down facts.
Some reporters spend all of their time away from the headquarters of the station. These professionals are called correspondents. A correspondent may live in a foreign capital in which a great deal of news is generated, or she may travel to a location where an important story is breaking. Correspondents often work highly irregular hours and take risks in order to get their story.
Indeed, all of the jobs in the news profession come with a bit of stress and discomfort. News analysts, reporters, and correspondents work on deadline and must respond when important events occur. Of course, these professionals get the thrill of being present at exciting and historic events.
News analysts, reporters, and correspondents usually obtain university degrees in journalism, English, or communications. Obviously, it is very important for these professionals to communicate clearly, so any coursework that promotes public speaking and writing skills would be helpful. It is possible to obtain master’s and doctoral degrees in journalism, though the latter are usually only obtained by those who want to teach journalism at the university level.
Most people who aspire to work in journalism serve on their high school and college newspapers or newsmagazines. Also, it can be useful to pursue internships and apprenticeships with established news organizations while still in school. Most news analysts, reporters, and correspondents begin their careers as researchers, copy editors, or local reporters. As they develop their skills, they are assigned to more important and complicated subjects. Most publications require their employees to have quite a few years of experience before giving them any significant public exposure. As in other fields of media, it is typical for news analysts, reporters, and correspondents to begin working for small publications and stations in small markets.
The size and prestige of the organization influences the average salary considerably. Analysts, reporters, and correspondents who work for large-market organizations make a lot more money. The average annual income for reporters and correspondents is about $35,000. However, the top 10 percent make more than twice that annually. Reporters and correspondents make a little bit less in print publishing and a little bit more on average in radio and television broadcasting. As for broadcast news analysts, they take home an average of $51,000 a year. The top 10 percent, though, earn more than $150,000 a year.
In general, the demand for news analysts, reporters, and correspondents is expected to decline in the future. However, there will still be available positions for individuals who can communicate well and have specialized training. In part, the general downturn in the market will be due to economic pressures on large media outlets. Many large television networks and newspapers will be forced to downsize or consolidate their operations in order to continue. As one would expect, the competition will be greatest in large markets and for established media organizations. One area of expected growth is the online media world, in which there will be many opportunities for entry-level aspirants.