Reporters and Correspondents

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This occupation has now been updated to News Analysts, Reporters, and Journalists

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Also known as:
Anchor, News Anchor, News Reporter, Radio News Anchor, Radio Talk Show Host, Reporter, Staff Writer, Television News Anchor (TV News Anchor), Television News Reporter, Television Reporter (TV Reporter)

ABOUT REPORTER OR CORRESPONDENT CAREERS
Video transcript

A reporter's job can feel different every day. Breaking news sets reporters at the scene of a fresh drama on every assignment. Publications, news programs, and even the internet rely on information gathered by reporters and correspondents. Some cover a specific beat or specialty. Others pursue different stories every day as general assignment reporters. All go to the spot where the news is happening and assemble the facts for the news story.

Whether covering local issues or as a correspondent in a remote city, reporters work long hours finding the answers to the who, what, when, where, and how of any news story. Work conditions are generally dictated by the nature of the story, which is assigned by a senior editor or producer.

A flair for language, lively curiosity, strong people skills, and the ability to work quickly under daily deadline pressure can be as important as formal journalism training. Reporters also need to be familiar with specialized electronic equipment and computers to transmit their stories from the field. Competition is keen, especially for on-air positions in highly paid major markets.

Most employers look for a journalism degree or extensive reporting experience at college news outlets or through internships. Reporters usually start out at small publications or broadcast stations. Large media outlets generally require several years of experience.

SNAPSHOT
Narrate or write news stories, reviews, or commentary for print, broadcast, or other communications media such as newspapers, magazines, radio, or television. May collect and analyze information through interview, investigation, or observation.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Transmit news stories or reporting information from remote locations, using equipment such as satellite phones, telephones, fax machines, or modems.

Develop ideas or material for columns or commentaries by analyzing and interpreting news, current issues, or personal experiences.

Revise work to meet editorial approval or to fit time or space requirements.

Review and evaluate notes taken about event aspects in order to isolate pertinent facts and details.

Review copy and correct errors in content, grammar, and punctuation, following prescribed editorial style and formatting guidelines.

Gather information about events through research, interviews, experience, or attendance at political, news, sports, artistic, social, or other functions.

Research and report on specialized fields such as medicine, science and technology, politics, foreign affairs, sports, arts, consumer affairs, business, religion, crime, or education.

Investigate breaking news developments, such as disasters, crimes, or human-interest stories.

Photograph or videotape news events, or request that a photographer be assigned to provide such coverage.

Discuss issues with editors to establish priorities or positions.

Receive assignments or evaluate leads or tips to develop story ideas.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Communications and Media Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Telecommunications Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
KEY ABILITIES
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Speech Recognition The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
TOP SKILLS
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.