How to Become a Traffic Reporter

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They ride helicopters and study traffic patterns every morning so that you can get to work on time. They are traffic reporters, and becoming one is no easy ride. This article will tell you how to become a traffic reporter.

Things You'll Need

  • Journalism experience
  • Drive to succeed
  • Good speaking ability
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Keep in mind that traffic reporters usually start out as entry-level or "cub" reporters at radio and TV stations. So first, you will need to get a job as a broadcast reporter. This generally requires a degree in journalism from a reputable university or college.

  • Once you become a reporter at a radio or TV station, find out how they receive their traffic reports. Some stations contract out to services for their reports. Others have their own traffic reporters.

  • You will also need to find out how often the radio or TV stations uses their traffic reports. Some use them every five to 10 minutes. Others only need them once or twice a day. Depending on the time commitment required, you may be able to keep up with your regular reporting duties while also contributing as a traffic reporter.

  • If your station uses a helicopter or airplane for traffic reports, you may be required to fly in one. Fear of flying is not a good attribute for a traffic reporter.

  • A good knowledge of local geography is crucial for a traffic reporter. Nothing irritates a viewer or listener more than having local streets mispronounced, or the wrong route numbers given for popular roads.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your radio or TV station does not offer traffic reports, there are services they can subscribe to on line that offer traffic times and tips. Suggest that they subscribe, and also that you are available to read the information on a regular basis. This can be the "back door" to a traffic reporter's dream job.
  • Don't expect to just walk into a TV or radio station and be hired on the spot. This only happens in movies.

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