What Does It Take to Be a Reporter?

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In order to be a reporter, a person needs a bachelor's degree, the ability to write effectively and a knowledge of writing in a journalistic style. Find out why it's important for reporters to be able to handle stress with help from a journalism professor in this free video on careers in journalism.

Part of the Video Series: Careers in Journalism
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Video Transcript

So what does it take to be a reporter? Well usually at the very least in terms of conventional journalism it takes a Bachelor's Degree usually in journalism but also possibly in a field like English or maybe History or maybe even some sort of specialty field for example if you are a science journalist you might have degree in Physics or in Chemistry, training that would allow you to understand that topic better. But if you do have a degree in a different field other than journalism it might be a good idea to get a minor in journalism at least if you can. You are at least going to have to know how to write and know how to write in a journalistic style so there's that but in addition to that education you are going to have to be a certain kind of person. A journalist has to be someone who is willing to confront people, make people angry once in a while. You are going to have to be the kind of person who is able to deal with stress and deadline pressure. Journalism is certainly all about that. You are going to have to be creative. You are going to have to be able to think on your feet and think quickly and to be able to quickly grasp what a story is about and quickly find the parameters of a topic and try to quickly ascertain what sorts of information you need to gather in order to talk completely and thoroughly and fairly and accurately about whatever topic you are covering. I think it is also important to talk about what it takes to be a different kind of journalist. The web provides all sorts of opportunities for innovation and for creativity and ways to earn a living other than doing it by working for a conventional news media outlet. In that sense really all it takes is a good idea and an internet connection and the ability to stick with that idea until it begins to turn a prophet for you. Blogging is an opportunity for example. Now it is possible to pair advertising revenue with content you put on You Tube. There are people who are actually making a living now producing material for You Tube and getting subscribers to routinely monitor their information on You Tube. That really doesn't require a degree. All it requires is the ability to attract an audience to whatever it is you are doing and with the audience will come advertising revenue and if you stick with it long enough and have a good enough idea and interesting enough content you might be able to make a living that way.


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