There’s Katie Couric, Anderson Cooper, and Christian Amanpour. Before them came Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, Ted Koppel, and Walter Cronkite. You see some of them on TV daily. Some you try to catch old clips on YouTube. They are some of the most trusted broadcast journalists that deliver the news to America and the world. Do you want to be like them someday? What does it take to become a broadcast journalist and be in front of the camera to deliver the news or host a show? Here are some of the things you need to know.
An Overview of Journalism
There’s the rigor of working at unholy hours to cover a breaking story. You probably won’t even have time to put on your favorite face products for sensitive skin because you need to rush to the studio to be in front of the camera in 30 minutes. There’s plenty of preparation and hard work required to do the job of a broadcast journalist.
The path is typically through the completion of a program in journalism, communication, or political science. More than 14,000 journalism degrees were awarded in 2017 in America, and the number of graduates is increasing by about 1%. The average cost of tuition is around $30,700 if you will study in private schools but just approximately $7,000 if you choose a public school.
Building Your Career
If you want to achieve the status of your idols, you need to start at the bottom. Do not expect to be on-camera immediately. The only way that you can be a trusted and reliable broadcast journalist or news anchor is to start working in the field and cover smaller stories.
- Internship. The internship is an excellent prelude to starting your career in journalism. This is where you will gain practical experience. Taking internship positions at a respected newspaper or radio station will provide you with broader knowledge about the news reporting industry. So take advantage of such openings even though you’re aiming for a position at a TV station.
- Get experience as a news correspondent. Have you ever seen those TV reporters getting splashed on by water on a SeaWorld show? You’ll be that person first before you are a news anchor. Have patience. A veteran BBC journalist advises aspiring journalists to gain practical experience by reporting stories that happen in the field.
- It’s still about journalism. Why is it good to not pass up an internship for a newspaper? Because your work will remain focused on the journalism aspect. There’s still going to be plenty of writing and editorial work, especially when you are hosting a show. The news can be fluid, and sometimes the topic is highly technical. So you need to have the communication skills to present your story in a way that an average person can understand.
- Image is important. The image that you need to project is not only about physical appearance. It’s also about being smart and credible. This comes together through experience, delivery of words, and yes, the wonders of makeup.
Take the time to learn and soak in all the experiences that you will gain from being a bit reporter. The benefits will pay off once you finally get to your destination—news anchor for a major network.