Are you only watching news channels all or most of your time? As a child, have you often played that game holding your bottle pretending it is a microphone, with your friend beside you as your cameraman and you keep talking about random things thinking you are being shown on TV? Have you ever tried to know more about how to become a Reporter by asking friends about it or trying to Google it? If you are creative, socially active, imaginative, and most importantly persevering, then explore to find out what Reporters do, how they do it, and how to become a Reporter.
Reporters work with major newspapers, magazines, media houses, newswires, websites, radio stations, television companies, periodical publishers or journals operating in both online and print media spaces. Their job is to collect first-hand information about events, facts, ideas, and people. They may also read news on screen or make commentaries regarding certain news items.
Why become a reporter?
As a Reporter, you will be working with major newspapers, magazines, media houses, newswires, websites, radio stations, television companies, periodical publishers or journals operating in both online and print media spaces. Your job will be to collect first-hand information about events, facts, ideas, and people. You may also read news on screen or make commentaries regarding certain news items.
Apart from directly reporting, you may also read various news feeds from news agencies such as Reuters, ANI, PTI, Bloomberg, etc. The news agencies also have reporters but all media houses (Print, AV, Online, etc.) buy newsfeeds (text and AV) from news agencies. These come to the media houses online. Some global media houses have their own news collection agencies. You may work from your desk, go through the news feed and pick a few news items to report.
You will have to coordinate your work with news editors, copywriters, marketing executives, advertisement agencies, graphic designers etc. to produce an effective piece of news report. You can pursue a career in sports journalism, broadcast journalism, fashion journalism, crime / investigative journalism or specialize in any field of your choice like engineering, education, politics, economics, healthcare etc.
Today, all major newspapers, magazines and media houses have an e-presence. This means they can reach a wider audience through their websites or online presence as the modern commoner demands accessible digital news which they can find through their mobile phones or laptops, instead of spending hours on tangible newspapers! The main struggle for you will be to meet tight deadlines and tough work schedules because as in most cases, the news items need to be broadcast, released, or made live within a particular time frame which may be only a few minutes.
You need a go-getter attitude and to be present at required places at the right time to capture the most relevant pieces of information/footage that can be eventually showcased to the public. You may be accompanied by a photographer for collecting video footage or photographs. You may also have to take video footage or photographs sometimes yourself during interviews etc.
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What does a reporter do?
As a Reporter, you will be engaged with one or more of the following roles and responsibilities:-
- You will be reporting news stories on-site for broadcasting or publication, describing details and the background of events etc.
- You will have to visit various locations at appropriate times to capture relevant pieces of information or footage.
- You need to evaluate and review notes taken about news items for isolating pertinent details and facts.
- You will be researching a story’s background information for providing accurate and complete information.
- You may need to arrange for interviews with individuals capable of providing information/clues for a story.
- You will be establishing and maintaining relationships with people who are considered credible sources of information.
- You will be gathering information and data about events through interviews, research, and experience or by attending at news, political, artistic, sports, social, or other functions.
- You may be investigating developments in breaking news, such as crimes, disasters, or human-interest stories.
- You may be reporting on specialized fields such as green technology, medicine, environmental issues, politics, science, arts, sports, business, consumer affairs, crime, religion, or education.
- You may be developing material or ideas for commentaries or columns by interpreting and analyzing current issues, news, or personal experiences.
How to become a reporter – eligibility criteria
After class 10, you can go for:
- NIOS senior secondary program.
- Class 11-12.
After Class 11-12, you can go for:
- B. Voc. courses.
- B.C.J, B.M.M, B.J, B.J.M.C courses.
Various private/public vocational training establishments across India offer related courses on:
- English or other languages
- Advertising and Mass Communication
- Journalism & Mass Communication
- Mass Communication
- Mass Media Studies
- Art Communication and Journalism
- Broadcast (Radio & TV) Journalism
- Convergent Journalism
- Journalism & Mass Communication
- Online Journalism & Blogging
The cost of pursuing a reporter course in India varies depending on the institute and course duration. It can range from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 1,00,000.
You will get job opportunities as a Reporter in companies like NDTV, Discovery, BBC, CNN, The Times of India, the Indian Express and The Economic Times or other regional/national:
- Media Houses
- Radio Stations
- Television Companies
- Periodical Publishers
- You may get roles like:
- Broadcast Operator
- Investigative Journalist
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Salary of a reporter
Salaries vary according to job profiles and the kind of facilities you get to work at.
In entry-level jobs: You may get about Rs. 10,000 – Rs.20,000 or more per month.
Salaries increase with your work experience and as you get promoted.
After having 1-6 years of experience, you may expect about Rs. 12,000 – Rs. 25, 000 per month or more.
After having 6-12 years of experience, you may get about Rs. 20,000 – Rs. 90,000 or more per month.
In senior-level jobs, with 12-20 years of work experience, you may expect to get about Rs. 40,000 – Rs. 300,000 per month or even more.
Career Progression in this profession
From entry-level job positions as a Reporter, Investigative Journalist, Photojournalist etc., you may grow into a Senior Correspondent or Chief Reporter or a team leader managing the work of a few reporters. In medium and large-scale companies, you may have a position as a Senior Reporter, or Senior Journalist after 8-12 years of experience.
What does industry trends say – future prospects
The road ahead for this pathway looks bright. The growth in the sub-sectors of the Indian Media and Entertainment Industry showed decent growth. The Television industry is expected to grow in terms of employment volume to 0.64 million by 2022. The Print Media industry is expected to grow in terms of employment volume to 0.13 million by 2022. The Radio industry is expected to grow in terms of employment volume to 0.04 million by 2022. The overall industry growth of the Media and Entertainment Sector has been estimated at a rate of 13.10% compounded annually to touch the mark of 39.68 billion US Dollars by 2023. India’s media consumption has been growing at an alarming rate of 9% in the period 2012-2018 compounded annually. This is 9 times that in the US and 2 times that in China. Revenues from the Advertising sector are forecasted to reach 18.39 billion US Dollars by 2023. The Digital Advertising industry in India is expected to grow at a rate of 32% compounded annually to touch the mark of 2.93 billion US Dollars by 2020.
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