What Does a Journalist Do?


Quick Answer

A journalist is a reporter, broadcast news analyst or correspondent who keeps the public informed about events and news on the local, national and international fronts. Journalists may be employed by a newspaper, magazine, television or radio station or website.

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Full Answer

Most journalists work in the field, investigating stories or conducting interviews. The work of the journalist is demanding, with fast-paced work days and irregular hours required to meet deadlines. There is strong competition among journalists to be the first to break a story.

The route to becoming a journalist usually involves obtaining a bachelor's degree in communications or journalism. Most journalists also undertake an internship with a television, radio station or other media outlet prior to working in the field.

The median pay in 2012 for journalists was $37,090 annually, which is around $17.83 an hour; broadcast news analysts made more, with the median pay at $55,380 for that particular field. The profession is expected to experience a decline of around 13 percent by 2022. There were approximately 57,600 journalism jobs in 2012; there will be 7,200 fewer jobs by 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. This decline is expected due to the plummeting advertising revenue for TV, newspaper and radio.

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