What Type of Background Do You Need to Become a CNN Journalist?

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Journalists for major networks such as CNN need a minimum of a bachelors degree in journalism or a related field, such as communications, English or political science along with career experience in the field. Journalists also need strong interpersonal and writing skills.

Reporters interested in appearing on camera sometimes benefit from taking a course in broadcast journalism. While in college, aspiring journalists often pursue opportunities to gain professional experience in the field, such as working at the campus newspaper, radio station or television station. Internships at local papers or news stations are another way to gain experience.

After graduation, aspiring journalists must build experience in the field. This typically involves working at smaller, regional news stations. As they build experience, rookie reporters usually take on bigger stories and raise their profiles. After putting in strong work at small local stations, many reporters find work at larger news stations in major cities. Working at these stations, reporters further their experience and sometimes gain employment with larger national news networks such as CNN.

TV journalists often join professional organizations to further their careers. Organizations such as the Radio Television Digital News Association help reporters network with other professionals and stay up to date on industry trends.