Reporters and correspondents are the journalists who give us firsthand information quickly. A reporter knows the event before anyone knows. In the era of Social Media job of a reporter become little tougher; there is pretty strong race to cover it first. Smartphone has added extra competition for reporters when its matter to report it first and fast. However, there shall be space always for professional reporting and professional reporters. A professional reporter is one who sends much information in less and makes you curious to know more. Further a professional reporter follow up the event till reaching to conclusion. That's why professional reporting will always be heard.
Often reporter works for Print Media, Radio Broadcast, TV Telecast and Internet Streaming Media like NetFlix, YouTube etc.
The job of a reporter is to send information about an event as it is or as it is happening. For example you may have seen or heard cricket commentary or football match telecast. What commentators say from the ground is live information as it happens.
A professional reporter collect, analyze and compose facts and newsworthy events through investigation and observation. Reporters and correspondents write stories for newspaper, news magazine, radio, and television. They interpret, examine and broadcast news received either from various news agencies or through personal interview or investigation. While radio and television reporters report ‘live’ stories; newspaper reporters compose and edit stories which then get published in the following day’s newspaper.
Reporters play a crucial role in providing unbiased news and information to the public about both national and international news. Reporters can be political, cultural, sports, crime, health, business and finance, education, and entertainment. Some do a very specialized reporting while others have a wider range of topics to cover.
Role of a Reporter
- Look for the information.
- Research topics and stories for publications.
- Write error-free and compelling articles for newspapers, magazines, blogs or scripts for radio and television.
- Develop and maintain liaison with experts and other sources that provide vital leads and clue.
- Edit and review articles for grammar and style.
- Follow-up stories timely.
- Interview people from different sections to get the right version of the story.
Skills Required for a Reporter
Language Skills: Fluency in both written and verbal skills is required. Rules of grammar and composition should be followed strictly. One should also be sensitive about local and racial sentiments while composing the news story.
Nose for News: Just collecting, analyzing and composing news will not make one a competent reporter. A good reporter is one who gets to the news first before the rival.
Computer Skills: A reporter should have a good knowledge of computers and should be able to handle electronic equipment.
Critical and Analytical Thinking: High degree of reasoning and logical thinking especially when composing business and finance news.
People Skills: Man management is an extremely essential skill required for all reporters and correspondents. To develop contacts and maintain relationships with the right people at the right time is important.
Pros and Cons of Being a Reporter
- Be a part of all important events.
- Get to see your byline.
- Get to travel with celebrities and dignitaries to cover important events.
- Not a typical 9-5 job and therefore, offers flexibility.
- Long and erratic working hours.
- Sometimes job is life-threatening especially when working in the crime beat or handling sensitive issues.
- No scope for error.
- No weekend or registered holidays.
- Salary is not too high especially for those in the print media.
- Long absence from family especially if covering a war or political issues etc.
- Strict deadlines and time pressure.
Reporting is a lucrative career option. One can earn a certificate, diploma, college degree or graduate qualification in this field. In general Colleges and University level qualifications are offered as a coursework in Masscomm. However, short term courses are also available through different government and private agencies.
The world is no short of events and so not the requirement for professional reporters. Some of the typical fields of reporting are:
- Political Reporting
- Sports Reporting
- Science Reporting
- Technology Reporting
- Business Reporting
- Finance Reporting
- Crime Reporting
- Investigative Reporting
- Academic Reporting
- IoT Reporting
Note: Above list is not exclusive there are also more fields and sub fields of reporting.
An eligible reporter can chose to do job or work as freelancer. Also one can farm his own business venture. Demand for a trusted and eligible reporter should exist always. Though methods of reporting may go for changes. For example owing to World Wide Web today we get information within few minutes and sometimes in seconds. Perhaps in future information will be more spontaneous. But one factor will always be common in reporting, share it as it is and as it happens.