Career Management

News reporters. There’s a lot of interest out there about what it means to be one. How do they wind up on scene so quickly? How do they know what to say to the camera? Do they decide what the public knows about current affairs? Are they really so brazen so as to continually hound people for an interview? What does it take to succeed in the news industry? What would we do without them?

News reporters have very challenging roles. They are the barrier between the community and the news we know about – they are responsible for portraying people and events in certain lights. TV journalists often have very limited time to process and structure information before broadcasting it, but suffer huge repercussions if things are incorrectly reported.

On the other hand, reporters live extremely thrilling, fast-paced and interesting existences. They are constantly at the forefront of exciting action-packed moments, meet new people on a daily basis and earn their money writing and presenting unique human interest stories. They are natural attention-seekers, thrive under the spotlight and ooze admiral amounts of self-confidence. Have you ever looked at news reporters on TV and thought, ‘I could do that’? check out the points below and if they sound like you, sorry to break it to you… you might have missed your calling breaking news:

1. You have expert listening skills

Press conferences, speeches, interviews… they only happen once and reporters get one shot to mentally clock important snippets to turn into awesome stories. Sure you can record things on your phone or on a camera, but with such little time to generate breaking coverage, you just won’t always have time to listen back over old ground!

2. You can write fast

To accompany your great ears, you’ll need quick hands to jot down names, details and interesting stats efficiently and legibly.

3. Your memory rocks

A good memory will help you contextualise stories with past events, making your stories really thorough and well-rounded!

4. You’re good at multi-tasking

Being able to set up more interviews between existing interviews, monitor media channels for new leads and work on multiple pieces at once is part of the job. News never stops happening!

5. You’re great with time management

In the world of broadcast news, there is no flexibility on deadlines. you’ve got to know how to manage your time and stick to it.

6. You love working under pressure

Knowing you have deadlines to work towards keeps your blood pumping and energy levels soaring! You come alive under pressure.

7. You ooze confidence

Speaking in front of a crowd doesn’t worry you – in fact, it excites you. You know when you know your stuff and how to back yourself.

8. You’re on the ball all the time

If something’s happening, you’re already all over it and know all the details. You don’t miss a beat when it comes to breaking news.

9. You love news and current affairs

You need to be ‘in the know’ and love staying connected with the world around you.

10. You don’t mind getting people offside

If you know you’re right and have a point, you don’t mind standing for what you believe in, regardless if it gets someone angry. Reporters have to hound people for interviews at times –  it’s part of the job description! No interviews = no story, and no story = angry boss.

11. You’re relentless

You don’t stop at something until you’ve got what you want.

12. You’re comfortable with being the centre of attention

You like being under the spotlight; you like the sound of your own voice!

13. You can manage your emotions

Journalists are constantly subjected to taxing situations, and need to be able to manage emotions in pressurised environments, keeping focus on work.

14. You take pride in your appearance

Always having to be camera-ready means you need to keep your appearance looking polished and professional at all times.

15. You can work with loads of noise in the background

Being able to concentrate with a million and one other things going on behind you in the buzzing newsroom is paramount to your success.

16. You don’t take on other people’s issues

You are good at switching off at the end of the day and switching back on at the start of the next. You are good at being able to mentally disengage from the stresses of the day!

17. You like creating things

Journalists are constantly writing and creating stories. You like working on projects and seeing the outcomes of a job well done.

18. You’re okay with odd hours

News doesn’t sleep, so some journalists need to work night shifts or early mornings. Few news stations operate on a standard workday 9-5 model.

19. You’ve got a strong stomach

You can look at disturbing images and things, and hear gruesome details without feeling queasy! (Think murder trials / court cases / injuries and accidents).

20. You’re good at winning people over

You’ve got puppy dog eyes and unmatched power of persuasion. You can make people agree to do things for you and give you special information, without coming across manipulative and pushy!

Do you have these skills and abilities? If so, maybe it’s time to rethink your career choices!


About Phoebe Spinks

Phoebe is the editor of Undercover Recruiter & Senior Account Executive at Link Humans.

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