Whether using the medium of TV, radio, or internet, the requirements of journalism apply across the spectrum. Every day, a journalist has to look for possible news or feature stories that might be of interest to the public.
Each journalist is assigned with a certain “beat” that they have to focus on with regards to generating news stories. Once they have learned of a new story, they have to research about it and set interviews with the key persons involved.
They have to collect evidence, follow the paper trail, gather accounts from different people, and be able to get all the sides of the story.
For television, it is also important that they have a video support for the story. It is also, therefore, the responsibility of the broadcast journalist, together with the camera crew, to shoot in locations that will enable viewers to visualize the story.
Upon getting all the information and video material required, the journalist then writes the script to be checked and approved by the editors.
The journalist also has to advise the video-editing crew on which material is to be used for the video. They must then do the voice-over once the script has been approved.
The process for radio journalism is pretty much the same, except for the fact that radio journalists do the reporting live on-air, since they don’t really need the video material that tends to prolong the TV process.
A broadcast journalist working online writes the news story to be approved and, once approved, has the story uploaded to the news website along with images to support the written story.
Salary & benefits
The salary of a broadcast journalist depends on the rate of the network that they are working for, but starting salaries range from £13,000 to £22,000.
The rate also depends on how respected and known the broadcast journalist already is. Usually, the more credible the journalist, the higher the salary he or she receives.
Overtime work is common, the wage for which depends on the network or the company.
The job of broadcast journalists is quite hectic, complicated, and covers a wide scope since it is their responsibility to report on the latest local and international news stories.
Since modern news media is round-the-clock, the working hours of a broadcast journalist are unpredictable and flexible, and journalists are usually on-call.
Television and radio networks give priority to those candidates who have completed a degree in Mass Communication or Broadcast Journalism.
Networks also usually choose graduates from universities that are well-known for their good curriculum and which are renowned for their reputation in broadcasting.
Since there is tough competition between networks, candidates with previous experience from other networks are afforded prior consideration for vacancies.
Those who have good oral and written communication skills are favoured, especially in television, where an ability to speak in front of a camera on live TV is imperative.
Training & progression
Aside from the short courses and longer training schemes that most major networks give their journalists, budding hacks can also undertake ethics and security training to guide them in their field reporting.
Meanwhile, from being a broadcast journalist, one can go up to being a news anchor and maybe to being an executive in the network.