A reporter works with a news agency, which can be a newspaper, television station, radio station or website, to write stories about news events. A reporter may specialize in a specific type of story, such as breaking news, politics, sports, personal interest or entertainment. Part of the job may also include presenting news stories to an audience.
In your reporter job description, you need to highlight the various skills required for this job. These include a professional grasp of the English language, excellent writing skills, interview skills and the ability to craft a compelling story. Reporters also need to be skilled at research and investigation.
A reporter may also need to have editing skills and be able to write various drafts of a story to be used across different types of media. To help assist you as you work on your reporter job description, you can look over the following example.
Reporter Job Summary
Are you skilled at constructing a story that is clear and engaging? If you have professional writing skills and the ability to put together a story based on investigation and research, we have the position for you. We are a local newspaper looking for a reporter who can cover any news story that is assigned, which could be a local sports event, a national political scandal or a heart-wrenching public interest piece. Our staff is small, but we pride ourselves on presenting unbiased, factual-based pieces that will pique our readers’ interests and compel them to choose us as their news source. You will fit in nicely if you are committed to ethical reporting and have a strong desire to educate and inform the public on news events.
- Develop story ideas based on leads or as assigned by conducting research, investigating and observing
- Write stories using proper grammar and following AP style guidelines while also ensuring they are compelling and professional in style and presentation
- Edit written pieces by other reporters on staff to check for clarity, grammar and overall story presentation; make suggestions and assist with any revisions that need to be made
- Rework pieces as requested by managing editor or staff editors and update pieces as needed for ongoing or developing stories
- Arrange and conduct interviews when needed to collect witness statements, get information from experts or individuals involved or work on a lead for a proposed story
- Create relationships with members of the community, law enforcement and other agencies to develop access to credible sources for future stories
- Convert stories to be posted on company website, and create social media posts to drive traffic to the website
- Meet all deadlines for projects as requested by managing editor
Job Skills & Qualifications
- Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications or English
- Ability to work nights, weekends and holidays
- A focus on producing accurate and factual stories
- Experience as a newspaper reporter or newspaper intern
- Proficiency with computers and other office equipment
- Experience with social media posting and management
- Background knowledge of politics and/or sports
Reporter Job Responsibilities
The goal for the responsibilities section of a reporter job description is to give jobseekers an idea of what they have to do when working for you. Therefore, you want to create a section that is informative but also succinct. There is no need to have a list of over a dozen actions employees have to do or else jobseekers will become exhausted by the time they learn how to send in their resumes.
A huge mistake you want to avoid making as you are writing the reporter job responsibilities is having too many. It can be tempting to include a laundry list of tasks so jobseekers know everything they would do in this position. However, this only serves to fatigue candidates. You want people to be enthusiastic when they reach the end of your description. Applicants should feel thrilled to finally send in their resumes and cover letters to your organization. Generally speaking, you should have between four and eight responsibilities, and you should list them from most important to least important.
Some typical duties to list out on a reporter job description include:
- Arrange interviews with notable individuals
- Write received assignments and develop story ideas in the writer’s room
- Investigate breaking news stories, which can include local crimes or weather updates
- Check references, such as public records and news files, to verify details
- Videotape and photograph relevant shots
Reporter Job Specifications
It is vital to separate primary reporter job specifications and secondary ones. You, as the employer, need to determine what qualifications every candidate should have if he or she submits a resume. This entails determining which skills are simply ones you personally would like to see in applicants and which skills help employees thrive at your organization. The goal here is to make the reporter job description as concise as it can be.
Use bullet points in the skills portion of the description. Bulleted lists are preferable over lengthy paragraphs. The reason is that you do not want to make the description appear too daunting. You may end up dissuading qualified candidates from applying. It is better to use the specifications in the skills section to dissuade unqualified jobseekers from applying because you want to make things easier on yourself. It is not convenient if you have to read through 100 resumes, most of which are from people who could never be a reporter.
Here are some good examples to put in the skills section of a reporter job description.
- Bachelor’s degree in journalism, English or a related field
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Experience using digital cameras
- Ability to work with the general public
- Time management to meet strict deadlines