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Staff reporter at a daily newspaper

Job Title and Job Description

Staff reporter at a daily newspaper

Report on breaking news, local government and features focusing on a region of small towns outside of a central city. It‘s exciting: Every day is different. My job is to translate current events quickly and meaningfully to a regional audience.

What are some related career opportunities and job titles in your company or in your career area?

Print reporting is just one form of journalism. And newspapers aren‘t necessarily printed on paper any more! Related fields are public relations, communications, marketing and of course all forms of social media/blogging.

What new technology will be important?

The Internet has already vastly transformed journalism. Progress in technology will prompt further changes in how news organizations work. News will come out faster from more sources in an ever-more-crowded market, but it still has to be accurate.

What education or training did you have to prepare for this career?

This is actually my second career, after I worked in health care policy and nonprofit management. I majored in psychology (liberal arts college) and earned a master‘s degree in health policy and management. My background gave me depth of focus plus experience to bring those skills - research, writing and networking - to new areas. I got the staff reporting job after working as a freelance reporter (paid by the article) for the paper.

What education or training do you recommend for students today who want to enter this field?

Strong writing skills, a breadth of knowledge and critical thinking are key to journalism. It‘s perfect for a liberal arts grad. It‘s also important to have multimedia skills now, with photography, video and online publication. Good experience is to work on your school paper or freelance as a stringer for your local community newspaper.

When you were in high school, did you know that you would enter this field?

No - I was the features editor of my high school newspaper but wanted to work more on the issues of the day rather than cover them as a reporter. So I did "issue work" for 20+ years in health care and education, and then turned to reporting.

Skills Profile

Skills UsedRating (5=Most Important thru
1=Not Important)

Artistic 3-Somewhat Important3-Somewhat Important3-Somewhat ImportantAlways think of the art that goes with a story. 
Athletic / Physical 1-Not Important 
Bilingual 2-Less Important2-Less ImportantDepends on locale. 
Computer Technology 3-Somewhat Important3-Somewhat Important3-Somewhat ImportantBe comfortable with all sorts of mobile devices. 
Coordination / Using Hands, Tools, and Equipment 1-Not Important 
Creative Thinking 5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Important 
Interpersonal 4-Very Important4-Very Important4-Very Important4-Very Important 
Investigative / Fact Finding 5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Important 
leadership and Supervising 2-Less Important2-Less Important 
Logical Thinking 4-Very Important4-Very Important4-Very Important4-Very Important 
Math 2-Less Important2-Less Important 
Mechanical Understanding 1-Not Important 
Sales and Negotiation 2-Less Important2-Less Important 
Scientific and Experimental 3-Somewhat Important3-Somewhat Important3-Somewhat Important 
Social Service / Helping Skills 3-Somewhat Important3-Somewhat Important3-Somewhat Important 
Teaching / Instructing 4-Very Important4-Very Important4-Very Important4-Very ImportantConsider how to explain subjects to others. 
Verbal Communication 5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Important 
Understanding Nature, Plants, Animals 2-Less Important2-Less Important 
Understanding Yourself 3-Somewhat Important3-Somewhat Important3-Somewhat Important 
Writing 5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Important 

Interview By: Susan Spencer