From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Reporters gather their information in a variety of ways, including tips, press releases, and witnessing events. They perform research through interviews, public records, and other sources. The information-gathering part of the job is sometimes called "reporting" as distinct from the production part of the job, such as writing articles. Reporters generally split their time between working in a newsroom and going out to witness events or interview people.
Most reporters working for major news media outlets are assigned an area to focus on, called a beat or patch. They are encouraged to cultivate sources to improve their information gathering.
Reporters working for major Western news media usually have a university or college degree. The degree is sometimes in journalism, but in most countries, that is generally not a requirement. When hiring reporters, editors tend to give much weight to the reporter's previous work (such as newspaper clippings), even when written for a student newspaper or as part of an internship.
 Reporters in the UK and the United States
In the United Kingdom, editors often require that prospective trainee reporters have completed the NCTJ (National College for the Training of Journalists) preliminary exams. After 18 months to two years on the job, trainees will take a second set of exams, known collectively as the NCE. Upon completion of the NCE, the candidate is considered a fully-qualified senior reporter and usually receives a (very) small pay raise.
Although their work can also often make them into minor celebrities, most reporters in the United States and the United Kingdom earn low salaries. It is not uncommon for a reporter fresh out of college working at a small newspaper to make $20,000 annually or less. Around £12,000 is a typical starting wage in the UK. In order to move to larger papers, it is common for reporters to start with newspapers in small towns and move their way up the ladder, though The New York Times has been known to hire reporters with only a few years experience, based on talent and expertise in particular areas. Many reporters also start as summer interns at large papers and then move to reporting jobs at medium sized papers.
The same job prospects fall into the television reporting business, with reporters starting in small markets and moving up the larger markets and to national news programs.