Reporter is a person appointed to report on the current events. It is a tough job. Being a reporter, however, can be very satisfying and liberating. Even though the job of a reporter is tough, it is high on a job satisfaction scale.
As you get to be a part of things in a real way. Being a reporter requires you to be out there covering everything in real time. You are the first one to know about the latest happenings. And you get to be the one to report to the world.
As a reporter, you are in the limelight at all times. Yet you can switch off whenever you want. Your opinion matters, though. So never take it lightly. Remember, as a reporter you have the responsibility to report the news in the most unbiased way.
Being unbiased is very important for any journalist. If you want to be a good at what you do, then you need to sometimes put your feelings and opinions aside.
On the other hand, if you feel injustice is being done and you can bring about a change, then do it. Being proactive is a huge part of being a reporter. And to be a good reporter you need to be alert at all times. Slip-ups are not a luxury you can afford. So be careful of everything you say and how you report. It can make a lot of difference.
Reporter and Journalist: Interchangeable terms
The term reporter and the term journalist are often used interchangeably. It is acceptable; the only difference is that being a reporter is part of being a journalist. However, a journalist does not necessarily have to be a reporter. A reporter is more of a public property than a journalist. They work in visual mediums like Television and online etc.
They are the face of the news piece. A journalist, on the other hand, is the one who reports the news. Now, they can do it through any medium-newspapers, online etc. – visual or not. Here, however, we will use both the terms interchangeably for everyone’s benefit.
Another term often used interchangeably with the reporter is the term, Anchor. We will understand the major difference between the two ahead in the article. Before that, we will get a proper understanding of who exactly is a journalist. Our main focus is going to be on describing an online journalist.
Who is a reporter? Who is an online journalist?
A reporter is someone who informs the general public about the current events. To simply put it, they report the news. And it is an extremely important job. For, if we don’t get the news at the right time of the current events, it can make a drastic change to our life. And mind you, not in a good or positive way.
General knowledge and awareness is a must in today’s world. Everything is changing around us so fast. In a matter of minutes, lives are getting altered in this technology fused fast paced world. That is why it is even more important to get the updates of the latest happenings (of lets’ say the stock market) in an instant.
And this is what the reporter does. They keep us updated with the latest news. So they deserve more accolades than we give them. Now, news can be of different types. It is divided into various categories. There is political news, business news, entertainment news etc. etc.
Reporter or online reporter: Is there any major difference?
Similarly, there are different types of journalists. This depends on the type of news they are reporting on. We will discuss the different types of journalists later. There is another category of differentiation done in reporting. We will focus our attention on that.
There is television reporting, online reporting, and live event reporting. Here we will focus our attention on online reporting. Since this is the digital age, every business including news channels now has an online partner or website.
And some just have websites where they require the news to be reported in either real time or as soon as the story is ready. For the same, they need reporters for their online content. Even Television reporters have shifted base to online. As it is a huge market, with a wider audience base. So a journalist will be able to reach a greater number of people this way.
So there has been a huge surge in the online journalism market. Both the supply and demand have gone up. It is extremely beneficial to be an online reporter nowadays.
Another aspect of being an online reporter or journalist is the hard work involved. The level of hard work may differ depending on the type of news you are reporting. However, hard work and focus are definitely required to be a good journalist.
And since an online reporter is being a part of the visual medium another factor is important. Yes, we are talking about an attractive personality and charisma. Every reporter must have the ability to attract audiences and retain their attention too.
As you can see, there are a lot of important pointers to being a good journalist. And it requires a big to do list as well. We will discuss all of this in the next section. Let us get down to understanding the requirements of being a journalist. What are the basic challenges of being a reporter or a journalist?
Reporter: What all it requires? Challenges of being a journalist
Being a reporter as mentioned earlier, can be a very soul satisfying job. However, it is not the easiest profession. We say this because it requires a number of many important factors. The most important being an ability to give all to your job. You really have to be passionate about being a reporter.
As this job requires you to work weird hours and has harrowing deadlines. And sometimes work throughout the night or even constantly for multiple hours or days. All depends on the frequency of the occurrence of breaking news. Yes these two words- ‘Breaking News’ are almost synonymous with the life of a reporter/journalist.
So let us first understand the Do’s (or the challenges) of this profession. What all is needed or is a given (in terms of hard work) to become a good reporter. The following are the Do’s of this profession. They are:-
You need to be OK with working at all odd hours of the day. News never sleeps and in most cases, neither do the journalists reporting the news. So, if there is a breaking news item (like an earthquake) at lets’ say, 4 am in the morning, you need to be there. Breaking news doesn’t break at our convenience, so you need to accept it. Our advice is to be prepared in advance to invest a lot of time.
- The second point is more of a consequence of the first point. That is, be prepared to have little or no social or family life for quite some time. Since most of your time will be occupied with the job only. You won’t have enough time left for even sleep let alone anything else. Sometimes, if it is not live reporting and is an edited story, it can take up even more time. Whether, live reporting or studio reporting, both require lots of time.
- The second most important point is AWARENESS. This is a part and parcel of being a reporter. You need to be aware in order to report on something accurately. Half baked knowledge will not only make you a laughing stock. But it is also like cheating the viewers by not providing them with the full facts. In fact, it is considered unethical as well. So you need to do thorough research for the topic you are reporting. In order to avoid making errors that can lead to severe repercussions later.
- Another very important factor that one needs to work on when you are a reporter is- ‘Charismatic Personality’. The more attractive your personality and way of talking is, the easier it is to cultivate a positive relationship with the viewers. Viewers will be more interested in the news if they like the person reporting on it. So work to develop a more charismatic personality. This will help you to build a bigger viewer base. Of course, in this context, good or attractive looks also help sometimes.
Reporters: more insights into the life of a reporter
- Knowledge of all different aspects of a show is an important part of being a journalist. You should be aware and willing to work in different departments as a reporter. So you need to know everything from production to writing a script to camera angles etc. Sometimes you may be faced with situations where you don’t have your team to report a breaking news item. In such cases, you have to take the reins of the entire story till the publishing stage. So be prepared that you need to accustom yourself with all the different aspects of running a story.
- Crisis Management is another very important aspect of being a reporter/journalist. Sometimes when you don’t have enough assistance or if you are live and waiting for an interview to happen, you need to improvise. You can’t allow that no activity is happening on live television or Facebook live for example. If this happens, you risk losing a lot of your viewer base. This is where your quick thinking and charismatic personality come in handy. After all, providing quality product is most important and crucial.
- The next important point that a journalist needs to work on is their diction and elocution. Irrespective of the language you are reporting in, your diction needs to be clear and perfect. People need to understand what you are reporting on after all. So do as many voice exercises as you can. Definitely work hard to perfect your pronunciation skills. Your verbal skills are very important. And contribute to developing a more wholesome and attractive online personality.
- And lastly, travel and being on the go is a very important part of being a journalist or reporter. Some journalistic professions require you to travel a lot. For example, if you are a travel anchor, travel, of course, is a huge part of your job description. But apart from that also, travel is a by-product of every reporter’s life. Of course, it differs from traveling within a city to different cities to different countries. You spend as much time on the field as you do in the studio. And sometimes even more on the field.
Reporter: Different types
There are some atypical types of journalists like critics. However, the actual different category (or types) of reporters depend on the news they are reporting on. So, here when we are discussing the types of news, it will help us differentiate the type of reporters. As that will determine the working hours and what the entire job entails. For example, a journalist handling latest news always has to be updated on current events.
And the journalist needs to always be on the go. But if you are an entertainment news journalist, you need to work on other aspects. For instance, you should be updated with entertainment trends and how to make a story appear more glamorous and attractive. Keeping in mind the above points let us discuss the various types of news. They are:-
- World/International news
- National news
- Latest news
- Bilingual news
- Local news
- Satire news
- Political news
- Business news
- Entertainment news
- Sport News
- Technology/gadget news
- Lifestyle news
- Fashion news
- Travel news etc.
Reporter and Anchor: Difference between them
Now, that we have understood what all being a journalist entails. Let us discuss a major confusion that people sometimes have. This confusion is the inability to differ between a reporter and an anchor.
There are two major differences that one needs to understand between the two.
- An anchor is someone with a bigger influence and his/her own show. Whereas, a journalist can be a part of different programmes (in the same category of course). An anchor has more of a personal audience connect, has a bigger fan following. And enjoys more fame. They sometimes achieve celebrity status as well. Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel are two examples of Television hosts or anchors who enjoy celebrity status.
- An anchor can be a reporter. But a reporter cannot. A reporter needs to work for years before achieving the status of an anchor. A reporter must be very charismatic in order to get a show solely based on them. And as a result, anchors end up earning a lot more than reporters.
This is the case both in India and abroad. A point to mention here is the recent surge in anchors on reality television. Whether in India or abroad reality shows have really taken off in a big way. That has led to all the people part of this show making big bucks. This has then, led to a host of people turning to make hosting/ anchoring on reality shows their main focus. It has after all, already become a very lucrative profession. Even the online reality programs are doing great. This has led to more lucrative job opportunities for anchors.
Reporter: Professional prospects of an online reporter in India and abroad. Share your videos on Sharehiss.
Here we will be discussing the professional aspects of online reporters. Online reporting has, of course, become a huge thing in this digital age. With the advent of the internet and platforms like YouTube and Facebook, it has become far easier to become a journalist.
More so than ever, more and more people are turning to reporting. Or they are becoming critics or bloggers etc. this has both a positive and negative aspect.
- Positive Aspect: The positive aspect of this is that it is easier to showcase your talent. It is easier to report and catch the eye of big news companies for a job. Plus, it is far easier to make these videos as compared to on television. And it has far more flexible timings.
- Negative Aspect: The negative aspect is that the competition has increased for journalists everywhere. There are so many different platforms like Facebook, YouTube etc. and a huge number of reporters on each platform. This has led to fierce competition. Another thing it has led to is the increase in the number of pseudo journalists or critics. People who may not have the proper knowledge base but are still making videos. All to get a bigger fan base.
But you cannot deny the success and reach of being an online reporter or anchor. And if you are interested to be a part of this trend, then, do it. Go ahead and share your videos on Sharehiss. Let the world recognize your talent.
Make the people stand up and notice your charismatic personality. Share your reporter/anchor videos here on Sharehiss.
And we promise to share your videos here and promote you on Sharehiss. Use this platform to further your reporter/anchor/journalistic career. All the best and do share at Sharehiss.