Many people have dreams of being on the small screen reporting the latest financial meltdown or Hollywood scandal while raking in the bucks. The fact of the matter is – becoming a news anchor or reporter takes a lot of sacrifice. And once you get there it’s certainly not as glamorous or easy as it looks like on TV.
TV news anchors need specific training that includes a college education. That means you have to enroll and graduate with a four year bachelor’s degree in communications or broadcast journalism. Most universities have this as a major and offer students the chance to get plenty of on-air practice via the local college news station.
After you graduate from college with your degree you’ll have to be willing to move anywhere for your first job. That’s the nature of the television news business. You have to be willing to make your career your top priority. If you aren’t willing to do that then you will probably not be very successful.
Most “newbies” start out in small markets. That’s okay because it’s best to get your experience in front of an audience of a few thousand in Arkansas than millions watching you on TV in New York. The downside of this is that you’ll be making less than a lot of high school dropouts at this point in your career. A lot of people think the local news anchors and reporters get paid the big bucks.
The average television reporter fresh out of college in a small market makes about $17,000 a year. That’s not even at the poverty level. It’s always been that way and it always will be. You see, small television stations have very low budgets and cannot afford to pay the plethora of reporters. That means you’re going to have to be willing to be financially strapped for the first years of your career.
While everyone is home enjoying the holidays with family you’ll probably be working. Holiday time is busy time for the news anchor or reporter. The senior anchors and reporters get the time off around the holidays so that means you’ll be working the morning news, evening news, and probably the late night news too.
The life of a news anchor or reporter isn’t all glitz, glamour and red carpet – especially at first. But stick with it and it can pay huge dividends. If you can show your dedication and talent in the small markets then you’ll eventually start moving up to bigger market – which means more pay and more exposure.