Becoming a TV Broadcaster

Becoming a TV broadcaster means entering a challenging and competitive career path. Still, there are many things that high-school students can do to achieve their goal of making it in the television broadcasting business. They can begin by learning about the various types of broadcasting and job opportunities available to them, as well as the pros and cons of working in the industry. Students can also take classes and participate in activities that will give them the skills they need to continue their studies at the college level. Once in college, aspiring broadcasters can focus on developing these skills and landing a job after graduation.

Types of Broadcasting

Broadcasting is a varied field and those who wish to enter a broadcasting career have a choice of niches in which to work. Depending on local markets, individuals interested in specific mediums, such as television broadcasting, may have to get their start in radio broadcasting until they have enough on-air experience to move into television. Specialized areas of broadcasting include news reporting, talk shows, and sports broadcasting. In addition, there are dozens of sub-genres in these categories, such as business news reporting, political talk radio, or religious broadcasting.

Career Pros & Cons

While broadcasting may have a glamorous image, the fact is that most industry workers spend many years in obscure markets, learning their trade. Entry-level jobs in broadcasting often involve working odd hours, preparing news stories for early morning broadcasting, or, in the case of broadcast announcers, hosting shows that may be scheduled during late-night hours. On the other hand, those who work in broadcasting often work in clean, comfortable studios, though some announcers and reporters may be sent to work on stories in less comfortable locations. Broadcasting also offers those who have strong communication skills and an interest in current events a chance to use their skills and engage their interests on a daily basis.

What Makes a Good Broadcaster?

Reporters and announcers need excellent verbal skills and the ability to respond quickly to the unexpected, particularly if working in sports announcing, talk radio, or news broadcasting. Announcers must also have appealing personalities that will attract listeners or viewers. A curiosity about current events and news is also helpful, particularly for news reporters or those who provide an analysis of the news as part of their work. Being able to adjust to different schedules is also important, as many stations broadcast 24 hours a day and need workers who can cover all shifts.

Steps to Take in High School

High school students who are interested in a broadcasting career should take care to focus on their studies, get involved with media-related activities at their schools, and discuss plans for higher education with their school counselor. Many high schools have student-run radio and television stations that allow teenagers to get real-world experience in broadcasting. Students who attend schools that don't have broadcasting opportunities may want to get involved with writing and reporting opportunities, such as working on their yearbook or writing for the school newspaper.

Post-High School

After graduating from high school, aspiring broadcasters should continue their education. Those who plan to become reporters, writers, announcers, or broadcast news analysts should plan to complete a college degree. While majoring in broadcast journalism or communications are both good options for those who want to go into broadcasting, a grounding in the liberal arts is also important. Advanced education may also be necessary for broadcast journalists who want to specialize in particular areas of news reporting, such as health, technology, or science. Those who wish to become broadcast technicians may be able to receive training on-the-job, but may also decide to attend a trade or technical school that offers broadcast technician training.