Television journalists have exciting jobs, mostly because every day can bring something different. One day might be filled with computer work, while the next could be spent chasing a story and delving into details. For those individuals considering journalism as a career, it’s important to understand what any given day on the job might entail.
Sleeping in is not likely, as television journalists often get early calls to check out stories. This might include interviews with individuals close to the stories, meetings, or research. In addition to this, journalists often have meetings with their colleagues to discuss stories, brainstorm, or throw ideas around to prepare for a story.
Fact Checking – Just One Aspect of a TV Journalists’ Responsibilities
A lot of a television journalist’s time is spent on the telephone, where they begin research for stories. Calling sources, checking facts, and doing telephone interviews is something a television journalist quickly becomes accustomed to. Lunch might be taken at a desk between meetings or interviews, or the journalist might take a potential source to lunch in an effort to get details for a story. Skipping lunch is something journalists are used to, especially if they’re working on a large story.
During the afternoon, journalists might spend time on the computer, writing down the details of a story, updating a website, or sending story ideas to supervisors. At any given time, the journalist might have to run out to meet with someone, be on the scene of an important event, or research details. If a particularly important event is happening, the journalist may need to stay on location to report the latest happenings. This often means that they spend a lot of time away from their families, and that they don’t get a lot of recreational time.
Investigative Journalism – Chasing Journalism Stories
At any point during the journalist’s day, they must be prepared to chase the story. This includes having all the equipment needed to record details of a story or meet with individuals. In addition to this, they must worry about their regular duties such as updating supervisors, passing information to colleagues, getting photos or images for their stories, and much more. Sure, some days are spent calmly at the office getting routine work completed, but many days are hectic. Researching the details of a story is time consuming, and can quickly eat up a day. It’s not uncommon for the journalist to stay late and then go home with more work to do.
For individuals considering a career in journalism, it’s important to understand the requirements and the typical duties. Spending time with journalists is a great way to learn about their job before you commit to this particular career path.