Commentary

Earnings Potential

Salaries for news analysts, reporters, and correspondents vary widely. Median annual earnings of reporters and correspondents were $31,320 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $22,900 and $47,860. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $18,470, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $68,250. Median annual earnings of reporters and correspondents were $30,070 in newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers and $34,050 in radio and television broadcasting.

Median annual earnings of broadcast news analysts were $36,980 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $25,560 and $68,440. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $19,040, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $122,800. Median annual earnings of broadcast news analysts were $37,840 in radio and television broadcasting.

Facts at a glance

  • Competition will be keen for jobs at large metropolitan and national newspapers, broadcast stations, and magazines; most entry-level openings arise at small broadcast stations and publications.
  • Most employers prefer individuals with a bachelor’s degree in journalism or mass communications and experience gained at school newspapers or broadcasting stations or through internships with news organizations.
  • Jobs often involve irregular hours; night and weekend work, and pressure to meet deadlines.
  • Slower than average employment growth is expected.

Summary of what this career entails

A commentator is an individual that works in the field of journalism/broadcasting, which interprets the news and gives his/her opinion on said news. A commentator in the journalism field often has his/her own column in a newspaper or magazine discussing current or even past news items that are relevant at the time. In the television/radio field a commentator, will often have his/her own talk show or space on a news magazine type program to give his/her opinion. A talk-radio host is a commentator; the most important part of being a commentator in the truest sense of the word is to have an opinion. In sports there are many type of commentators, including play-by-play commentators, who are not supposed to delve deeply into his/her opinion on a subject.

Examples and or details of work

Examples of issues a commentator may discuss on the air or on print include war, the economy, sports, crime rates, and international relations. Many commentators, such as Bill O Reilly are seen as controversial, which in many ways may be the point of some of his commentary. In order to drive ratings and sell newspapers a commentator may have to be controversial or else the consumer may not turn his/her head and watch or stop at the newsstand and buy a newspaper. Examples of commentators in sports in the purest sense of the word include studio analysts such as Charles Barkley, John Kruk, and Tom Jackson. Other examples include Mike and Mike and Mike and the Mad Dog from the sports radio field. Color analysts include Phil Simms and Troy Aikman.

Degrees that lead to this career

Degrees needed for a career in commentary include journalism and mass communications.

Specific Career openings in this field

Specific careers in the field of commentary include commentator, columnist, journalist, editor, and television or radio host.

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, News Analysts, Reporters, and Correspondents, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos088.htm 

 

 

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