Difference between a Journalist and a Reporter

In the professional media industry, it is obligatory to understand that all journalists are reporters but not all reporters are journalists. The journalist is a small word but acts an umbrella - it comprises a lot of professions. If you are a reporter, editor, news photographer or have a news website, then you are a journalist. Even bloggers can sometimes claim as journalists. They don’t need to be professional or have experience from recognized news outlets, the thing they all actually need to know that they are journalists.

The difference between a journalist and a reporter is alike as the police officer and a homicide detective. There are distinct varieties of careers in journalism and a reporter's job incorporates a confined range and demands a specific set of skills.

What is a Journalist?

A journalist is a person who collects, gathers, writes, records or disseminates news or other current information or message to a larger audience. The job of a journalist is named journalism. In the media industry, besides a reporter, there is a myriad of workers that are involved in the dissemination of news.  A Journalist includes each and every member who is a member of the editorial process of gathering and distributing news or information such as reporters, editors, producers, photographers, camera operators, news columnists, etc. Today, most of the journalists tend to specialize by collaborating with other journalists to produce journals that span to several topics.

What is a Reporter?

A reporter is a type of journalist who researches, studies, writes, and reports on information and knowledge to portray in sources, organize interviews, employ in research and prepare reports. Reporters usually split their time by working in a newsroom and visit out to witness and observe events or interviewing popular personalities.

"Reporter" plays a major role in the media industry : One who collects facts and information from various sources, demonstrate them and writes a story, scripts, or relays (reports) which are then broadcasted in a TV, radio or Internet.

Today, reporter's job is being obscured as they are required to practice on more tasks that involve photography, editing, blogging, shooting and producing video, audio, etc., so the demand of journalists is increasing with the most suitable catch-all title.

How a Journalist is differentiated from a  Reporter?

It is not a tranquil job to differentiate the profession of a journalist to a reporter. In this modern century, the public demands and deserves immediate, factual, reliable and unbiased information. Professional newspaper journalists devote their whole life in reporting the news, no matter what the personal risk is.

Skills and Attributes

Skills required to be a Journalist:

  • Ethics and Integrity
  • Objectivity and focus on your target audience
  • Courage and Boldness
  • Exemplary communication and writing skills
  • Knowledge of Technology
  • Investigative Skills
  • Research skills.
  • Self-confidence,
  • Keyboard and IT skills
  • Ability to formulate unique ideas
  • An eye for editorial

Skills set required to be a Reporter:

  • Nose for news
  • Curiosity, alertness, and impartiality
  • Intelligence and Courage
  • Language expertise.
  • Handling media equipment
  • Faithfulness and Neutrality
  • Knowledge of Structure and Presentation.
  • A knack for storytelling
  • Time management skills
  • Versatility
  • Experience working and interacting with sources
  • Focus on the audience
Job assigned

Role of a Journalist:

Journalists main job is to educate and instruct the public concerning about events and issues and the way they influence the lives of people. Journalists spend most of their time interviewing the expert sources, exploring public records and other references for information, and sometimes visiting the scene wherever a crime or other newsworthy incident took place. They inform the public debate so that the educated people will be able to make choices and deliver attributed, reliable, verified, authorized, and sourced news.

For a journalist, facts and figures are what matters the most. They always attempt to hunt for the news that the world would never have known. They ultimately focus on 5 Ws and 1H. Their main profession is to serve the audience until they are into this job.

The Role of a Reporter:

A reporter has to perform more several functions and jobs within the realm of media. Reporters are generally involved in the direct gathering, collection, and communication of public information, usually via prime information sources like first-person interviews, news conferences, and attendance at news events. The stuff they communicate is mostly confined to the facts they have assembled; editorializing or sharing viewpoints on the news which is not regarded as the part of the reporter's role.

Reporters always act as the nucleus of the present action. They confront the finest as well as the worst situations any time. They generally confront with the several powerful leaders or prominent celebrities. They have to face danger and death with courage, determination, and dedication. They always seem to be inquisitive and challenging. The news report they prepare eventually lands on the news desk of the channel.

Career Prospects

For Journalists:

A journalism degree is what that provide you an array of key journalistic abilities such as researching, investigating, interviewing, reporting, analyzing, and writing additionally, with the technical skills including video, editing, shorthand, audio, content management, as well as web design.

Job Opportunities:

The journalists can get into the following job profiles:

  • Broadcast journalist
  • Editorial assistant
  • Magazine features editor
  • Magazine journalist
  • Newspaper journalist
  • Press sub-editor
  • Publishing copy-editor/proofreader
  • Web content manager
  • Writer
  • Advertising copywriter
  • Digital copywriter
  • Market researcher
  • Multimedia specialist
  • Public relations officer
  • Science writer
  • Translator

For Reporters:

Career as a Reporter is very challenging and successful too. It is challenging as it demand the job of 24/7, and can be anywhere like in droughts, floods, landslides,etc. News reporters and correspondents have to visit the site of incidence at that point of time and have to research, interview, film and write stories tailored to the requirements of their employers and audiences. The news industry is astonishingly and incredibly competitive, so any experience or established reporter or correspondent can gain and attain better projects and employment opportunities.

Reporters general job duties involve collecting information, preparing a factual and real story, creating articles or broadcasts that expose information to the public. These stories often include local, state, national and international topics on current issues. They often carry cameras and take photos or video footage of objects or places of potential importance. It can take weeks to collect information for a story, depending on the extent and news outlet for which news reporters work.


Journalists :

Journalists have a vast field area for If you desire to work inside the doors of journalism, you can get employment in these organizations such as:

  • National, regional and local newspapers (print and online)
  • Radio and television stations
  • Magazines
  • Media and broadcast companies
  • Creative digital media companies.

Outside the world of journalism and media, there are a plethora of opportunities for you to use your creativity and communication skills. Typical employers can include:

  • PR consultancies
  • Corporate communications agencies
  • Advertising and marketing companies
  • Charities


A news reporter has to work within the walls of the following media houses:

  • National, regional and local newspapers
  • News Channels
  • News agencies etc.

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Date: 05 Feb 2019

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