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Thomas_Anderson
04-14-2010, 08:30 AM
I was trying to think what jobs do my characters have, and an idea popped into my head. The plot calls for a news reporter at some point, and she otherwise is not really valuable to the story as a whole. However, I oculd make things more interesting and make one of my main characters that reporter.

Only potential problem is that said character is only twenty one. Is that too young to be a TV news person? Not national news, or its equivilent, but a local news station.

shadowwalker
04-14-2010, 09:03 AM
Most television stations, even the smaller ones like around where I live, require a college education first, so 21 might be pushing things a bit. Unless it was like an internship.

shaldna
04-14-2010, 12:07 PM
I know that here most of our tv news reporters studied journalism or communications at uni, and most of them started out that way. Also, you don't find many young news reporters on tv because people don't react to them with as much respect as someone of 40 would command.

It's a psychological thing. Look at the news reporters on your TV, most of them will be mid 30's +, sensible looking, attractive, but not too attractive. Stations choose news readers by considering the fact that these people will be breaking alot of bad news to people, serious things, and they want people who will put that across in a certain way.

For instance, if you were being told that the world was about to end would you rather be told by Sir Trevor or by a blond 21 year old in a tank top?

But anyway, in answer to your question, mid-late 20's is realistic.

Maryn
04-14-2010, 05:00 PM
21 would be too young for an on-air reporter here. Most of the young ones appear to me to be about 25 or so.

Maryn, medium-sized market

the addster
04-14-2010, 05:42 PM
I live a very small area, our local station hires kids right out of college. I expect many of them are 21-22 years-old. The usually stay only a few months, gathering on air experience I suppose, and then move on to larger markets.

Aztecsince79
04-15-2010, 07:56 AM
There are some ways around the problem. The internship angle would be realistic. Seniors at the local college accompany news crews on stories, and if they're with a cameraman only, they might serve as the de facto reporter by holding the microphone and asking a couple of questions.

Maybe the college has its own student TV operation, sort of like a campus newspaper or radio station. That way the 21-year-old is a legitimate reporter.

Both those situations cause potential changes in your character which might not be worth it -- no sense writing yourself into trouble.

mtrenteseau
04-15-2010, 08:47 AM
A friend did an internship at a television station when he was in college. At the time, his school had a radio station but no TV.

Now, he's a middle-school English teacher doing an electronic journalism class, where seventh and eighth graders read news and do interviews on a program that's run on a closed-circuit system throughout the school.

I don't know how prevalent this kind of program is, but someone who's been "on-air" since they were twelve might be given a chance to do something on a real station at twenty-one, particularly if the producer didn't think it would be challenging or they were short-staffed.

shaldna
04-15-2010, 11:52 AM
I don't know how prevalent this kind of program is, but someone who's been "on-air" since they were twelve might be given a chance to do something on a real station at twenty-one, particularly if the producer didn't think it would be challenging or they were short-staffed.


News is different. News readers are 99% of the time journalists.

WriteKnight
04-17-2010, 05:02 AM
As a 'chair' - like an anchor person? No - too young. As a field reporter? Sure a real possibility.

I started in PROFESSIONAL television while I was working full time and going to school FULL TIME at a major market. I was working camera - but at the time, there were 'kids' as young as junior high doing 'top of the hour newsbreaks' on the station. Especially between 2 and 6pm. Part of a drive to get kids to 'watch the news'. But as an anchor in prime time? No way.

Some college kids did field reporting - no problems there. This was back in the 70's and early 80's.

Now I freelance as a director for a local cable station. They do news reports and the field reporter is right out of college. Prolly 22? So yeah, you could make it happen.