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A correspondent is an on-the-scene news reporter who is also sometimes called a journalist. Correspondents contribute news to newspapers, radio stations, and television stations. Whenever anything newsworthy occurs in the world, a correspondent is often sent to the front lines to report back on what is taking place. Most correspondents work from remote areas and often from foreign countries. Unlike reporters, a correspondent places some of their own opinions into the news piece and report as they see things happening. They may provide this information through video, vocal recordings, or written articles.
Correspondents travel all over the world and communicate (by recording or writing) what they see to news companies. They work on the front lines of breaking news, sometimes in very dangerous situations.
A correspondent must be available at all times to catch the next big story. They often work on little sleep. They may be called on, in the middle of the night, to report on breaking news. Frequently, correspondents do not know what city, town, or country they will be in next. Travel is constant and they may be away from home for extended lengths of time. Correspondents may investigate and follow a story for weeks or even months. In times of war, correspondents can spend months and even years in one location, reporting on the news and events as they happen in the area.
Often, news correspondents work in teams with editors and photographers, as many correspondents are required to transmit live broadcasts. This could include events such as natural disasters, war, murder trials, or crime scene footage. Unlike a news reporter who only speaks on the facts of the news, a correspondent often lends their own opinions to the piece. Though they provide factual information, they may also colour the news piece with some of their own thoughts on what is taking place.
Correspondents travel all over the country and the world. They may have to fly out of the country at just a moment's notice. Correspondents often are away from home for weeks, months, or even years at a time. They may report from the front of a court building, or from the midst of a natural disaster or war zone. Since correspondents try to capture news as it happens, they are sometimes put into dangerous situations.
One must obtain a journalism degree to become a correspondent. A journalist just starting out may be reporting or writing small pieces of news at the beginning, but they will eventually move up in the world of journalism to writing larger pieces and to eventually becoming a correspondent. Correspondents need to have an eye for news and the ability to verbally communicate what they see to the rest of the world. They must also have a good grasp of grammar, language and writing skills because they may be assigned to write articles and other news pieces.
Scott Kraft described his life as a foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times as “one of the most fun and most rewarding jobs in journalism.”
Foreign correspondent. It’s hard to come up with a job title quite as romantic and full of intrigue. The very words conjure images of steamy exotic locales from The Year of Living Dangerously or some Graham Greene novel. The truth is reporting overseas is hard, challenging work that requires preparation.
A correspondent may be a general news reporter or specialize in a particular topic. Sometimes correspondents are placed in a certain area to cover a story that is unfolding. This generally includes topics such as natural disasters, political unrest or international conflicts.
The characteristics that make a successful foreign correspondent remain the same: a sense of curiosity and passion for reporting on events and people in another country, a willingness to exit one’s comfort zone and a firm foundation in journalism.
Depending on his or her specialty, a news correspondent will usually collect, organize, and disseminate news information.