If you are savvy with the written word, possess a natural curiosity and love to travel, you may want to pursue a journalism career in international news reporting.
A formal education is not absolutely necessary to become an international news reporter; however, a writer without a degree may find it difficult to be hired for international news reporting jobs. Consider obtaining a degree in journalism, international relations or English. University journalism programs often require internships or participation in campus news activities. These experiences will provide you with invaluable news writing clips or broadcast demo tapes for your portfolio. Many universities also offer study abroad opportunities. A writer who has studied abroad, immersed himself or herself in a foreign culture and is fluent in a foreign language may be more prepared for a career in international news reporting than a writer who does not have these experiences.
With or without a degree, there are two routes to becoming an international news reporter. The first is a traditional route by which you are hired for staff position with a news organization that employs international news reporters. The second is freelance news writing.
Staff reporters may be employed by a large international news outlet based in their home country, such as CNN or the BBC, or an international news wire service, such as the Associated Press or United Press International. Typically, a journalist needs to have considerable domestic reporting experience and a strong portfolio of published news stories or broadcast demo tapes before he or she can apply to work for an international news reporting organization.
You can gain the required experience by working in your home state or country as a news reporter. Plan to spend at least two full years writing or broadcasting for a domestic news agency before you will be considered qualified to apply for an international news reporting position.
When you begin to apply for international news reporting jobs, take the time to ensure you are able to travel internationally by obtaining a passport and updating all routine vaccinations. Research additional vaccinations that are recommended or required in the region you hope to be assigned, and consider getting those, too. Some vaccinations take several weeks to become effective in your body and others have to be administered in a series of shots, so it is a good idea to plan ahead.
Freelance international news reporting can be a trickier way to make a living. Your stories will, for the most part, be self-assigned and your travel and accommodations will be self-funded. However, many news organizations do not have international news reporters on their staffs, so there is a large, open market for properly targeted and well-written freelance reporting in international news.