I think one of the big secrets about broadcast meteorology is that in your first local television job, you’ll likely be doing some reporting. You see, the bottom shift in the pecking order of TV news is the weekend gig. If you work either evenings or mornings on the weekend, you’re going to need to do something else during the week to make you full time. Some stations allow you to be a weather producer during the week and others just keep you part time, leaving it up to you how to pay the rent. The most common option is to do some reporting to help out the news department.
This comes as a surprise to many mets because its something they rarely learn in college. Its hard enough to learn the meteorology, then master all the chroma-key and studio skills, so it makes it very difficult to get in any kind of time learning how to shoot, edit and report. You can see why picking the right school and getting the chance to learn those skills can be so crucial. You can probably imagine that having the choice better a met, and a met who can report, a News Director might be inclined to choose the one with the bigger bag of tricks.
If you’ve just graduated, and never reported before, don’t freak just yet. Many News Directors are used to this problem and are usually prepared to train you on the job. No doubt, you’ll likely learn boatloads in your first weeks on the job. With the entry-level job market as crowded as it is, if you can get the chance to learn how to tell stories electronically, picking up that extra class or two would be a big boost to the resume.